Get ready to make valuable connections at Expo! 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 Shannon Binger, CEM as she shared why Expo! Expo! is important for all show organizers to attend.
Tell us a little about yourself. What are your current responsibilities?
I have been in the industry for about 9 years. I began working with a Housing Company, and then moved on to the association side with my current employer the American Thoracic Society (ATS) as the Senior Manager, Meeting Services.
Why do you attend Expo! Expo!? And how many years have you attended Expo! Expo!?
I attend Expo! Expo! to learn about the latest trends and become inspired for the upcoming planning year. This year will be my seventh Expo! Expo! and each year brings a new perspective on how to approach the next part of my career in the industry.
How do you benefit from attending Expo! Expo!?
Expo! Expo! connects vendors, venues, cities, technology, and much more with event professionals, in an environment where we aren’t focused on our own event logistics! It’s three days devoted to networking and discovering new products and services. I don’t have the opportunity to do that during my other professional meetings and this is why I find it important to attend each year.
What education sessions caught your attention at Expo! Expo! in the past? Did you have any takeaways from those sessions?
I love that IAEE moved to a “track” format for the education. There are typically overarching themes for the education including marketing, technology, etc… which makes it easier for attendees to navigate the education at the show, both literally and figuratively.
How do you approach your time spent at Expo! Expo!?
You have to be strategic with your time during Expo! Expo! because there is an abundance of programming to choose from. I typically spend a morning reviewing the schedule of events (and consulting my industry friends) to put together my plan of attack. As a proud millennial, I like to use the conference app to manage my time.
Why is it important to be involved with one’s local chapter?
Chapter involvement is really the heartbeat of IAEE. For eleven months of the year, the chapters provide the same benefits of Expo! Expo!, but on a smaller scale.
Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo!.
During the Anaheim Opening Reception, I got to meet Andy Grammer. Definitely one of my favorite memories of Expo! Expo!
If you were talking to someone who had not attended Expo! Expo! and was considering going, what would you say to him/her?
It is absolutely worth the time and expense. The education and industry connections made are invaluable resources for my daily responsibilities.
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?
Become involved with IAEE Committees or your local chapter. The friendships I have made over the years are what I value most about my IAEE membership. It makes the industry feel smaller to know that there is a huge community of people who share the same professional interests (as well as pain points!).
What is one event or program that attendees cannot miss at Expo! Expo! that you thoroughly enjoy?
The Exhibit Hall! This is where you really can feel the energy of the conference. The exhibitors are excited to be there and share what’s new. You can learn about new products and services that you may not have time to research during the rest of your year.
Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas? If so, what programming are you looking forward to experiencing?
I am eager to attend the YP Buzz Session again. Last year’s session was informative for all Young Professionals no matter where they are in their careers. The moderator did a great job of addressing topics that are frequent concerns for YPs, but not always discussed, including negotiating salary/raises, working with challenging leaders, and managing direct reports for the first time.