The Voice of the Industry on Capitol Hill

Originally published by Trade Show Executive July 2017 Edition

For the past several months, I have been talking about the importance of advocating for the exhibitions and events industry at the grass roots and national levels. Last month, members of the industry came together for the fourth annual Exhibitions Day where we present our key interests to representatives of the U.S. Congress. On 6-7 June, 112 Exhibitions Day attendees made their voices heard on Capitol Hill with 84 meetings, 12 of which were at the member level. The overarching message of Exhibitions Day was the promotion of free and fair trade.

Promoting Free and Fair Trade

This call to action emphasizes the importance of business travel: its role in generating economic growth and job creation through Brand USA, a federally supported organization that promotes the U.S. overseas as a business and tourist destination. President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal calls for the elimination of funding for the program, which was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. Our call to action was to urge Congress to oppose any measures to defund Brand USA and recognize reduced funding as a measure that would hurt the health of our economy.

Another goal was to show our support for Investing in America: Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act – H.R. 1265. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness report, the U.S. ranks 11th in the world in infrastructure quality. Without proper travel, housing and dining infrastructure, it is impossible to attract trade shows. H.R. 1265 presents an action that could deliver an immediate and positive impact on infrastructure by generating billions of dollars in much-needed revenue through the removal of an outdated cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC), a fee that has not been changed since 2000 and does not reflect today’s inflation rates or capacity needs.

Ensuring Safety and Security at Exhibitions and Events

As an industry, we fully support the idea of enhancing safety and security measures to protect the U.S. from potential threats. We believe this requires active dialogue and participation from all parties, not just Congress. As I mentioned in April, IAEE and its membership have aligned with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Safety Act Office to develop the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI). This initiative will produce a comprehensive security benchmark that aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act, helping create safer and more secure large-scale events, such as trade shows and exhibitions.

EMSSI is in its final iteration with a targeted completion date of early October. Once completed, we will have hundreds of convention centers requesting certification from the DHS SAFETY Act Office – a significant undertaking that would require immense time and resources. Our proposal to members of Congress was to consider the necessary resource needs of the DHS SAFETY Act Office to effectively foster the development and deployment of new anti-terrorism technologies as it begins budget talks for FY 2018.

Stopping Online Booking Scams

Upwards of 15 million fraudulent bookings are caused by these scams, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. The House and Senate have introduced H.R. 2495 and S. 1164 – Stop Online Booking Scams Act, which would prohibit websites from pretending to be the hotel and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims. We urged lawmakers to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2495 and S. 1164, and empower the FTC to investigate this growing issue.

Global Exhibitions Day

On 7 June, the exhibitions industry also promoted Global Exhibitions Day – an industry wide collaboration that spans the globe. Exhibitions mean business in every country, as reflected in the growth of the industry around the world. Our international partners in this initiative have done a great job in spreading this message and we are very proud to play an integral part in the success of this initiative.

Next year’s Exhibitions Day will be held on June 5-6. I congratulate all who attended Exhibitions Day and urge everyone to continue spreading the message that Exhibitions Mean Business.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO
IAEE

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Show Daily

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Show Daily category evaluates any communication (print or digital) updating attendees about the show and distributed on show site each day of the event. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; content usefulness and appeal to the audience (what makes the information in the show daily interesting to participants of this particular show); how the show daily contributed to the overall show experience for participants; and effectiveness of distribution and access to the show daily throughout the show.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Show Daily category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association
HealthAchieve

The signature conference and exhibition of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for over 90 years, HealthAchieve is an award-winning event that has long been one of the largest and most respected health care events in North America – the preeminent gathering place for health care and business leaders. HealthAchieve continues to inspire ideas and innovation by providing global health care and business leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other, share their ideas and evolve their perspectives.

The event targets two distinct audiences: prospective attendees and potential exhibitors. The prospective attendees are made up of international health care and business leaders. The potential exhibitors are made up of medical suppliers and commercial vendors from across the globe. HealthAchieve provides the platform for unlimited networking opportunities between the two distinct audiences, and would not be the distinguished event that it is without ample participation from both.

The goal of the show daily was to keep the excitement, momentum and engagement going among healthAchieve attendees and exhibitors, and to showcase the event to those who couldn’t attend. The objective was to wrap up each day of the event with a daily-highlights email that featured highlights, not-to-miss features for the following day, winners of social media contests and special activities that took place at offsite locations in Thunder Bay and Halifax, as well as draw attention to the evaluation survey and event highlights video on the final day of the event.

The results for each of the show dailies are as follows:

  • Monday at HealthAchieve
    Of the 25,456 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 10,568 opens – 6,214 of which were unique – representing a 42% open rate. It also received 390 clicks, representing a 6% click-to-open rate.
  • Tuesday at HealthAchieve:
    Of the 24,684 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 9,216 opens – 5,720 of which were unique – representing a 37% open rate. It also received 345 clicks, representing a 4% click-to-open rate.
  • Wednesday at HealthAchieve:
    Of the 24,465 contacts this email was delivered to, it received a total of 8,055 opens – 4,961 of which were unique – representing a 33% open rate. It also received 778 clicks, representing an 11% click-to-open rate. A total of 304 individuals clicked on the video, supporting our goal to keep the excitement and momentum going.

With a total attendance of 6,364 attendees, these numbers supported the goal of showcasing the event to a large amount of individuals who couldn’t attend.

Over 200,001 nsf
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™
CES 2016

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years – the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind CES features all aspects of the industry owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

Choose the Perfect Promotional Bluetooth® Speakers and Headphones

Originally published by 4imprint 3 July 2017

As video chats replace conference calls, Bluetooth audio is replacing headphone jacks. In fact, more and more cell phone makers are dropping the old 3.5mm plug, creating a spike in wireless adoption. While headphone sales are growing at a rate of 18 percent per year, Bluetooth headphones growth is double that. Promotional Bluetooth speakers and headphones are becoming timely business gifts as customers and employees look for new tech options.

How do you figure out which Bluetooth speakers and headphones are right for your customers and employees? This guide will help you choose wireless audio options they will love.

Finding branded Bluetooth headphones for your promotion.

Bluetooth headphones come in all shapes and sizes, from moisture-resistant sport earbuds to over-the-ear cans. Many Bluetooth headphones have built-in microphones so they can answer phone calls or use personal digital assistants. Some also have volume and playback controls on the headphones so they can pause and play music and podcasts without having to pull out a phone. And they all have built-in rechargeable batteries. To find the right branded Bluetooth headphones for your promotion, first you need to understand your audience.

Nab these on-ear and over-ear headphones.

If your employees or customers prioritize sound quality or they love the look of classic headphones, consider on-ear or over-ear headphones. Perfect for the workplace or a home office, these custom Bluetooth headphones tend to be bulkier than earbuds, but deliver rich, full sound. Some styles fold for easier portability.

For the constant traveller, pick up Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. The comfort fit headband is a feature they won’t want to live without. Plus, a full charge provides up to 10 hours of music or 11 hours of talk time.

For dependability with a modern look, the folding Adina Wireless Headphones look sweet walking down the street. Switch between talking and tunes without ever touching your smartphone.

Audiophiles will love the Jam Transit Wireless Headphones. On-headphone controls allow users to adjust volume and pause, play or skip tracks with ease. The integrated speakerphone makes answering calls from a smartphone effortless.

Select the perfect earbuds.

If your customers or employees prefer something smaller, go for custom Bluetooth earbuds.

Start with Brax Bluetooth Ear Buds. These lightweight earbuds feature built-in music controls and a mic that enables users to switch between playing tunes and taking calls.

If your customers or team members are into fitness, choose earbuds with hooks, such as the Sporty Bluetooth Ear Buds. These rechargeable earbuds stay comfortably attached when working out or walking.

There are no wires to get in the way with the Tonic True Wireless Ear Buds. These buds can be used up to 33 feet away from your device, and when fully charged, they offer 90 minutes of rockin’ playback at full volume.

Choose the right promotional Bluetooth speakers.

Sharing sound with others, without the need for a cord, is what makes Bluetooth speakers the perfect business promo.

In the office or working from home, the Bluetooth Speaker Media Stand provides impressive sound and up to six hours of play. Bonus—this powerful promo doubles as a stand for a tablet or smartphone.

If your team or customers are on the go, choose a Bluetooth speaker to match. Clip the ultra-portable Response Wireless Carabiner Speaker to bring audio to any location.

For something fun when work is done, employees and customers will appreciate the Disco Wireless Speaker. It has groovy multicolour lights and includes a built-in FM radio.

Make your choice.

No matter what Bluetooth gifts you’re looking for, from branded Bluetooth headphones and custom Bluetooth earbuds to promotional Bluetooth speakers, the options are endless. Knowing your audience and what will appeal to them most will help you make a “sound” choice.

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Print Advertising Campaign

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Print Advertising Campaign category evaluates one or more print advertisements used by an organization to promote a show. Ad(s) must have appeared in a publication. Brochures are not included in this category. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; clarity of information and content usefulness; for multiple ads, how well each ad ties into the overall ad campaign; how well the ad promotes/integrates the overall “theme” of the event; and how well the ad campaign met its intended goals.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Print Advertising Campaign category:

Under 75,000 nsf
mdg
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference

 

The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is the Southeast region’s largest show for the pet grooming and service industry professionals, and is also one of the largest shows for this segment in North America. Attendees include pet service professionals, with groomers making up the majority of attendees. Pet boarding and daycare operators, kennel operators, breeders and other service professionals also make up a significant attendee segment, as do pet retailers. More than 100 exhibitors offer grooming and pet service supplies and services in a vibrant expo floor.

The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference also places a heavy emphasis on education, providing more than 70 seminars and hands-on sessions focusing on retail strategies, grooming techniques and demonstrations, business operations tactics, and more. In 2016, the show moved to the Georgia International Convention Center. 2016 also marked the largest Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference in history, setting an attendance record for the second consecutive year.

The 2016 Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference print advertising campaign aimed to increase attendance among the key audience segments of grooming and pet service professionals. All ads took advantage of an engaging campaign concept that played into the core audience’s enthusiasm for social media and included eye catching visuals of animals receiving the “close-up” treatment. Ads also used fun and appealing copy that was delivered in a unique, first-person voice, as if the animal being groomed in the image is talking to prospects about the benefits and features of the show.

The general ad communicated Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference’s key benefits and features through this engaging lens. The ad was designed to provide an overview of the event that would appeal to groomers while showcasing key features to attract interest. The education ad capitalized on learning, a key attendance driver for most attendees, highlighting the breadth of education available at the event and encouraging prospects to register and secure education passes. A clever image and witty hashtag supported the theme, communicating at a glance that the event offers important education. Finally, the competition ad was designed to appeal to the segment of the grooming audience that enters the event’s popular grooming contests, which include the largest contests in North America. The dog breed chosen for the image is a groomer favorite and was designed to attract attention from groomers interested in competing.

“Under the leadership of Jessica Guzman from World Pet Association, the mdg team took Atlanta Pet Fair’s marketing to a fun new place, not typically seen in B2B marketing,” noted mdg President Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “Working collaboratively, the copywriters, designers and account services team created an advertising campaign that has a sense of humor, is on-trend and, most importantly, was effective at generating attendance.”

Account Director Elena Lien echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these IAEE awards and even greater pride in the results we’ve achieved by serving as an extension of World Pet Association’s marketing team.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
Frank Strategic Marketing
HPBExpo 2017

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo is North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Every year, over 350 leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers exhibit and demonstrate their latest home heating solutions; grills, grilling accessories and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for retailers nationwide to find not only the latest products for their showrooms, but also the latest services and technologies for their companies.

HPBExpo was seeking to position not only the show itself, but also the location (Atlanta) as vibrant and exciting. The goal was to create a sense of intrigue and drama and make a very bold statement that the show is not to be missed. The industry is replete with professionals that have a deep passion for what they do, and “immerse” themselves in their work. HPBExpo data and observations show a group exuding passion and camaraderie. All of the brand imagery is contemporary and cutting-edge to dovetail with the increasing sophistication of the outdoor living marketplace itself.

Over 200,001 nsf
mdg
CTIA Super Mobility 2016

Powered by CTIA, Super Mobility is North America’s largest and most influential forum for mobile innovation. A convergence of the leading authorities in the connected life all under one roof, CTIA provides professionals from across the mobile landscape (retail, enterprise IT, connected life, etc.) with unparalleled opportunities to hear the latest developments from top executives and entrepreneurs; see first-hand the next generation of technology shaping the future wireless such as 5G, IoT and security/privacy; and to network with fellow thought leaders. Unlike other events, CTIA is the backbone of the mobile industry – where the new technology and innovation emerges, before they are even translated into consumer products. It’s also perfectly timed for planning next year’s strategic roadmap and to jumpstart planning for the coming year.

CTIA went through a rebrand in 2016. Previously referred to as “CTIA – The Wireless Association,” it was repositioned to “CTIA – Everything Wireless” to more accurately capture the evolution in the industry and proliferation of wireless technology in every day life. CTIA serves as the background of the wireless industry, so it was important to draw a strong connection between the event and the association behind it. As such, a campaign was created using the association colors and a headline that played on the new tagline “Everything Wireless.” Lifestyle images were used to demonstrate the everyday use of the technology. The campaign developed to also show city images to help support the smart city theme that was being executed on the show floor.

“We are so fortunate to work with clients like Heather Lee Landers, formerly of CTIA and now the Executive Vice President of AUVSI, who trust us with their brands and have challenged us to take their event advertising to the next level,” said mdg President Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “I’m also grateful to our collaborative team of designers and copywriters who are creating the kind of attention-grabbing, design-forward, emotionally-appealing work that was once reserved for consumer marketing.”

Co-owner and Live Events Specialist Vinnie Polito echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these awards and even greater pride in the results that the work has helped our clients achieve. Thank you, IAEE, for recognizing marketing and design excellence in our industry.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

Free and Open Trade is Valuable: Exhibitions and Events Mean Business

Originally published by Trade Show Executive June 2017

As I noted in last month’s column, the latest findings from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report that the exhibitions and events industry generated $80 billion toward the U.S. GDP in 2016. According to the latest CEIR Census, more than 9,400 Business-to-Business (B2B) events were held in the U.S., drawing 33.2 million attendees to these B2B events.

These figures reflect the importance of our industry in the overall business market, which means that the current administration and Congress have a lot of decisions to make regarding our position on international trade in terms of how it affects the business of exhibitions and events. As they review U.S. international trade policies, their deliberations will influence trade shows that depend on inbound and outbound travel for international attendees and exhibitors.

One of the models that our industry strongly supports is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. As noted on the IBP website at www.export.gov, the program pre-screens potential buyers, representatives and distributors for increased compatibility. Participants in the program are also able to list their products and services in the Export Interest Directory, which is distributed to all international visitors.

The IBP also offers customized services such as:

  • “Plan and Assess” to develop an international business strategy;
  • “Promote and Expand” to increase your brand awareness and market exposure; and
  • “Export Successes” to learn how to achieve export sales.

Many of IAEE’s members have used this program to apply for grants and receive aid in funding pavilions for U.S. companies exhibiting abroad, for example, and working with U.S. embassies in foreign countries to drive promotions for upcoming events. The collaborative relationship that our industry has built with the U.S. government allows us to continue improving upon successes we have achieved through initiatives such as Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign.

The important thing to remember is that this is a relationship – meaning it depends on continued participation from our industry. We must, as an industry, continue to contribute our collective knowledge and voice so that programs such as the IBP can continue to support the key understandings that free and fair trade is vital to our economy and that exhibitions and events mean business. I strongly recommend visiting www.export.gov to find out more about the IBP, including how to apply.

Speaking of Exhibitions Day, I will have an update for you on this year’s event in next month’s column. I can tell you that some of the issues being addressed on Capitol Hill this year include safety and security, and improvements to travel infrastructure. Once again, IAEE and this year’s 20 participating industry organizations worked with our Advocacy Committee and Voices of Advocacy® Founder Roger Rickard to represent the interests of our thriving industry. This initiative is growing stronger each year, and I look forward to giving you the details of what we accomplished.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO
IAEE

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Most Innovative Use of Technology

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Most Innovative Use of Technology category is an open-ended and broad category. Entries are evaluated on how they used technology to promote, improve and enhance a show. Judging criteria includes: innovation of the technology component used and/or how it is applied; creativity in terms of how the component adds to the overall experience for show participants; and response from show participants to the component.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Most Innovative Use of Technology category:

Under 75,000 nsf
a2z, Inc.
E2E Summit

The purpose of the Executive-to-Executive (E2E) Summit is to bring together the top executives from manufacturers and contractors in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades for focused one-on-one hosted buyer meetings that foster innovation. The appointments last 45 minutes each. Participants are guaranteed up to 15 meetings in a 48-hour period. The E2E Summit® is by invitation only. The event organizers custom approach evolves around participant experience and is specifically tailored to deliver results for them and their organizations.

a2z’s Connect Hosted Buyer Program solution took the guesswork and paperwork out of managing hosted buyer programs. By matching registered buyers with appropriate suppliers using smart, automated matchmaking technology, it helped event participants maximize their ROI by generating high quality appointments based completely on precise demographics data and event-specific business logic.

By leveraging a2z’s Connect platform, E2E Summit event organizers were able to streamline the matching process and create a business version of “eHarmony” (a dating app) for contractors and manufacturers. a2z’s Connect platform for automating hosted buyer program matches and appointment setting at trade shows addressed E2E’s particular requirements. The Connect platform allowed manufacturers to enter descriptions of their companies and products. It enabled contractors to go in and do their own research, select favorites, and complete surveys about their interests and company demographics – all data that was previously gathered manually. Connect then created a suggested appointments schedule for each participant using an intelligent matching algorithm and one click of the button.

Matching companies with buyers – doing research to determine which manufacturer’s products are the best fit for the types of projects in which contractor companies are interested – requires a lot of legwork. It involves phone calls, surveys, the collecting of “wish lists” and keeping files up to date. E2E was performing those tasks and then creating an Excel spreadsheet to serve as the master meeting schedule. The process was time-consuming (three weeks for one person) and sometimes there was overlap (companies scheduled for different meetings in the same time slot).

E2E organizers immediately felt the impact of automating the matchmaking and scheduling process for their 2016 summit. It previously took one person three weeks to prepare the spreadsheet of matches and appointments. Connect could do the same thing in about three minutes!

“When we used a2z Connect to create the first round of meetings, it completed about 70% of the meetings,” noted Kaitlan Klitzke, Project Manager at E2E Summit. “We were then able to spend about three weeks refining everyone’s meeting schedules, which we were never able to do in the past because we never had the time. It was also more accurate because with the spreadsheet we always had some overlap. I really liked the exhibitor capabilities of the Connect platform. They have an online booth where they can add their company description, website, and logo. It helps our contractors do their research. The favoriting feature was big for our company to be able to put that kind of control in the hands of the buyers.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
Access Intelligence
EventTech 2015

Seven years ago, the need for a conference and exposition solely focused on how to use technology and social media to amplify events and drive attendance was identified. Cue the creation of EventTech. Since inception, EventTech has gone from being a small boutique event housed in unconventional locations in New York City, to one that draws over 1,300 attendees from around the world to Las Vegas each November. The core concept of EventTech is to present a ‘learning-loop’ educational format.

Attendees can go to a session on a specific technology then step outside the session and actually test drive that exact technology. Exhibits and education live in one space, a 100,000 sq. ft. arena called ‘The Campus.’ There is nothing like this conference anywhere in the world. Going into its sixth year, EventTech had established itself as one of the fastest growing conferences in the industry and the only one of its kind. It had manifested an educational program of over 100 sessions taught by some of the world’s biggest brands and leading technologists. It programmed three powerful pre-conference workshops covering some of the hottest digital trends in the events industry.

The goals for EventTech 2015 were to cancel out campus noise, engage attendees with compelling and relevant content, create a user friendly experience and keep the lines down as well as provide direction without the extravagant costs. Featured technologies used to accomplish this goal included:

  • Drone University – an afternoon workshop on using drones at events and bused attendees to an outdoor park 30 minutes from the Las Vegas strip where drone experts taught them all about drones and how to use drones at events for content capture, livestreaming, attendee engagement, etc.
  • Proximity Audio in Breakouts – EventTech’s 100,000 sq. ft. Campus does come with acoustical challenges, given that all breakout sessions are produced in open air amphitheaters. One of the challenges with placing educational sessions within exhibits naturally, is background noise. To provide attendees with an intimate experience, EventTech integrated a wireless audio proximity system into all breakout audiovisual theaters. It provided hi-tech transmitters and noise cancelling ear phones. Delegates could turn to a specific channel for each session and only hear audio from that session. The bustling hall noise around them gets cancelled out. Problem solved.
  • Self Check-in Kiosks – for the first time, EventTech offered self check-in kiosks as part of registration. Attendees would walk over to a kiosk, search their name, then print their badge and send it to the registration desk printers where an ambassador would hand them their badge and all relevant show information. This trimmed down lines and engaged the attendees showcasing an event technology from the moment they stepped on show site.
  • App – EventTech’s app held all the relevant conference information from education options and locations to sponsor information and contact details. Attendees were able to prepare their schedule before they got onsite with the in-app calendar and meeting planner. They could interact with other attendees through a messaging feature as well as promote themselves and their companies through the content feed. It allowed us to pop messages and reminders through push notifications as well as provide directional information with beacons.
  • Beacons – EventTech’s beacons were programmed and installed throughout the venue to push Bluetooth notifications to attendees who had the app installed on their phones and their Bluetooth function enabled. Once an attendee would get within 20ft of a beacon a message would appear on their phones even if their screen was locked. The messages encouraged them to attend certain sessions or special events in booths nearby.

Over 200,001 nsf
Freeman
SEMA Show 2015 Custom PlanTour Sponsorship Program

The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to fill over a million square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show offers attendees educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, and networking opportunities. The 2015 SEMA Show drew more than 130,000 industry professionals including 60,000 domestic and international buyers and 2,400 exhibiting companies from every segment of the specialty equipment industry.

The SEMA Show has grown and changed during the past few years. Like many event organizers, SEMA was looking for ways to increase revenue without raising rates. They had previously used the Classic version of PlanTour by Freeman to promote sponsorship opportunities. PlanTour is a web-based tool that allows show managers to virtually tour event facilities to assist in planning their shows and events. It is also used to scout a venue for future events, view floor plans and plan potential sponsorship opportunities without an onsite visit. The responsive web design provides consistent user experience when accessed on tablets, PCs and smartphones.

SEMA commissioned a custom version of PlanTour to showcase all sponsorship opportunities at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, they customized the site using the 360 panoramic tours to highlight the newly captured outdoor areas for magnetic signage, along with other sponsorship options to help exhibitors increase visibility at the popular trade show. The SEMA Custom PlanTour Sponsorship Program goals included:

  • Create new sponsorship options for new and returning sponsors and exhibitors;
  • Provide an easy to use tool for sponsors to view, select and envision their investment; and
  • Provide an easy to use tool for SEMA sales reps to coordinate or upsell prospects.

Unique users to the SEMA Custom PlanTour website increased by more than 50% compared to the previous year. This includes notable shifts in how users accessed the site such as a 190% increase via mobile, nearly 60% increase by desktops, and more than 13% on tablets. With ordering and other details easy to access and manage online, nearly all available inventory was sold out.

In addition, SEMA has 10 sales reps responsible for sponsorship and exhibitor relations. Working in a fast-paced high pressure environment, they don’t always have time to coordinate with each other. PlanTour allowed them to see a new or changed order, available inventory, deadlines and more – all in the real time to reduce errors and increase efficiency.

“This was our biggest year selling sponsorships,” said Peter MacGillivray, Vice President of Communications and Events for SEMA. “When you have a show that is wall-to-wall, you can raise more money in two ways. You can raise your prices, or you can sell sponsorships. We don’t want to raise our prices. We want to expand our revenue stream through sponsorships. Being able to have tools that help manage that – and ultimately sell that – has been a big hit for us. And this new technology has helped us blow past our goals.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Exhibit Sales Brochure/Prospectus

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Exhibit Sales Brochure/Prospectus category evaluates a single sales piece targeting potential exhibitors for a show. It is important to note this category does not include any print advertising, which has its own category. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; clarity of information and content usefulness; and how well the piece met its intended goals.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Exhibit Sales Brochure/Prospectus category:

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
Frank Strategic Marketing
HPBExpo 2016

 

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo is North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Every year, over 350 leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers exhibit and demonstrate their latest home heating solutions; grills, grilling accessories and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for retailers nationwide to find not only the latest products for their showrooms, but also the latest services and technologies for their companies.

HPBExpo was seeking to position not only the show itself, but also the location (Atlanta) as vibrant and exciting. The goal was to create a highly non-traditional and dramatic campaign by making a bold statement that the show is not to be missed. All of the brand imagery was contemporary and cutting-edge to dovetail with the increasing sophistication of the outdoor living marketplace itself.

The brochure centered on the theme, “Your Products. Their Dreams.” It was specifically designed to be visually stunning (including the paper stock), as it was one of just a handful of print marketing pieces for the show, compared to the vast majority of the campaign being digital. The goal was to push the boundaries as much as possible to achieve maximum impact.

Over 200,001 nsf
Fixation Marketing
2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show

The International Builders’ Show (IBS) is the world’s largest annual residential and light construction show, attracting 60,000+ building industry professionals from 100 and featuring 1,400 manufacturers and suppliers in more than 300 product categories. IBS showcases the latest products, materials and technologies involved in all types of buildings – including wood, concrete, stone and brick.

The show features The New American Home (NAHB’s show home) which highlights new products and techniques. IBS also offers innovative education with 130+ sessions in eight tracks, taught by renowned building industry experts from across the country. The show has plenty of networking opportunities including the House Party, Spike Concert and The Centrals – hubs for programs, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

An aggressive goal of 500,000 net square feet of exhibit space was set for the 2016 International Builders’ Show® (IBS) exhibit sales team. To meet this number, the exhibit sales prospectus had to accomplish the following: entice former exhibitors to return to IBS; convince those prospects that had yet to commit to IBS that 2016 is the year to do so; and encourage loyal customers to take bigger space. NAHB needed to illustrate that IBS is a dynamic, exciting place to get business done – a “can’t be missed” event – and the theme “Raise the Roof” helped to tell that story well.

As a result, the IBS exhibit sales team reached its goal of 500,000 net square feet, filling in the space with exhibitors from all tree targets: former exhibitors; prospects that had yet to commit; and loyal customers with bigger space.

“Our key objective was to speak to the growing optimism within the industry after a challenging stretch of time and convey that the show was bursting with opportunities for exhibitors to boost leads, sales and brand awareness,” said Megan Campbell, Vice President of Client Services & Strategy. “We worked to design a visually arresting concept that had flexibility and a spirited tone.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Email Promotion Campaign

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Email Promotion Campaign category evaluates a series of email messages disseminated to distinct target audiences in order to promote and/or inform interested parties about a show. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; how well each individual email applies to its target audience; clarity of pertinent information, overall message and content usefulness; how well the email met its intended goals; and effectiveness of the email in terms of audience response.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Email Promotion Campaign category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Ontario Hospital Association
HealthAchieve

The signature conference and exhibition of the Ontario Hospital Association for over 90 years, HealthAchieve is an award-winning event that has long been one of the largest and most respected health care events in North America – the preeminent gathering place for health care and business leaders. HealthAchieve continues to inspire ideas and innovation by providing global health care and business leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from each other, share their ideas and evolve their perspectives.

The event targets two distinct audiences: prospective attendees and potential exhibitors. The prospective attendees are made up of international health care and business leaders. The potential exhibitors are made up of medical suppliers and commercial vendors from across the globe. HealthAchieve provides the platform for unlimited networking opportunities between the two distinct audiences, and would not be the distinguished event that it is without ample participation from both.

Building on HealthAchieve’s theme of inspiring ideas and innovation, the goal of one of the campaign’s email was to showcase the show’s four keynote speakers to inspire prospective attendees with their stories to secure registrations. With such a broad audience of health care and business professionals, the objective was to capture the attention of each unique individual by differentiating the genre of the speakers as thought leaders, visionaries and creative minds. This email had a 26% open rate and received 271 clicks, representing a 5% click-to-open rate. A total of 50 contacts registered from this email, which helped secure a total registration of 6,364 attendees.

Another email was targeted to potential exhibitors, with the goal of securing more exhibitor contracts. The objective and design intent of this email was for potential exhibitors to understand that their most profitable return on investment would be realized if they attended HealthAchieve. This email garnered a 27% open rate, with over half as unique opens. The email drew 10 new exhibitors, helping secure a total of 231 exhibitor contracts.

“HealthAchieve offers a diverse range of health care professionals an opportunity to step out of their daily work environment,” said Craig Swatuk, Director, Brand Strategy and Marketing. “And we’re continually seeking new ways to express that experience, offering unique perspectives on health care.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
Frank Strategic Marketing
HPBExpo 2016

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo is North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Every year, over 350 leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers exhibit and demonstrate their latest home heating solutions; grills, grilling accessories and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for retailers nationwide to find not only the latest products for their showrooms, but also the latest services and technologies for their companies.

The show’s email promotion campaign was created to build attendance by combining the appeal of New Orleans as a top destination city with event-centric brand messaging. Specifically, the creative branding features New Orleans typography and iconography, intertwined with hard-hitting benefit-driven messaging.

As a result, HPBExpo was named as one of TSNN’s 2016 top 25 fastest-growing shows in the United States in attendance. Aside from the prior year’s show in Nashville, attendance beat all other HPBExpo shows in the past five years.

Over 200,001 nsf
mdg
CTIA Super Mobility 2016

Powered by CTIA, Super Mobility is North America’s largest and most influential forum for mobile innovation. A convergence of the leading authorities in the connected life all under one roof, CTIA provides professionals from across the mobile landscape (retail, enterprise IT, connected life, etc.) with unparalleled opportunities to hear the latest developments from top executives and entrepreneurs; see first-hand the next generation of technology shaping the future wireless such as 5G, IoT and security/privacy; and to network with fellow thought leaders. Unlike other events, CTIA is the backbone of the mobile industry – where the new technology and innovation emerges, before they are even translated into consumer products. It’s also perfectly timed for planning next year’s strategic roadmap and to jumpstart planning for the coming year.

The email campaign promoted the theme “Everything Wireless” by telling the story that CTIA Super Mobility 2016 did not just represent a piece of the wireless industry; rather it encompassed EVERYTHING from start to finish. Messaging focused on the content around the show floor, conference and keynote programming. At the peak of the campaign, an email called “Technology Starts Here” tied it all together by taking the reader on a journey through the show floor from where technology STARTS (research, discovery, mobile innovation) to where technology ends (a consumer product on retail shelves). The campaign averaged an open rate of 18 percent and clicks averaged 6 percent.

“We are so fortunate to work with clients like Heather Lee Landers, formerly of CTIA and now the Executive Vice President of AUVSI, who trust us with their brands and have challenged us to take their event campaigns to the next level,” said mdg President Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “I’m also grateful to our collaborative team of designers, copywriters and digital marketers who are creating the kind of attention-grabbing, design-forward, emotionally-appealing work that was once reserved for consumer marketing.”

Co-owner and Live Events Specialist Vinnie Polito echoed those sentiments, adding, “I take great pride in these awards and even greater pride in the results that the work has helped our clients achieve. Thank you, IAEE, for recognizing marketing and design excellence in our industry.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.

IAEE Awards Spotlight on Dennis Slater: 2016 Pinnacle Award Winner

By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager

Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), embodies the significance of the IAEE Pinnacle Award with more than 30 years of experience in the industry and membership with IAEE. He is well-known as a generous mentor, and in fact many of today’s top industry leaders credit him with greatly impacting their careers and contributing significantly to their professional development.

Dennis has served in various leadership roles and made an indelible mark on IAEE’s success, both domestically and abroad. Dennis continues to regularly share insights and best practices with colleagues as a speaker and panelist at numerous industry events. His service and dedication have earned him vast recognition as a visionary and leader, which garnered him the IAEE Pinnacle Award in 2016.

Here, Dennis shares with IAEE his views on what drew him to a career in the industry, why mentorship is important and where he sees the future of exhibitions and events headed.

PHOTO CAPTION: IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA (left) presents Dennis Slater (right) with the IAEE Pinnacle Award during the Networking Luncheon at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2016 in Anaheim, California.

IAEE: During your acceptance speech at Expo! Expo! 2016 you mentioned that like many people, you didn’t know much about the industry when you entered into it 30 years ago. What came as the biggest surprise to you about the exhibitions and events industry?

DENNIS: The biggest surprise for me was the energy and positive “can do” attitude of everyone in the trade show business. Everyone was (and still are today) just so confident in the success of trade shows, their own events and their career paths. I knew right away from my first IAEE event that I wanted to be in the trade show business.

IAEE: Along those same lines, what do you think people entering the industry today should know as they start their career?

DENNIS: People starting their careers in the trade show business today need to know that the opportunities for success and a great career are right before them. You will have to work hard, challenge yourself to be creative and innovative, and really care more than others think is rational. But, if you do that, you will succeed and have an interesting, challenging and rewarding career in a wonderful industry.

IAEE: Your nomination included letters and testimonials from several industry leaders expressing gratitude for the mentorship they received from you as they developed their careers. What compels you to mentor others?

DENNIS: Mentoring others needs to come naturally. You need to recognize that many people helped you along the way to be successful. People gave you opportunities, they took a chance on you, they saw something in you. Your journey to success is made possible by the mentoring of others. So you remember that and do the same for the next set of leaders. You will find that it’s equally rewarding to help guide others to reach their potential.

IAEE: Did you have mentors and, if so, what was the best advice you received?

DENNIS: I had many mentors and at all stages of my career, including today. The best advice I ever received was to do something for a career that you truly are passionate about and enjoy. If you do that, you will be successful. Equally important, was to play well with others. Have empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of others, particularly when managing people or negotiating an agreement.

IAEE: What do you consider the most significant advance in the industry that you have seen over the course of your career?

DENNIS: I’ve been in this business for a long time, so the significant advances are too numerous to mention them all. Today, I would say the use of data to better understand the interests of customers – both exhibitors and attendees – in order to make their experience worthwhile and keeping trade shows relevant.

IAEE: How would you like to see the industry change in the next decade?

DENNIS: I am optimistic about the future of trade shows. There will always be a place in business to meet face-to-face to do business. In the next decade, I would like to see the trade show industry focus on the ROI for their customers. Let’s make it easier to attend our events. Let’s bring more activities and value to our events. If we focus on doing that instead of the bottom line, the customers will come, and the bottom line will be there.

IAEE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Pinnacle Award! Click here to learn more about the IAEE Individual Awards and submit your nominations today!

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Convention Center Promotion

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Convention Center Promotion category evaluates promotion of a convention center using any marketing channel. Judges take into consideration all marketing components used and how effectively they correlate as a promotion campaign on behalf of the convention center.

Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity of the campaign; whether the information presented effectively communicates the convention center’s offerings; how each marketing component contributes to the overall campaign and how skillfully it was applied in its individual context; how user-friendly the component is to an interested party; and how well the campaign met its intended goals.

In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winner of last year’s Convention Center Promotion category. (Special note: show sizes do not apply to this category.)

Orange County Convention Center – Orlando
Experience the New Orange Campaign

The award-winning Orange County Convention Center, located in the heart of Orlando’s Convention Center District and only fifteen minutes from the Orlando International Airport, provides a multitude of event options in two beautifully appointed buildings with 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space. The West Concourse showcases tropical atriums, skylights and inviting courtyards. With distinctive architecture and tropical ambiance, the North/South Concourses are designed for flexibility and functionality, featuring a dramatic 1,500-foot Oversight Pedestrian Bridge with moving sidewalks leading to the West Concourse. The Convention Center is surrounded by 116,000 guestrooms, including over 5,000 directly connected to the facility by pedestrian bridge. A broad offering of show management and exhibitor services, ranging from catering to telecommunications, are considered the finest in the convention industry.

The Orange County Convention Center’s (OCCC) Marketing department has developed numerous promotional resources and continues to assist Center sales staff in sharing information about campus improvements and updates to meeting planners. In fiscal year 2015-16, the OCCC’s marketing efforts centered on digital media with traditional print and advertising also playing a fundamental role. The Experience the New Orange Marketing Campaign was shared on multiple platforms to ensure all meeting planners knew the latest Center happenings.

“The Orange County Convention Center strives to be an industry leader across the board, including in our promotional and marketing resources,” said Yulita Osuba, Deputy Director of the Orange County Convention Center. “We know the convention industry is a competitive one and we’re happy our Experience the New Orange campaign resonated with so many meeting planners and attendees.”

The 2017 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 31 August 2017 to submit your entries! You can also view all of last year’s winners and honorable mentions here.