IAEE sat down with Camille Stern, Senior Vice President, Strategic Account Management with SPARGO, Inc. to hear more about her exhibition industry journey and her perspective from the MATSO (Major American Trade Show Organizer) front. Camille is in charge of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Academy of Clinical Chemistry shows. Camille has been a member of IAEE for eleven years. Camille is currently a member of the IAEE MATSO Council and has attended Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition for several years.
How did you get your start in the exhibitions industry?
I obtained a Degree in Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University. My first job out of college was at the Travel Industry Association (now the US Travel Association) in the Meetings Department.
What advice would you give a new IAEE member or person joining the exhibitions community?
Never burn bridges…ever.
What is the biggest challenge in running your shows?
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT. In most cases, we are in charge of exhibit/sponsorship sales, registration and/or housing (sometimes all of them!) However, the associations usually keep attendee promotion and acquisition internally. This can often lead to a disconnect in the types of attendees the exhibitors want to see. The education program an association produces needs to draw the attendees that the exhibitors want to see and who will go to the show floor.
Additionally, associations need to expand upon the traditional “draw the member to the meeting” model. I also believe that memberships in associations need to change. The typical model of “listing the benefits” is outdated and needs to be updated to engage the millennial generation. Millennials want to know what the “outcome” of being a member will be? How will I benefit from being a member – what is the ROI? Not simply a list of benefits. They need to know that becoming a member, and attending the annual meeting means they will gain value from business contacts, interactions and opportunities that will build their business, as well as them personally.
Tell us a fun fact or story that most people would not know about you.
I wanted to be Julie McCoy on the Love Boat, and getting a degree in Hospitality Management was as close as I could get.
We asked Camille what most resonates with her for being an IAEE member…
Whether you are new to the industry, or a veteran, being an IAEE member affords you the opportunity to network, collaborate, as well as participate. IAEE is committed to supporting our mission of bringing the best possible events to our members and clients.
To learn more about the MATSO Council, visit http://www.iaee.com/about/governance/councils/matso/