By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
IAEE Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee member Bob Chain is a skilled experiential marketing professional and event producer with expertise in live and virtual channels. With over a decade in the in-person and virtual sides of the industry, he currently serves as Strategic Account Manager at Swapcard.
Bob focuses on strategy to develop multi-year events for association and corporate clients to transform attendee experiences and drive business results. He has partnered and supported brands such as SXSW, NAMM, Dell and Kaiser Permanente in developing and executing experiential marketing activations for target customers. Bob has spoken at events such as Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, EduCon and Exordocon. He is also a member of PCMA’s class of “20 in their 20s” and host of the “Inside Events” podcast powered by Swapcard.
Here, he shares with readers why he believes Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2022 is THE PLACE TO BE and why he looks forward to being at Expo! Expo! in Louisville, Kentucky on 13-15 December.
IAEE: What are your favorite aspects about the education sessions at Expo! Expo!?
Bob: I enjoy that the immediate group conversations happen right outside of the session room. Because Expo! Expo! is a gathering of industry experts across all sides of the experiential space, you have the opportunity to interact with show organizers, suppliers, technology experts and consultants. My favorite part about the education at Expo! Expo! is the immediate rhetoric and ideation that is done in small groups to reinforce the content and discover/share unique ways to derive the maximum value for your role and focus.
IAEE: What stands out to you when you walk the Expo! Expo! show floor?
Bob: The discovery aspect! As someone who has been on the general services contractor – and now technology – side of the space, it is always interesting to see first-hand where everyone is gravitating and what they are talking about. This really tells me where the focus of the industry is going, as well as what the real new cool technology or trend in the space is. The show floor allows you to really cut through all the noise of social/blogs/news so that you can experience and see it first-hand.
IAEE: What do you enjoy most about the networking activities at Expo! Expo!?
Bob: Everything I have learned through my decade in the experiential marketing space is that this is a “relationship” business. This is not strictly from a sales perspective; it is so important to always be meeting new innovators in the space, such as thought leaders and industry experts. Expo! Expo! is an amazing opportunity to have a high density of these types of individuals to efficiently gather, discuss and help drive the industry for the better. Being able to experience and derive this value first-hand is why we all are in this space.
IAEE: What are some of your favorite moments from past Expo! Expo! experiences?
Bob: Last year in Philadelphia was my first Expo! Expo! as a young professional, and it was great to finally be able to experience this for the first time in my career. My favorite moment was the YP event, as it allowed for me to discuss all of the most popular topics/sessions and industry trends with those who are in similar positions within their career as me. It was through those conversations that I was able to generate some really innovative ideas to bring back to my team and everyday role.
IAEE: What are you looking forward to experiencing at this year’s Expo! Expo! in Louisville, KY?
Bob: I am really excited about the way education is going to be paired with the attendee experience to help promote networking. Our industry is in the same boat together, trying to find the best new ways to create sustainable business models for our organizations. This coming together of the top minds in the industry to tackle these key topics is what excites me the most.
IAEE: What inspired you to serve on this year’s Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee?
Bob: As a long-time supporter of IAEE, I have really enjoyed being able to see first-hand the benefits and value this organization brings to the industry. I see Expo! Expo! as the culmination of all of this work, and one of the key opportunities for our industry to grow together in an expedited manner. This focus and importance are why I was so excited to be part of the committee that helps deliver the best experience for all audiences and stakeholders!