The exhibitions and events industry thrives on face-to-face connections with not only buyers and sellers, but also with peers and colleagues. Packed with numerous networking and learning opportunities over three days, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition offers attendees a wealth of information and valuable face-to-face connections. Here, IAEE spoke with Greg McCormack, CEM as he shared why he has attended Expo! Expo! for the past 14 years.
Tell us a little about yourself. What are your current responsibilities?
On paper, I am Vice President of Sales, but in reality, we all go by Eventgineers at T3 Expo. Our role as a contractor is to create the physical manifestation of the client’s brand through design, production build and onsite execution. We strive to tell our clients story to their members and stakeholders and bring sharable moments to each event.
Why do you attend Expo! Expo!? And how many years have you attended Expo! Expo!?
This will be my 14th consecutive Expo! Expo!. It’s a “can’t-miss” event for me as it gives me the opportunity to see clients and colleagues as well as meet new people in our industry. I really enjoy the community feel with the sharing of best practices and new ideas that groups are doing at their events.
How do you benefit from attending Expo! Expo!?
It started from an educational side. I wanted to learn more about the industry, expand my knowledge base and obtain my CEM (Certified in Exhibition Management). It then grew my network. I started seeing familiar faces at the show floor, which grew from work colleagues to personal friends. Eventually, it circled back to wanted to give back to IAEE through committee work and volunteering.
What education sessions caught your attention at Expo! Expo! in the past? Did you have any takeaways from those sessions?
That’s a loaded question. It’s like asking what your favorite toy was as a kid. There have been some great education sessions over the years that have each left their own impression. From budgeting to vendor relationships, floor plan development to sponsorship sales, and overall career advancement; you really get a wide range of useful tips and tricks to bring back to your job.
How do you approach your time spent at Expo! Expo!?
I try to mix things up a bit. I go in with a few known objectives (attend this session, meet this person, etc.) but I also try to throw a curveball in as well. I try to attend a session or two that are out of my comfort zone or area of focus to expand my knowledge base.
Why is it important to be involved with one’s local chapter?
It’s great to have a 14-year streak of Expo! Expo!’s under my belt, but not everyone can come and join in on the fun. Local chapters give me a chance to meet new people and expand my local community. It will also give you an opportunity to stay plugged into IAEE news throughout the year.
Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo!.
It’s not specific to an Expo! Expo!, but I would have to say the friendships and laughs. I was introduced to the IAEE community through my friend Daniel McKinnon, so I would have to say grabbing a drink and some laughs with him would rank right up there. It’s a tight community so there are A LOT of unforgettable moments.
If you were talking to someone who had not attended Expo! Expo! and was considering going, what would you say to him/her?
We’re in the exhibitions and event industry. Our job is to create memorable moments for people to connect and share ideas and business practices. How can you not go to your own industry’s leading event for what we do? You have to go to Expo! Expo! and enjoy the experience.
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?
You get out of it what you put into it. We’re a big small industry and it’s filled with some great people. Be active, start a conversation and enjoy your time at the show.
What is one event or program that attendees cannot miss at Expo! Expo! that you thoroughly enjoy?
CEM courses are great. They have helped expand my knowledge and move my career forward. While it’s not specific to Expo! Expo!, I would also put the Krakoff Leadership Institute (KLI) high on the list of things to do if you’re looking to be a leader in this industry.
Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas? If so, what programming are you looking forward to experiencing?
It’s been on the calendar for the past 12 months….I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I’ve been involved in a little of the “behind the scenes” magic so I can’t say too much. All I can say is that the IAEE staff have some pretty amazing experiences planned for you this year that you don’t want to miss. See you all in Las Vegas!
Register for #ExpoExpo by 21 October to receive early bird pricing! Visit the Expo! Expo! site for more information.