Ignore the Overhype — Leadership Qualities That Really Are Everything

Originally published July 28, 2017 By Lindsey Pollak

We all know the “it” words for leadership qualities today, those buzzwords that pop up over and over to describe the qualities leader aspire to. Frankly, I’m totally over words like “ninja” and “guru.” But there are several words that are common in today’s management vernacular that really do describe great leaders. If you’re a leader or aspiring to be one, I hope you’ll find these valuable.

Authenticity (my personal favorite…)

“Authenticity [is] the continuous process of building self-awareness of our whole person, as well as being transparent with others about our whole person, both strengths and limitations. As a result, more often than not, the authentic leader’s beliefs, values, principles, and behaviors tend to line up. Commonly referred to as ‘walking the talk,’ authenticity also means being your talk at a very deep level. The practice of authenticity is so much more than simply being true to ourselves, it also requires being true with others.” — Read more at Forbes.com.

Self-awareness

“[Self awareness] is made up of two types of knowledge. One is what people normally think of, which is that introspective awareness, seeing ourselves clearly, knowing what we value, what we aspire to do. But equally importantly and frequently neglected is the idea that we should also know how other people see us. What I found is there are quite a few people who possess one of those types of knowledge, but not the other. That’s really where it gets in their way. What we’ve learned through our research is that people who have both types of self-knowledge and balance them are the ones who are the most successful at work and in life.” — Read more at Knowledge@Wharton.

Emotional Intelligence

“Leaders need THE critical leadership skill: emotional intelligence (EI) [or] ‘regulating emotions.’ The benefits of regulating emotions include collaborating effectively, being more empathetic, communicating to produce desired results, interpersonal skills, amicable conflict resolution and so on. Studies have proven that organizations whose leaders have higher EI are more profitable. … EI is thus more valuable than technical competence.” — Read more at TrainingIndustry.com.

Purpose-Driven

“Employees’ understanding of and alignment with the company’s purpose should be regularly discussed and measured as a predictor of outcomes related to safety, retention, performance and profitability. Managers should help employees understand why their work matters and how it aligns with the company’s purpose. Discussions connecting individual and team successes to the larger organizational mission or purpose need to be frequent. Recognition programs — in addition to highlighting exceptional work — must connect performance to the purpose of the organization.” — Read more at Gallup.com.

Growth Mindset

“Great leaders are governed by growth mindsets. They understand that they can continue improving and help those around them do the same. … With a growth mindset, you can see the good in every situation. Even when you fail — and you’re human, so you’ll fail from time to time — you won’t be defeated. Instead of giving up and going home, you’ll begin to look at every situation as a learning experience. When you fail, you’ll figure out what went wrong and work on making sure it doesn’t happen next time.” — Read more at TinyPulse.com.

What’s a leadership quality “buzzword” that you actually like — or on you have heard more than enough of? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

 

Expo! Expo! Sneak Peak

Originally published by Trade Show Executive August 2017 Edition

I always enjoy writing this month’s article because I get to officially tell you about all the great new things we have planned for attendees at this year’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. I can confidently say that IAEE is in a unique position to provide attendees what no other organization can, and that is the “show for shows.” But if we step back for a moment, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? To create that definitive “something” that makes our organizations and, ultimately, our shows THE event to attend in your specific industry? Planning for each year’s Expo! Expo! starts more than a year out from show date and I am truly grateful for the awesome staff that not only puts on the “show for shows,” but brings you, the exhibitions and events community, year-round content and programming that is timely and relevant.

It’s All About Connections at this year’s Expo! Expo! on 28-30 November in San Antonio, Texas. This theme has given us plenty to think about, and we have taken the opportunity to focus on the feedback we have received from members on the areas of interest that are at the top of most people’s “meeting wish list” right now.

One of the accomplishments we are most proud of is the reputation Expo! Expo! has built on its exceptional education programming and networking opportunities, making it the “show for shows.” Our Education Committee received more than 130 session proposals this year! The vast expanse of information presented helped us hone in on the following three areas of development: research informed; data guided; and experience design, all infused with technology and innovation in mind.

Expo! Expo! continues its strong commitment to providing the most diverse product mix marketplace in the industry and as the leading industry platform for innovative solutions. The Tech Start Up Program, now in its third year, will design greater experiences for attendees to interact and engage with emerging technologies. The attendee and exhibitor mobile app and beacon tech will provide a brand-new user experience that will enhance connections with peers and give greater insight and interaction with show content. New show technology partners have come into the mix, further emphasizing Expo! Expo! as the tech laboratory for the industry.

Other new initiatives created to enhance the Connections made at Expo! Expo! include the Women’s Leadership Experience, sponsored by Experient, which will include a panel discussion with a life-hack gathering activity; a unique, communal learning and networking experience that will include six rounds of 15-minute discussions on various topics such as Ask the Expert, Leadership and Personal Development, Technology Use Cases and Personal Style Inspiration; and special programming for university/college students and faculty.

View the Expo! Expo! Schedule at a Glance!

In the coming months, I will be delving further into the new ideas and concepts we are exploring at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2017. In the meantime, visit the Expo! Expo! website at www.myexpoexpo.com.

I look forward to connecting with you in San Antonio this November!

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO
IAEE

Death of the Trade Show Channel? Don’t Count on It….

CEIR Blog

by Nancy Drapeau, PRC, Senior Research Director, CEIR

Ok, I’m putting my stake in the ground, I’m saying it: face-to-face marketing is alive and well. CEIR research does not find cracks in the power of face-to-face marketing. If anything, the rise of digital has offered tremendous opportunity for face-to-face marketing settings, trade shows in particular, to survive and thrive in the digital age. Temporary market places that deliver the right mix of buyers and sellers that fulfill the objectives for participating on both sides of the equation (attendees and exhibitors) are poised to do well. Those that get lazy, assume they know their audiences and fall into the ‘same old’ rut and do not experiment with integrating digital into the experience; well, they are poised to have their lunch eaten.

My assertion is not based on emotion, but on a bedrock of CEIR research findings. CEIR offers different reports that…

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Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Sponsorship Program

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Sponsorship Program category evaluates a case study presentation of a show’s sponsorship development/management program and the effect the program had on the show. Judging criteria includes: creativity in program offerings and elements that attract potential sponsors; overall development of the program and deliverables to sponsors; clarity of information, overall message and content usefulness in the marketing pieces used to promote the program; how well the marketing elements used to promote the program relate to the “theme” of the event in terms of overall presentation and visual appeal; and how well the program met its intended goals.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Sponsorship Program category:

Under 75,000 nsf
IRL Events
Anime Expo 2016

Anime Expo is the largest Japanese culture event in North America hosting more than 300,000 fans and cosplay enthusiasts, as well as a sold out show floor of more than 400 exhibitors (up 17% from 2015!).

With sponsorship marketing aggressively moving online, 2016 marked the debut of the first ever Anime Expo Sponsorship Website. This site provided current and potential sponsors with an intuitive and comprehensive tool that allowed them to quickly and easily plan their Anime show presence, becoming a one stop shop for all potential sponsors.

Through the use of renderings, photographs and descriptions, the Anime Expo sponsorship website provided potential sponsors a variety of resources to help them create a strategic onsite marketing presence. The site also provided logistical and execution information, making it the one stop shop for all things event marketing. As a result, this first-time resource grew sponsorships 103% in 2016.

“Knowledge is everything when it comes to sponsorships – knowing your clients’ goals, knowing every square inch of the venue, and knowing how to use every bit of that space to its maximum effect,” said Mary Dolaher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IRL Events. “The IRL Events team has been lucky enough to work with the LACC for more than 20 years, and with AX for almost a decade. This experience has given us the knowledge we need to build a sponsorship web site like no other – clients can access layouts, photos, and descriptions all in one place, and then purchase easily through the site. What’s good for the sponsor is good for the show!”

Over 200,001 nsf
American Pet Products Association
Global Pet Expo

Global Pet Expo, the premier industry event, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 2016 Global Pet Expo had 1,087 exhibitors in 3,218 booths. Total buyer attendance was 6,170, representing 76 countries. Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified media & professionals.

The goal of its sponsorship program in 2016 as to boost visibility and drive traffic to the sponsors booth, as well as build brand awareness. 2016 exceeded the Global Pet Expo sponsorship program goals. With sales up a record 22% the brand awareness that is created through sponsorships is becoming apparent to many of the exhibitors.

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

The Mistakes That are Killing Your First Impression

Originally posted 26 May 2017 By Lindsey Pollak

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

It’s one of the most clichéd pieces of advice. That’s because it’s true — especially if you are job hunting.

Research shows that recruiters typically only give your resume a six-second glance, and some people say the first seven seconds of meeting someone are the most important, so you don’t want to squander that initial chance to shine in person, on paper or online.

Here are some common ways job hunters undermine that crucial first impression — and how to avoid them:

Minimizing the Importance of Small Talk

“As you make your way to the interview space, the light conversation you exchange is a great opportunity to develop rapport. In an interview, there is no such thing as small talk. If the interviewer asks about upcoming weekend plans, talk about a hobby or personal interest of yours that you pursue in your free time. You might not have specific plans for those interests this weekend, but you don’t have to answer this question so literally. Don’t talk about errands to run, and certainly don’t say you have no plans! People want to work with people they like, and small talk is an opportunity to be sociable and therefore more likeable.” — Read more at Forbes.com.

Dissing the Receptionist

“The person at the front desk may not be the hiring manager—but that doesn’t mean his or her impression of you doesn’t matter. In fact, some companies specifically ask their front desk attendants to report back on the demeanor of interviewees who come through the door. And that likely plays a role in the ultimate hiring decision—so it’s important to treat that person as well as you’ll treat your interviewer.”  — Read more at The Muse.

Not Paying Attention to Your Non-Verbal Communication

“Rob Riker, the founder of the Social Winner blog, says confident body language does more than make you look good — it helps you make a great first impression. To do this, Riker suggests suggests having a firm handshake, standing up straight, and maintaining eye contact both while listening and speaking.” — Read more at Business Insider.

Forgetting That the “Eyes” Have it

“It’s imperative to making a strong connection — but how much is too much? Here are three ways to perfect your gaze. Hold it. Eye contact during a conversation increases brain stimulation and, as a result, recall of the conversation. … But not for too long. Research shows that holding eye contact longer than three seconds without taking a break can be interpreted as aggressive, causing listeners to feel defensive and resistant to what you’re saying. And take breaks. Eye contact and word generation share cognitive resources, according to a 2016 study. That means maintaining too much eye contact can sap your brain and impact your ability to verbally respond.” — Read more at Entrepreneur.com.

Missing the Big Picture

“If I ask, for example, about your university telefund job, don’t bore me with mundane details like your donation numbers. Show me how it trained you to be the problem-solver you are today. Maybe you found yourself discouraged by the percentage of alums who hung up on you after 10 seconds, so you volunteered to revise the standard call script. In just a week or two, donations started ticking upward. Every employer wants to know they’re hiring someone who can absorb information, understand the details that matter, and can make smart decisions on their own.” — Read more at Fast Company.com.

What are some first impression hits or misses you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Getting Unhooked from Our Smartphones

Posted on July 27, 2017 by: Ryan Estis

How many times will you stop reading this blog post to check e-mail, text messages or social media?

The heaviest smartphone users click, tap or swipe on their phone 5,427 times a day, according to the research platform dscout. The rest of us still touch the addictive things 2,617 times a day on average. That level of connection is wreaking havoc on our ability to focus on tasks that require more concentration than it takes to post a status update.

Adam Alter, author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” warns that many of us — youngsters, teenagers, adults — are addicted to modern digital products. Not figuratively, but literally addicted.

In a New York Times interview, he explains:

In the past, we thought of addiction as mostly related to chemical substances: heroin, cocaine, nicotine. Today, we have this phenomenon of behavioral addictions where, one tech industry leader told me, people are spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cellphones. Where teenage boys sometimes spend weeks alone in their rooms playing video games. Where Snapchat will boast that its youthful users open their app more than 18 times a day.
Behavioral addictions are really widespread now. A 2011 study suggested that 41 percent of us have at least one. That number is sure to have risen with the adoption of newer more addictive social networking platforms, tablets and smartphones.

We increasingly struggle to look away from our screens.

IS YOUR SMARTPHONE ADDICTION A PROBLEM?

Mine was. The frightening thing about the addiction was that I didn’t realize the impact it was having on me until I went into “detox.” During the first few days of my initial digital detox, I desperately wanted to check my phone. I felt low-grade anxiety and was completely out of my comfort zone. Ironically, eight days later when I got my phone back, I left it off for a few hours to fully absorb my transformation. In that moment I was much more aware of the impact technology was having on my ability to be fully present.

Yes, the internet has fundamentally transformed the way we connect and communicate. It’s launched a whole new economy where anyone with an idea and an internet connection can start a company and connect with a global marketplace full of opportunity.

For that very reason, we’re living in the golden age of entrepreneurship! However, letting technology intrude into nearly every waking moment isn’t healthy and the time to create a little more discipline around it is now.

On a recent road trip with Seth Mattison, we discussed how to be more intentional in our relationship with technology and how we know when it’s time to unplug. Case in point, notice the irony of our full immersion into tech while talking about the benefits of a digital detox in this video!

VIDEO: On the Road with Seth Mattison

The key is to get off of autopilot and become a bit more aware and intentional in managing our technology so it isn’t managing us. Give the digital detox a try this weekend and DM me on Monday to let me know how it went!

Ryan Estis helps companies and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance. Each live event blends original research with compelling stories that move participants to take action. Ryan has 20 years of business experience working with the world’s best brands to initiate change, inspire innovation and deliver growth. Learn more about Ryan Estis.

Source: Getting Unhooked from Our Smartphones

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Social Media Campaign

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Social Media Campaign category evaluates the collective use of social media channels to effectively promote a show before, during and after the event. Judging criteria includes: content appeal and usefulness; effectiveness of distribution and target audience engagement; target audience response; how well the campaign correlates with the overall “theme” of the show; how well the social media campaign met its intended goals; and how well the social media drove attendance, general show awareness and overall brand awareness.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Social Media Campaign category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association
HealthAchieve

The signature conference and exhibition of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for over 90 years, HealthAchieve is an award-winning event that has long been one of the largest and most respected health care events in North America – the preeminent gathering place for health care and business leaders. HealthAchieve continues to inspire ideas and innovation by providing global health care and business leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other, share their ideas and evolve their perspectives.

Read the complete case study about how OHA won not only in this category, but took the overall Best of Show prize for last year’s Art of the Show Competition with this entry here.

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
mdg
SuperZoo

SuperZoo is the largest pet industry trade show in North America, with a more than 60-year history of helping pet retailers and service professionals discover new products, find amazing deals, learn how to build their businesses and connect with others who share their passion for pets. SuperZoo started out as a modest, regional trade show but has grown tremendously over the past decade, since moving to Las Vegas in 2004. SuperZoo 2016 marked the biggest SuperZoo in history, with the most exhibitors, buyers and education hours of any pet industry event in North America. SuperZoo has long been known as the event for the independent pet retailer, but it is also well-attended by pet service professionals and groomers, international buyers and corporate buyers interested in expanding their presence in the consumer pet market. SuperZoo exhibitors include distributors and manufacturers of products for cats, dogs, reptiles, aquatic animals, birds and more, as well as companies offering retail-specific services.

SuperZoo’s audience is highly social, therefore a variety of tactics was used to encourage them to engage before and during the show. The primary goals were to increase followers, and drive registrations and onsite verification. With audience acquisition in mind, mdg developed a paid Facebook campaign that mixed boosted posts and events with targeted ads to build SuperZoo’s follower base and drive attendance. Recognizing the importance of Instagram as a platform, they also sought to build this audience.

The 2016 social media campaign was a huge success, with a 23 percent increase in Facebook likes, a 58 percent increase in Twitter followers and a 106 percent increase in Instagram followers. Facebook remained the most popular platform and views and engagement peaked during the show, with users frequenting the page multiple times per day to see what was going on onsite and what they should make time to see. The efforts to build the Instagram audience also paid off with a 151 percent increase in likes over 2015.

The campaign also went to great lengths to get the sort of exclusive, visual content that drives engagement. In the weeks leading up to SuperZoo, a hashtag campaign was run asking people to download a #SZ16 sign and share photos for a repost which featured big-name speakers on successive “takeover Mondays.” This takeover campaign resulted in 68 clicks to registration and had a reach of 33,725 people. They also promoted a #WPAGoodWorks photo contest where followers posted photos of their business doing good works in their community for a chance to win a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

Once onsite, SuperZoo utilized Facebook Live and the new Instagram Stories feature (which came out while the show was happening!) to provide relatable, unscheduled content at exciting moments – show floor pan from a cherry picker, anyone? A Facebook Live post featuring a birds-eye view of the show floor was the campaign’s most successful piece of content, organically reaching 45,617 people, resulting in 1,780 likes, comments and shares and 3,931 post clicks.

The paid advertising campaign had a combined reach of more than 150,000. Facebook’s robust audience-building parameters allowed the campaign to target a highly qualified group of prospects (the difference between dog walker and dog lover is huge for SuperZoo!) and drove nearly 140 registrations at a cost less than one-third the industry average.

According to mdg president, Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, “Our digital team took SuperZoo’s social to a fun new place, not typically seen in B2B marketing. We used Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to leverage the power of social influence, drive engagement through highly visual posts, AND get the community excited about the charitable initiatives being doing by and for the communities served.”

Account Director Elena Lien echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these IAEE awards and even greater pride in the results we’ve achieved by serving as an extension of World Pet Association’s marketing team.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

Chapter Leaders Council Spotlight… An Interview with Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, Vice President of Sales, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services

Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, is Vice President of Sales at Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and a member of IAEE’s Chapter Leaders Council. Mary Ellen has been an IAEE member for 20 years. She recently shared with IAEE her perspective on the importance of connecting with her peers and the benefits she gains from her chapter leadership activities.

How did you get involved in leadership within your chapter?

I was recruited by Anna Roa in 1997 to serve on a committee for the Northern California Chapter. She was the Chapter Chair and encouraged me to get involved. Anna was my mentor, inspiration and became a dear friend. She passed away in December after a 31-year career with the Santa Clara CVB. I have been on a committee and/or the Board of Directors since that first volunteer committee position.

Connect with your IAEE Chapter

What chapter committees do you serve on currently and/or have served on in the past?

I have served on Program and Membership Committees and am currently Chair of the Northern California Chapter.

What have you gotten out of volunteering for your chapter?

I have made many great friends, enjoyed networking opportunities and valuable education. I am passionate about making connections. Connecting people together who will benefit from meeting  – that’s what I love to do.

How are you fostering future volunteer leaders?

We have recently made new connections with professors from San Jose University and University of San Francisco. We are working on connecting their students with show organizers to create volunteer opportunities as well as a chance to see a trade show and/or event in progress. We anticipate this will increase their interest levels towards pursuing careers in our industry and foster a new group of future leaders.

What do you find most satisfying about having stepped into a leadership role within your chapter?

Bringing people together – working with our Board of Directors and outreach to our membership. We are committed to providing relevant education and networking opportunities.

What is your favorite chapter activity?

Hosting CEM Learning Program courses. Our chapter has hosted a CEM course in San Francisco since 2011. We felt that bringing a CEM course to San Francisco would provide an opportunity for local members who may not be attending Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to experience the value of this program and continue towards their certification.

Movie Theaters as B2B Event Venues: The Next Big Thing?

CEIR Blog

by Trisha Richards

Meetings are to exhibitions as cheeses are to wines: complementary stimuli that enhance the participant experience.

With countless exhibitions incorporating education and entertainment as part of the proceedings, exhibition organizers must also consider meeting venues as auxiliary spaces in which to hold supporting events.

Convention centers, of course, offer  plenty of meeting rooms, as do adjacent hotels. But these don’t always fit the bill, when it comes to providing the novelty and excitement today’s attendees crave.

That’s where an alternative space like a movie theater comes in.

Dyson discovers movie theaters

Chris Laidlaw, Dyson Canada’s national product training manager, is responsible for coordinating Dyson Academy, his company’s annual nationwide road tour at which new products are demonstrated to associates from several prominent retailers.

Within a four-month period, he and his small team of six travel to 11 cities across the country and host identical presentations to groups of 200 or more audience members. Collaborating with a venue…

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Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Signage/Décor

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Signage/Décor category evaluates printed and/or digital signage and décor used throughout the show. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; usefulness of the signage and its content; how the signage/décor contributes to the overall “theme” of the event; and effectiveness of signage placement and décor throughout the show.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Signage/Décor category:

Under 75,000 nsf
FreemanXP – Tom Yurkin/Nora Summers
Oracle Modern Marketing Conference 2016

Leaders in customer service convened at Oracle Modern Marketing Conferences 2016 to participate in hands-on workshops, product demonstrations, and network during interactive breakouts that showcased best practices to help turn the attendee’s customers into brand advocates. For the signage and décor, multiple shows blended into one encompassing event that is attendee and message focused and environmentally conscious. Bold iconography and color palette were used to divide the space and direct attendees between the marketing, sales, commerce and service areas.

The goals and objectives for the signage and décor involved creating a clean, impactful, and reconfigurable suite of signage and registration elements that could be reused over multiple years and scalable for use within an array of venues. A cohesive look was created that reinforced Oracle’s modern brand. Sustainability was essential while incorporating Freeman rental elements like SmartPanels and Smart Counters. This also included using generic branded graphics that could be reused from year to year. In addition to the registration area and expo area, the look and feel was extended throughout the show experience.

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
GES
WVC 88th Annual Conference

Since 1928, the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) has provided comprehensive, progressive and practical continuing education opportunities to veterinary professionals from all over the world. The WVC Annual Conference brings together the best and brightest veterinary professionals for five days, who learn from expert instructors and gain knowledge that they can return to their practice and put to use immediately. With more than 1,000 hours of CE available, the conference is an opportunity to earn all required CE in one place. Offered in a world-class destination that is also cost effective for travel and accommodation, 97% of last year’s attendees said they would recommend attending the conference to a colleague.

The offerings are delivered by WVC use state-of-the-art facilities, methods and technologies. GES partnered with WVC early in the event development cycle to leverage WVC’s existing brand, as well as expand upon it to reflect WVC’s advances in its core areas. Graphics were inspired by design elements found in touchscreen user interfaces, in combination with lifestyle and workplace images that reflected the broad range and scope of the products and services offered by WVC. The images and graphics selected were designed to appeal not only to longtime members of WVC, but also to capture the imagination of younger members who expect data products to be accessible and hands-on resources to reflect the cutting edge in the industry.

The Registration Area was innovative and inviting. The architecture consisted of sleek, kiosk style registration stations staffed by the WVC team. This innovative design challenged the more transactional “over the counter” approach used in most exhibition environments and resulted in a more engaging experience for attendees. Functionality was priority number one since the WVC Annual Conference is a large event. When the doors of the registration area swing open, a crush of eager attendees descends upon the area. Therefore, several functional requirements must be met in the WVC registration area. GES worked closely with WVC to understand its workflow and spent the time necessary in the discovery phase to ensure the designs addressed the show’s true requirements.

The entrance design drew guests in to the central hall area of the WVC booth and functioned as the “grand hallway.” The Online Learning “Genius Bar” became a gathering place where participants charged their devices,and networked with one another. . The Online Learning zone was designed to be inviting and to provide an area for guests to demo WVC’s online platform. The TV Session Area was also a gathering place where participants networked and viewed WVC sessions. Comfortable seating and a custom bar with charging stations encouraged participants to linger. The new design throughout the conference was embraced by the WVC and those attending the 88th Annual Conference.

First impressions are important. Upon entering the Registration, the Online Learning “Genius Bar” or the TV Session Area, guests were greeted with a cohesive, vibrant and informative environment. The architecture and graphics elegantly delivered the WVC message. Guest after guest expressed their delight with the registration area and so did WVC. But first impressions are not everything. If first impressions are important, functionality is essential. GES designed the registration navigation scheme by considering timing of each “event” (e.g. logging a visitor) down to the second in order to ensure a smooth traffic flow and easy navigation for participants. Broad, open navigation lanes were used and WVC concierges directed participants to the next available help desk rather than employing queues at each desk. The planning and collaboration between WVC and GES paid off and the registration process was seamless with thousands of guest moving through the area quickly.

Over 200,001 nsf
InfoComm International & Freeman
InfoComm 2016

InfoComm is the largest, most exciting event in the United States focused on the pro-AV industry, with nearly 1,000 exhibitors, thousands of products, and 40,000 attendees from 110+ countries. InfoComm offers attendees a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest audiovisual technology, learn the skills that will advance their careers, and grow their professional network.

The “look and feel” for InfoComm 2016 was based on the concept of “play,” prominently featuring the triangle-shaped “play” button found on a variety of products in the audiovisual industry, like video cameras, DVD players, iPods, stereos, etc. The playful use of primary colors for the branding palette reinforced the “play” concept and also reflected the vibrancy of the audiovisual industry.

The goal for the décor and signage was to thoroughly integrate and reinforce the “play” concept throughout the show without being repetitive. The “play” triangle and abstract graphic shapes were configured into a variety of ways, in different scales (from an aisle banner to a meter board), and different colors were mixed and matched to add visual interest (for multiple entrance units).

From the impressively massive IC16 “play” button in the registration area to the small yellow “play” buttons on information carts, the brand concept was seen throughout the event and created a harmonious environment from the show floor, to the shuttle bus pickup area, to the convention center lobby. The abstract shapes could be configured in an exponential number of possible layouts, while still looking like they were in the “same family” and remaining within the confines of consistency.

The “play” concept was designed by another agency for use in 2D print and online, but Freeman elevated the visual impact of the design to a new level by creating 3D graphic elements at the entrance units and having a stand-alone “IC16” play button built for selfie opportunities. As is true with many trade shows, attendees often complain about a lack of seating. Freeman took this challenge and turned it into an opportunity to further the brand “look and feel” onsite. Instead of renting generic furniture, they built custom seating units comprised of the abstract graphic shapes, solving both the attendee demand and furthering the visual impact of the “play” branding onsite.

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.