The Voice of the Industry on Capitol Hill

Originally published by Trade Show Executive July 2017 Edition

For the past several months, I have been talking about the importance of advocating for the exhibitions and events industry at the grass roots and national levels. Last month, members of the industry came together for the fourth annual Exhibitions Day where we present our key interests to representatives of the U.S. Congress. On 6-7 June, 112 Exhibitions Day attendees made their voices heard on Capitol Hill with 84 meetings, 12 of which were at the member level. The overarching message of Exhibitions Day was the promotion of free and fair trade.

Promoting Free and Fair Trade

This call to action emphasizes the importance of business travel: its role in generating economic growth and job creation through Brand USA, a federally supported organization that promotes the U.S. overseas as a business and tourist destination. President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal calls for the elimination of funding for the program, which was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. Our call to action was to urge Congress to oppose any measures to defund Brand USA and recognize reduced funding as a measure that would hurt the health of our economy.

Another goal was to show our support for Investing in America: Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act – H.R. 1265. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness report, the U.S. ranks 11th in the world in infrastructure quality. Without proper travel, housing and dining infrastructure, it is impossible to attract trade shows. H.R. 1265 presents an action that could deliver an immediate and positive impact on infrastructure by generating billions of dollars in much-needed revenue through the removal of an outdated cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC), a fee that has not been changed since 2000 and does not reflect today’s inflation rates or capacity needs.

Ensuring Safety and Security at Exhibitions and Events

As an industry, we fully support the idea of enhancing safety and security measures to protect the U.S. from potential threats. We believe this requires active dialogue and participation from all parties, not just Congress. As I mentioned in April, IAEE and its membership have aligned with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Safety Act Office to develop the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI). This initiative will produce a comprehensive security benchmark that aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act, helping create safer and more secure large-scale events, such as trade shows and exhibitions.

EMSSI is in its final iteration with a targeted completion date of early October. Once completed, we will have hundreds of convention centers requesting certification from the DHS SAFETY Act Office – a significant undertaking that would require immense time and resources. Our proposal to members of Congress was to consider the necessary resource needs of the DHS SAFETY Act Office to effectively foster the development and deployment of new anti-terrorism technologies as it begins budget talks for FY 2018.

Stopping Online Booking Scams

Upwards of 15 million fraudulent bookings are caused by these scams, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. The House and Senate have introduced H.R. 2495 and S. 1164 – Stop Online Booking Scams Act, which would prohibit websites from pretending to be the hotel and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims. We urged lawmakers to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2495 and S. 1164, and empower the FTC to investigate this growing issue.

Global Exhibitions Day

On 7 June, the exhibitions industry also promoted Global Exhibitions Day – an industry wide collaboration that spans the globe. Exhibitions mean business in every country, as reflected in the growth of the industry around the world. Our international partners in this initiative have done a great job in spreading this message and we are very proud to play an integral part in the success of this initiative.

Next year’s Exhibitions Day will be held on June 5-6. I congratulate all who attended Exhibitions Day and urge everyone to continue spreading the message that Exhibitions Mean Business.

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

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Show Daily

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Show Daily category evaluates any communication (print or digital) updating attendees about the show and distributed on show site each day of the event. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; content usefulness and appeal to the audience (what makes the information in the show daily interesting to participants of this particular show); how the show daily contributed to the overall show experience for participants; and effectiveness of distribution and access to the show daily throughout the show.

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

Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association

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.

The event targets two distinct audiences: prospective attendees and potential exhibitors. The prospective attendees are made up of international health care and business leaders. The potential exhibitors are made up of medical suppliers and commercial vendors from across the globe. HealthAchieve provides the platform for unlimited networking opportunities between the two distinct audiences, and would not be the distinguished event that it is without ample participation from both.

The goal of the show daily was to keep the excitement, momentum and engagement going among healthAchieve attendees and exhibitors, and to showcase the event to those who couldn’t attend. The objective was to wrap up each day of the event with a daily-highlights email that featured highlights, not-to-miss features for the following day, winners of social media contests and special activities that took place at offsite locations in Thunder Bay and Halifax, as well as draw attention to the evaluation survey and event highlights video on the final day of the event.

The results for each of the show dailies are as follows:

  • Monday at HealthAchieve
    Of the 25,456 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 10,568 opens – 6,214 of which were unique – representing a 42% open rate. It also received 390 clicks, representing a 6% click-to-open rate.
  • Tuesday at HealthAchieve:
    Of the 24,684 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 9,216 opens – 5,720 of which were unique – representing a 37% open rate. It also received 345 clicks, representing a 4% click-to-open rate.
  • Wednesday at HealthAchieve:
    Of the 24,465 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 8,055 opens – 4,961 of which were unique – representing a 33% open rate. It also received 778 clicks, representing an 11% click-to-open rate. A total of 304 individuals clicked on the video, supporting our goal to keep the excitement and momentum going.

With a total attendance of 6,364 attendees, these numbers supported the goal of showcasing the event to a large amount of individuals who couldn’t attend.

Over 200,001 nsf
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™
CES 2016

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years – the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind CES features all aspects of the industry owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

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 International Attendee’s Complete Guide To Expo! Expo!: An Interview with Mathys Taekema, Business Development Manager, RAI Amsterdam

RAI_picWith valuable education sessions on and off the show floor and networking sessions primed for idea sharing, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition offers attendees a wealth of information they can take straight to their organization. Like the exhibition and event industry, the attendee make-up of Expo! Expo! is rich in diversity and always evolving. Here, IAEE speaks with Mathys Taekema, Business Development Manager at RAI Amsterdam, and member of the Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee, who shares how he makes the most of the valuable information he receives from Expo! Expo! each year as a venue and as a show organizer.

Why do you attend Expo! Expo!?

I attend Expo! Expo! for several reasons. The first reason is that my company RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre has a booth on the expo floor. At this booth, I am promoting the destination Amsterdam and of course, our venue. During my time on the booth and at the many networking events, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of intriguing people who might be interested to organize future exhibitions and events in Amsterdam.

Also, Expo! Expo! is a great event to meet existing U.S. clients once a year. Besides exhibiting and networking, the event is also great to develop your Industry knowledge. I attend the education sessions and the on-site CEM courses at Expo! Expo!.

In October 2016, RAI Amsterdam became a co-owner of IBEX (International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference). Since RAI Amsterdam owns a venue AND is a co-owner of IBEX, you have an interesting perspective on the exhibition industry. Can you explain the unique position of being an owner of a venue and a tradeshow? And what key benefits do you get by attending Expo! Expo!?

Indeed, RAI Amsterdam has the unique position of owning a venue, but it also ‘’owns’’ the expertise of organizing great consumer and trade shows for decades. RAI organizes renowned, market-leading international business-to-business (B2B) trade shows. We’re organizing 25 of our own titles in several brands such as professional cleaning, water technology and horticulture in the Netherlands and globally so it makes sense to share this kind of expertise to the U.S. market by attending Expo! Expo!.

Coming from a venue standpoint, what insights have you brought to the table to make IBEX successful? And did you implmenet any insights from Expo! Expo! in your business plans?

The years of experience in the international marine leisure market with a large agent network adds to the international flavor of the show, as well as the expertise on the venue’s capabilities. In my role as Business Development Manager, I’m not responsible for the business plans for our own shows. However, we’re currently in the middle of a reconstruction of the two divisions – Convention Centre and Exhibitions. With this reconstruction, we’re expecting these two divisions to work closely together.

What I learned from Expo! Expo!, such as planning an exhibition will be helpful in this organizational rebuilding and can provide new ways for the two divisions to work better together. Especially since we’re working more with exhibition organizers in partnerships. Sometimes, there are interesting overlaps between being a venue and owning a show, which results in good opportunities.

At last year’s Expo! Expo! in Anaheim, you attended as an exhibitor. How would you describe your experience on the show floor?

We had a good show and picked up some new leads. At our booth, we invited the attendees to play a game of “Throw the Can.” Everyone was very engaging and enthusiastic about this, which resulted in a great atmosphere and some interesting conversations.

The best thing that happened at Expo! Expo! was an attendee walked up to me, handed me her business card and literally said to me, “Here’s my business card. Send me an email when you’re back in the office because I want to organize an event in your venue!” We’re currently working with her on the Request for Proposal (RFP).

Expo Expo Blog Quote (1)

Prior to exhibiting on the show floor, you took the CEM courses: Floor Plan Development and Exhibition and Event Sales. What were the key takeaways for you and how did you apply them at RAI Amsterdam?

Although my role at RAI Amsterdam does not include a hands-on approach to organizing a show, what I learned in the CEM courses was extremely fascinating for me. Being in the same room with so many industry professionals, who are all organizing different shows gave me plenty of insight into how they work, think, sell and plan their shows. These insights have helped me understand the show organizer thought process, which has resulted in a better way of working with show organizers to produce a successful event.

Expo Expo Blog Quote - RAI Amsterdam

Were there specific education sessions that you attended in Anaheim that really resonated with you? If yes, please tell us how you applied what you learned.

I attended an interesting session, Event Intelligence on the Show Floor: Using Data to Improve Exhibitor Performance, which was all about lead retrieval systems. This session included a short presentation with business cases and an interesting Q&A session with Anna Knight, Brand Director, Consumer Technology and Licensing from UBM EMEA. Partnered with N200|GES, Knight explained how UBM has been using the lead retrieval system for a couple of their shows. This session made me realize how important it is to educate and encourage your exhibitors to be innovative and to use these kinds of systems in order to make the most out of the show.

Could these education takeaways apply to both an exhibitor and show organizer like yourself? If yes, how so?

Yes, most certainly this applies to both exhibitors and show organizers. As an exhibitor, you want to assure you meet your goals of the exhibition (number of leads, etc). As a show organizer, providing a platform where exhibitors can make the most out of their participation means you are doing a good job of fulfilling the exhibitors’ needs and potentially of having them exhibit again in future shows.

How has Expo! Expo! helped RAI Amsterdam as a venue and a show organizer?

From both venue and show organizer side, Expo! Expo! provides us a yearly platform to meet existing and new clients. Expo! Expo! offers plenty of education sessions, which are helpful in my day-to-day job activities.

Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo!

Besides the great (business) contacts I’ve gained over the years, I believe the most unforgettable moments were the opening receptions in Los Angeles (2014) and Anaheim (2016). IAEE really knows how to organize a good opening reception with great food and entertainment, which makes it an outstanding networking event.

Expo! Expo! Opening Reception in Anaheim, CA

As a seasoned international attendee, what advice would you give to those abroad who have not attended Expo! Expo! or are thinking about attending Expo! Expo!?

I would advise them to register and attend the event in San Antonio in November so they can experience for themselves the value Expo! Expo! offers to their attendees. There’s really not a better platform in the U.S., where you have the opportunity to meet so many Industry professionals over a few days’ time.

Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in San Antonio? If so, what are you looking forward to experience and learn at this year’s Expo! Expo!?

Yes, for sure! I already booked my room at the Marriott Rivercenter to make sure I run into the right people during breakfast and at the bar. I’m very excited about a new idea, where we have to create an International Pavilion on the show floor. This pavilion will consist several destinations and venues from all over the world and it will offer a “one stop shop” for show organizers who are organizing exhibitions outside of the U.S. Apart from that, I expect to see a lot of friends again in San Antonio and meet new people on the show floor, in the education sessions or during the network events. It goes without saying that I’m also looking forward to the educational sessions.

Registration for Expo! Expo! is open! Learn, network and make connections in San Antonio at the “show for shows” on 28-30 November!

Choose the Perfect Promotional Bluetooth® Speakers and Headphones

Originally published by 4imprint 3 July 2017

As video chats replace conference calls, Bluetooth audio is replacing headphone jacks. In fact, more and more cell phone makers are dropping the old 3.5mm plug, creating a spike in wireless adoption. While headphone sales are growing at a rate of 18 percent per year, Bluetooth headphones growth is double that. Promotional Bluetooth speakers and headphones are becoming timely business gifts as customers and employees look for new tech options.

How do you figure out which Bluetooth speakers and headphones are right for your customers and employees? This guide will help you choose wireless audio options they will love.

Finding branded Bluetooth headphones for your promotion.

Bluetooth headphones come in all shapes and sizes, from moisture-resistant sport earbuds to over-the-ear cans. Many Bluetooth headphones have built-in microphones so they can answer phone calls or use personal digital assistants. Some also have volume and playback controls on the headphones so they can pause and play music and podcasts without having to pull out a phone. And they all have built-in rechargeable batteries. To find the right branded Bluetooth headphones for your promotion, first you need to understand your audience.

Nab these on-ear and over-ear headphones.

If your employees or customers prioritize sound quality or they love the look of classic headphones, consider on-ear or over-ear headphones. Perfect for the workplace or a home office, these custom Bluetooth headphones tend to be bulkier than earbuds, but deliver rich, full sound. Some styles fold for easier portability.

For the constant traveller, pick up Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. The comfort fit headband is a feature they won’t want to live without. Plus, a full charge provides up to 10 hours of music or 11 hours of talk time.

For dependability with a modern look, the folding Adina Wireless Headphones look sweet walking down the street. Switch between talking and tunes without ever touching your smartphone.

Audiophiles will love the Jam Transit Wireless Headphones. On-headphone controls allow users to adjust volume and pause, play or skip tracks with ease. The integrated speakerphone makes answering calls from a smartphone effortless.

Select the perfect earbuds.

If your customers or employees prefer something smaller, go for custom Bluetooth earbuds.

Start with Brax Bluetooth Ear Buds. These lightweight earbuds feature built-in music controls and a mic that enables users to switch between playing tunes and taking calls.

If your customers or team members are into fitness, choose earbuds with hooks, such as the Sporty Bluetooth Ear Buds. These rechargeable earbuds stay comfortably attached when working out or walking.

There are no wires to get in the way with the Tonic True Wireless Ear Buds. These buds can be used up to 33 feet away from your device, and when fully charged, they offer 90 minutes of rockin’ playback at full volume.

Choose the right promotional Bluetooth speakers.

Sharing sound with others, without the need for a cord, is what makes Bluetooth speakers the perfect business promo.

In the office or working from home, the Bluetooth Speaker Media Stand provides impressive sound and up to six hours of play. Bonus—this powerful promo doubles as a stand for a tablet or smartphone.

If your team or customers are on the go, choose a Bluetooth speaker to match. Clip the ultra-portable Response Wireless Carabiner Speaker to bring audio to any location.

For something fun when work is done, employees and customers will appreciate the Disco Wireless Speaker. It has groovy multicolour lights and includes a built-in FM radio.

Make your choice.

No matter what Bluetooth gifts you’re looking for, from branded Bluetooth headphones and custom Bluetooth earbuds to promotional Bluetooth speakers, the options are endless. Knowing your audience and what will appeal to them most will help you make a “sound” choice.

Is the Events Industry Disruption-Resistant?


by Michael Hart

The shopping center industry is the latest disrupted business model that events can learn from. According to a research report from Credit Suisse, 25 percent of today’s malls will close by 2020.

What makes us think 25 percent of our shows won’t exist in their present form in three years?

The fall of the traditional shopping center is pushed along by the demise of brick-and-mortar retailing. The same Credit Suisse report tells us that, by 2030, 35 percent of all apparel in the US will be purchased online, up from 17 percent today.

What makes us think our attendees won’t be finding twice as many of the products and services they need somewhere besides our exhibit halls in 15 years?

Even an automotive warhorse like Ford last month replaced its CEO because he was not moving fast enough to take advantage of self-driving cars and the sharing…

View original post 472 more words

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Show Brand Design/Development

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Show Brand Design/Development category evaluates visual and messaging components used to build a new show’s brand or rebrand a show that was already in existence. Judges take into consideration all the separate elements of the marketing campaign to determine how well they leave a lasting impression on the target audience, and if they are effective in creating a brand association with the show.

Judging criteria includes: originality, visual appeal and creativity of the show logo and/or “theme” material; how effectively the individual marketing elements connect with the overall show brand; ease with which the audience correlates the branding back to the show; how well the branding speaks to the experiential value attendees can expect from the show; and how well each branding effort meets its marketing objectives.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Show Brand Design/Development category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association

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.

The event targets two distinct audiences: prospective attendees and potential exhibitors. The prospective attendees are made up of international health care and business leaders. The potential exhibitors are made up of medical suppliers and commercial vendors from across the globe. HealthAchieve provides the platform for unlimited networking opportunities between the two distinct audiences, and would not be the distinguished event that it is without ample participation from both.

The 2015 HealthAchieve brand focused on the key elements/reasons for attending the event: to “learn” from peers, “share” ideas and “evolve” perspectives. As an annual event, the HealthAchieve brand needs to differentiate itself from the previous year. To do this, OHA developed a different look and feel of the event through the use of subtly different color palettes. Building off the 2014 event, HealthAchieve 2015 introduced an array of lighter, more pastel versions of the 2014 color palette.

To ensure brand consistently over the years, HealthAchieve repeats graphic elements – most notably its “learn”, “share” and “evolve” icons – keeping with its theme and message that HealthAchieve exists to inspire ideas and innovation. The goal of HealthAchieve’s brand design and development campaign was to secure returning and new attendees. Its objective was to develop a collection of marketing materials that resonated with previous attendees familiar with the event and HealthAchieve brand, and capture the attention of new attendees who may not have heard of HealthAchieve. The show’s brand consistency and recognition with attendees helped it secure returning and new attendees.

Over 200,001 nsf
InfoComm 2016
InfoComm International & Works

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 branding designed for the 2016 show was created to convey anticipation and excitement, since InfoComm is an event filled with innovative technology. Since attendees truly don’t know what they might see there, the branding campaign focused on the theme, “Press Play. Once you press play, you never know what lies ahead.”

The overall goal was to lay the groundwork for an exceptional experience; one that would set the proper tone for a tech conference of this scale and quality. Additionally, the goal was to create a branding system that could be utilized by the team that would be building the on-site dimensional materials.

With the potential for information overload, the team chose to simplify and then amplify – by drawing inspiration from the iconic “play” button and the universal primary colors found in A/V cables. They let the simplicity of the icon, and the boldness of colors and patterns build the story. By creating the “ic16” icon (an abbreviation for InfoComm16), they created intrigue around the brand for new comers, and a feeling of being “in the know” for long-time fans. A modular set of branding elements and patterns was also created to assist the team building the on-site materials. A system was designed to give them both the creative inspiration, and the rules to maintain consistency and a cohesive experience, without getting repetitive.

“We strive every year to be creative and present a fresh and fun approach to our show brand that captures the energy, excitement and exceptional experience of the professional audiovisual industry on display at our event,” said Jason McGraw, CTS®, CAE, Senior Vice President of Expositions, InfoComm International. “From the concept development with Works Progress Design to on-site implementation with Freeman and our terrific in-house marketing team, it’s rewarding to be recognized for everyone’s hard work.”

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.

I Lived for My To-Do List, But Here’s Why I Ditched It

Originally published by Lindsey Pollak 13 June 2017

Is there anything more satisfying than checking things off of a to-do list? I didn’t used to think so. But I recently decided to kill my to-do list obsession—and here’s why you might want to ditch yours, too.

A Love Affair with Lists

I’m not sure anyone loves a to-do list more than I do. I have bought special graph paper notebooks to make my lists even neater. I have bought countless apps that promised productivity nirvana. I’ve been known to put things on my to-do list just to check them off.

But here’s the thing—making a list and actually getting stuff done are two very different activities. Lately, as my life has gotten busier, I’ve had to admit that the tasks on my glorious to-do lists just weren’t being completed.

Attempting to solve this problem, I avidly read books and blogs on productivity and list-making (Never check email in the morning! Combine personal and professional tasks in one single list! Limit yourself to three daily to-dos!). But I just wasn’t checking off the items I really wanted to complete. And then I stumbled on a strategy that has been life-changing for me, and might be for you as well.

Goodbye, List, Hello…

Ready for the big reveal? Instead of putting tasks on a list, I started to schedule action items on my calendar. So, for example, instead of having “review Q1 profit and loss statement” or “take Zappos return to UPS” on a to-do list, I scheduled 30-minute blocks on my calendar to actually get those tasks done. All of a sudden, every task had a place and things were getting done. The strategy is so simple, I can’t even remember where I first learned about it.

(I should mention that I still use the classic tip from David Allen’s Getting Things Done that you should just do something right away that will take two minutes or less, rather than writing it down at all. I highly recommend it.)

Now, if I don’t do something at its allotted time, I have to reschedule another time to get it done. And if I move a task more than a few times, it’s a big hint to me that that particular activity may not be essential enough to do at all.

Calendaring tasks has been a total game changer for longer-term projects like a proposal for a new book I’m writing. I’ve been wanting to get the proposal completed for a while, but it never seemed to move up my to-do list when daily client tasks intervened. Even though I was so excited about the book (and can’t wait to tell you more!), I never seemed to find a window to devote to it, until I started scheduling blocks on my calendar. Now it’s almost complete.

I love to hear unconventional hacks from others, and that’s why I wanted to share this little tip with you.

Do you already use this method or would you consider trying it? What other productivity hacks are your favorites? Please share with all of us in the comments.


Autonomous Vehicles @ Events


by Scott Schenker

The relationship we have with our cars is the stuff of legend. In fact, Sir William Lyons, one of the founders of Jaguar Cars, said, “The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something alive.”

Schenker 1While I can’t imagine how Sir Lyons would feel about today’s technology, I know many who are more emotionally attached to their cars than they are other humans.

Breaking that bond will be difficult.

But the opposite is true of work vehicles. You don’t often see Facebook post of friends with the fork lift they restored.

The disruption brought about by autonomous vehicles will be felt in work vehicles before it become the norm in personal and leisure vehicles. And there are plenty of opportunities for that disruption at events and convention centers.

At one recent event, there were 150 vendors whose only job was to drive: a forklift, cart, truck, bus, garbage…

View original post 425 more words

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Print Advertising Campaign

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Print Advertising Campaign category evaluates one or more print advertisements used by an organization to promote a show. Ad(s) must have appeared in a publication. Brochures are not included in this category. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; clarity of information and content usefulness; for multiple ads, how well each ad ties into the overall ad campaign; how well the ad promotes/integrates the overall “theme” of the event; and how well the ad campaign met its intended goals.

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

Under 75,000 nsf
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference


The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is the Southeast region’s largest show for the pet grooming and service industry professionals, and is also one of the largest shows for this segment in North America. Attendees include pet service professionals, with groomers making up the majority of attendees. Pet boarding and daycare operators, kennel operators, breeders and other service professionals also make up a significant attendee segment, as do pet retailers. More than 100 exhibitors offer grooming and pet service supplies and services in a vibrant expo floor.

The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference also places a heavy emphasis on education, providing more than 70 seminars and hands-on sessions focusing on retail strategies, grooming techniques and demonstrations, business operations tactics, and more. In 2016, the show moved to the Georgia International Convention Center. 2016 also marked the largest Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference in history, setting an attendance record for the second consecutive year.

The 2016 Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference print advertising campaign aimed to increase attendance among the key audience segments of grooming and pet service professionals. All ads took advantage of an engaging campaign concept that played into the core audience’s enthusiasm for social media and included eye catching visuals of animals receiving the “close-up” treatment. Ads also used fun and appealing copy that was delivered in a unique, first-person voice, as if the animal being groomed in the image is talking to prospects about the benefits and features of the show.

The general ad communicated Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference’s key benefits and features through this engaging lens. The ad was designed to provide an overview of the event that would appeal to groomers while showcasing key features to attract interest. The education ad capitalized on learning, a key attendance driver for most attendees, highlighting the breadth of education available at the event and encouraging prospects to register and secure education passes. A clever image and witty hashtag supported the theme, communicating at a glance that the event offers important education. Finally, the competition ad was designed to appeal to the segment of the grooming audience that enters the event’s popular grooming contests, which include the largest contests in North America. The dog breed chosen for the image is a groomer favorite and was designed to attract attention from groomers interested in competing.

“Under the leadership of Jessica Guzman from World Pet Association, the mdg team took Atlanta Pet Fair’s marketing to a fun new place, not typically seen in B2B marketing,” noted mdg President Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “Working collaboratively, the copywriters, designers and account services team created an advertising campaign that has a sense of humor, is on-trend and, most importantly, was effective at generating attendance.”

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.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
Frank Strategic Marketing
HPBExpo 2017

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo is North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Every year, over 350 leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers exhibit and demonstrate their latest home heating solutions; grills, grilling accessories and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for retailers nationwide to find not only the latest products for their showrooms, but also the latest services and technologies for their companies.

HPBExpo was seeking to position not only the show itself, but also the location (Atlanta) as vibrant and exciting. The goal was to create a sense of intrigue and drama and make a very bold statement that the show is not to be missed. The industry is replete with professionals that have a deep passion for what they do, and “immerse” themselves in their work. HPBExpo data and observations show a group exuding passion and camaraderie. All of the brand imagery is contemporary and cutting-edge to dovetail with the increasing sophistication of the outdoor living marketplace itself.

Over 200,001 nsf
CTIA Super Mobility 2016

Powered by CTIA, Super Mobility is North America’s largest and most influential forum for mobile innovation. A convergence of the leading authorities in the connected life all under one roof, CTIA provides professionals from across the mobile landscape (retail, enterprise IT, connected life, etc.) with unparalleled opportunities to hear the latest developments from top executives and entrepreneurs; see first-hand the next generation of technology shaping the future wireless such as 5G, IoT and security/privacy; and to network with fellow thought leaders. Unlike other events, CTIA is the backbone of the mobile industry – where the new technology and innovation emerges, before they are even translated into consumer products. It’s also perfectly timed for planning next year’s strategic roadmap and to jumpstart planning for the coming year.

CTIA went through a rebrand in 2016. Previously referred to as “CTIA – The Wireless Association,” it was repositioned to “CTIA – Everything Wireless” to more accurately capture the evolution in the industry and proliferation of wireless technology in every day life. CTIA serves as the background of the wireless industry, so it was important to draw a strong connection between the event and the association behind it. As such, a campaign was created using the association colors and a headline that played on the new tagline “Everything Wireless.” Lifestyle images were used to demonstrate the everyday use of the technology. The campaign developed to also show city images to help support the smart city theme that was being executed on the show floor.

“We are so fortunate to work with clients like Heather Lee Landers, formerly of CTIA and now the Executive Vice President of AUVSI, who trust us with their brands and have challenged us to take their event advertising to the next level,” said mdg President Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “I’m also grateful to our collaborative team of designers and copywriters who are creating the kind of attention-grabbing, design-forward, emotionally-appealing work that was once reserved for consumer marketing.”

Co-owner and Live Events Specialist Vinnie Polito echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these awards and even greater pride in the results that the work has helped our clients achieve. Thank you, IAEE, for recognizing marketing and design excellence in our industry.”

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.

Free and Open Trade is Valuable: Exhibitions and Events Mean Business

Originally published by Trade Show Executive June 2017

As I noted in last month’s column, the latest findings from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report that the exhibitions and events industry generated $80 billion toward the U.S. GDP in 2016. According to the latest CEIR Census, more than 9,400 Business-to-Business (B2B) events were held in the U.S., drawing 33.2 million attendees to these B2B events.

These figures reflect the importance of our industry in the overall business market, which means that the current administration and Congress have a lot of decisions to make regarding our position on international trade in terms of how it affects the business of exhibitions and events. As they review U.S. international trade policies, their deliberations will influence trade shows that depend on inbound and outbound travel for international attendees and exhibitors.

One of the models that our industry strongly supports is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. As noted on the IBP website at, the program pre-screens potential buyers, representatives and distributors for increased compatibility. Participants in the program are also able to list their products and services in the Export Interest Directory, which is distributed to all international visitors.

The IBP also offers customized services such as:

  • “Plan and Assess” to develop an international business strategy;
  • “Promote and Expand” to increase your brand awareness and market exposure; and
  • “Export Successes” to learn how to achieve export sales.

Many of IAEE’s members have used this program to apply for grants and receive aid in funding pavilions for U.S. companies exhibiting abroad, for example, and working with U.S. embassies in foreign countries to drive promotions for upcoming events. The collaborative relationship that our industry has built with the U.S. government allows us to continue improving upon successes we have achieved through initiatives such as Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign.

The important thing to remember is that this is a relationship – meaning it depends on continued participation from our industry. We must, as an industry, continue to contribute our collective knowledge and voice so that programs such as the IBP can continue to support the key understandings that free and fair trade is vital to our economy and that exhibitions and events mean business. I strongly recommend visiting to find out more about the IBP, including how to apply.

Speaking of Exhibitions Day, I will have an update for you on this year’s event in next month’s column. I can tell you that some of the issues being addressed on Capitol Hill this year include safety and security, and improvements to travel infrastructure. Once again, IAEE and this year’s 20 participating industry organizations worked with our Advocacy Committee and Voices of Advocacy® Founder Roger Rickard to represent the interests of our thriving industry. This initiative is growing stronger each year, and I look forward to giving you the details of what we accomplished.

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