Our attendees love attending Expo! Expo! and for good reasons – 483 reasons to be exact! With 298 exhibitors, 142 education session and 43 networking opportunities, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition has what your team needs to execute a successful show. IAEE chatted with Melodie Anderson, CEM, Exhibits Manager of the Institute of Food Technologists, who shares her enthusiasm for the new programming added to the Expo! Expo! schedule.

Tell us a little about yourself. What are your current responsibilities?

I am the Exhibits Manager at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a position that I’ve held for 4.5 years. I am responsible for the logistics for our trade show (rules and regulations, signage, security, service kit, specifications, working with the official service contractor, exhibitor education, etc.). In addition to making sure that the expo runs smoothly, I also assist our sales team with sponsorship creation and deliverables.

Why do you attend Expo! Expo!? And how many years have you attended Expo! Expo!?

I attended my first Expo! Expo! in 2001. Since coming on board at IFT, I’ve attended since 2014.

Expo! Expo! is a great place to learn about the latest industry trends. I am very excited about the educational programming on the last day of the show – it’s very strong. The topics are directly relevant to my work, which is important to me. I also like the new tech additions that have been added, including the IT track, “Science and Technology of a Show” and Vibe Lounge. Of course, Expo! Expo! is a great place to network, whether it’s one to one with my peers and colleagues, or visiting the expo to gain new ideas for the show.

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How do show organizers like yourself benefit from attending Expo! Expo!?

I always come back from the “show for shows” with direct takeaways that can be implemented. This includes expo as well as sponsorship ideas.

What education sessions caught your attention at Expo! Expo! in the past? Did you have any takeaways from those sessions?

I have attended the sponsorship courses since 2014 and I can appreciate the fact that the course is progressive and does not include the same content year over year. I also find the educational opportunities on the show floor (I love the Pit Stop programming!) to be great as well. I always have takeaways and try to implement a relevant point for our upcoming show.

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How do you approach your time spent at Expo! Expo!?

I always look at the full schedule and plan the courses I want to attend in advance. Because the Thursday afternoon planning was so strong, I decided not to leave early.

Why is it important to be involved with one’s local chapter?

The local chapter can serve as a great resource, especially when I have a question, or need a vendor referral.

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

I loved the lounge at the 2014 meeting! It was awesome with lots of good treats and comfy furniture.

If you were talking to someone who had not attended Expo! Expo! and was considering going, what would you say to him/her?

I would mention all of the new additions to the meeting as well as the strong educational component as a key selling point. It is totally worth it!

What tip would you give to a first-time attendee that you wish someone had told you when you attended Expo! Expo! for the first time?

Attend a variety of courses in order to become well-rounded (not just the ones in your specific area of responsibility) as well as the social events and don’t forget to network!

What is one event or program that attendees cannot miss at Expo! Expo! that you thoroughly enjoy?

I always like to attend the opening general session. It sets the tone for the meeting.

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Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in New Orleans? If so, what programming are you looking forward to experiencing?

Yes, I will. The programming is really strong this year. I am looking forward to the industry security update, a topic that is critical in this day and age.

 

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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