Jessica Finnerty, CEMI love this time of year (and not because of anything to do with Pumpkin Spice). It’s the time of year when I am ready for a mental reset. Out with the old and in with the new, if you will. My large annual trade show wraps up in early November, so these are the weeks when I am finally able to ease off the gas and begin to reflect – on what went right, what could be better and what the future could hold. And what better way to personify those thoughts than by attending the “show for shows”?

IAEE Expo! Expo! always provides me with so much inspiration as I head into my new show cycle. At a very basic level, it’s always so wonderful to be able to experience a show from the attendee perspective. I feel that this really is a critical exercise for any show organizer. How can you be expected to craft a great experience for your attendees if you have never been to one yourself? Even things as simple as the registration and housing processes are a great reminder of the steps that everyone on your show floor had to take to get there, all of which influence their overall perception of your event.

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And now, with Expo! Expo! just a few weeks off the horizon, I begin the fun part…the planning! Already, I have a handful of inquiries from eager exhibitors looking to schedule time to meet. I have also started receiving the oh-so-fun event invitations, which are always a great chance to network, and catch up with contacts that I haven’t seen in a while. I have already touched base with a number of other attendees and groups, making plans to connect while we are all in town. My calendar is filling and the excitement is building!

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Additionally, the education this year is (as always) top-notch. New for 2018 is the addition of education sessions on Tuesday morning, which is a great value-add for attendees like myself who typically come in Monday night. The full program features six separate tracks, covering relevant industry topics such as, Science & Technology of a Show and Exhibitor Sales and Sponsorship, alongside more general tracks such as Global Insights and Leadership & Management. There are also plenty of quick learning experiences taking place throughout the show, such as the Pit Stop sessions, peer-to-peer networking discussions in the VIBE Lounge and the 10-minute AVIXA sessions which focus on event AV. With over 100 total learning opportunities throughout the three days of the conference there is truly something for everyone – the hard part is trying to figure out a way to fit them all in!

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Another exciting element for this year’s show is the Tech Journey. Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in today’s exhibitions and events and IAEE has made sure that this element is well-represented at Expo! Expo! 2018. In addition to the wealth of education happening throughout the show, there are also multiple areas on the floor dedicated to emerging tech. I will definitely be swinging by the Tech Bar, for some tips and tricks on how to use my devices and best tech practices. The Tech Startup Pavilion is back again, showcasing new companies just entering into the tech arena and featuring a Shark Tank-like pitch competition for new products released within the past year. You can’t miss the Tech Use Cases, which will feature real-world examples of how certain technologies have been successful for show organizers.

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All in all, it’s shaping up to be another spectacular Expo! Expo!, set against the exhilarating background of New Orleans. But as the “show for shows,” I expect nothing less.

See you all there!

 

Trade show floor, education and networking…all in one place. Attend the “show for shows” in vibrant New Orleans this year. Register today.

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Posted by Jannat Choudhury

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