The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Attendee/Booth Interaction category evaluates any entertainment/activity offered at a show booth to engage attendee interaction. Judging criteria includes: creativity and overall appeal of the activity; effectiveness in drawing attendee participation into the activity; and resulting lead generation from booth visits.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Attendee/Booth Interaction category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Meeting Expectations
COLLABORATE 16: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community

COLLABORATE 16: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community is where Oracle power users and IT decision makers find practical solutions for today, and strategies for tomorrow. This conference empowers users of Oracle business applications and database software to gain greater value from their Oracle investments through real-world education and networking. Created by and for users, COLLABORATE provides a personalized experience alongside functional and technical insight from peer professionals. Participants can expand their community and gain direct access to Oracle. COLLABORATE is jointly presented by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group (Quest). More than 5,500 members of this community engage in over 1,000 educational sessions and special interest group meetings and engage with over 200 partners in the Exhibitor Showcase.

Meeting Expectations, the full-service association management team supporting the OAUG, set out to create an innovative contribution to the show experience at the Exhibitor Showcase. The Exhibitor Showcase is a bustling marketplace packed with over 200 companies offering products and solutions to accelerate Oracle applications. The three independent user groups hosting the conference are also present in the showcase to engage with members, thus the Membership Booth is a gathering place where board members, volunteers and staff interact with conference participants to share the value of membership.

The primary goals of the activity were to attract and engage attendees to the Membership Booth over the course of three days using drones, drone simulations and attendee/exhibitor relations. Additionally, THEgame of Drones set out to attract attendees to key event sponsors who then encouraged participants to visit the Membership booth. The OAUG mission is to enhance members’ use of their technology investments, so to bring a cutting-edge consumer technology into the booth experience gave the OAUG brand a forward-thinking appeal.

The outcome yielded over 800 booth visits from COLLABORATE attendees (members and nonmembers of OAUG) who were able to hear about OAUG membership benefits, network, watch a drone demo or try out the drone simulations. In addition:

  • THEgame of Drones generated $24,000 in sponsorship revenues
  • Partners benefited from increased traffic to their booths
  • The goals of over 800 scanned booth visits and 9 new paid OAUG memberships were met
  • 33 nonmember attendees activated a free 6-month introductory membership, an 83% increase over the previous year

“Our client, the OAUG, was thrilled with the results – both financial and engagement,” said Meeting Expectations Vice President Christine Hilgert, CMP. “We freshened the program for 2017 and have adapted the general concept for other events.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
National Association for College Admission Counseling
NACAC 2016

NACAC’s Annual Conference brings together over 6,500 attendees each year for education, exhibits and networking. The majority of NACAC’s attendees split between two groups: secondary members working in high schools with students on their college search, and post-secondary representatives who review the applications for their individual schools and decide who makes up the freshman class. Additionally, NACAC’s Annual Conference hosts 225 exhibiting companies who support the industry with products and services, community-based organizations, and independent school consultants.

The goal for NACAC’s attendee/booth interaction activity is to create networking opportunities throughout the conference. Upon registration, each individual received a card with a numbered button with instructions to add the button to their lanyard. Each numbered button had 99 duplicates, so each attendee had 99 matches to make at the conference. Upon meeting their match, attendees were directed into the exhibit hall to either the NACAC booth or the sponsor’s booth to enter in grand prize drawings. The benefit of the random number assignment is that attendees, exhibitors and board members all receive the numbers, making the conference more approachable for everyone. The exhibitors also have an easy conversation starter with, “Are we matches?”

While conference networking typically happens within groups of acquaintances, NACAC sees the benefit of its match-up program by the number of attendees who meet people they would not have otherwise. Each year, the number of connections has grown in larger increments than the conference’s registration numbers. In 2010, 2,500 matches were entered from 4,800 attendees versus 9,000 matches entered from 7,500 attendees in 2015. Survey results also reflect positive responses to the program.

“The increase in matches has grown the program and drawn sponsors interest,” said Shannon Burke, CMP, Director of Conference and Meetings for NACAC. “In addition, many member institutions have selected the program to add to their admissions and welcome events on campus. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!”

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.

Posted by Elizabeth McQuade

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