Originally published by Trade Show Executive August 2017 Edition
I always enjoy writing this month’s article because I get to officially tell you about all the great new things we have planned for attendees at this year’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. I can confidently say that IAEE is in a unique position to provide attendees what no other organization can, and that is the “show for shows.” But if we step back for a moment, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? To create that definitive “something” that makes our organizations and, ultimately, our shows THE event to attend in your specific industry? Planning for each year’s Expo! Expo! starts more than a year out from show date and I am truly grateful for the awesome staff that not only puts on the “show for shows,” but brings you, the exhibitions and events community, year-round content and programming that is timely and relevant.
It’s All About Connections at this year’s Expo! Expo! on 28-30 November in San Antonio, Texas. This theme has given us plenty to think about, and we have taken the opportunity to focus on the feedback we have received from members on the areas of interest that are at the top of most people’s “meeting wish list” right now.
One of the accomplishments we are most proud of is the reputation Expo! Expo! has built on its exceptional education programming and networking opportunities, making it the “show for shows.” Our Education Committee received more than 130 session proposals this year! The vast expanse of information presented helped us hone in on the following three areas of development: research informed; data guided; and experience design, all infused with technology and innovation in mind.
Expo! Expo! continues its strong commitment to providing the most diverse product mix marketplace in the industry and as the leading industry platform for innovative solutions. The Tech Start Up Program, now in its third year, will design greater experiences for attendees to interact and engage with emerging technologies. The attendee and exhibitor mobile app and beacon tech will provide a brand-new user experience that will enhance connections with peers and give greater insight and interaction with show content. New show technology partners have come into the mix, further emphasizing Expo! Expo! as the tech laboratory for the industry.
Other new initiatives created to enhance the Connections made at Expo! Expo! include the Women’s Leadership Experience, sponsored by Experient, which will include a panel discussion with a life-hack gathering activity; a unique, communal learning and networking experience that will include six rounds of 15-minute discussions on various topics such as Ask the Expert, Leadership and Personal Development, Technology Use Cases and Personal Style Inspiration; and special programming for university/college students and faculty.
In the coming months, I will be delving further into the new ideas and concepts we are exploring at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2017. In the meantime, visit the Expo! Expo! website at www.myexpoexpo.com.
I look forward to connecting with you in San Antonio this November!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO
The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Sponsorship Program category evaluates a case study presentation of a show’s sponsorship development/management program and the effect the program had on the show. Judging criteria includes: creativity in program offerings and elements that attract potential sponsors; overall development of the program and deliverables to sponsors; clarity of information, overall message and content usefulness in the marketing pieces used to promote the program; how well the marketing elements used to promote the program relate to the “theme” of the event in terms of overall presentation and visual appeal; and how well the program met its intended goals.
Anime Expo is the largest Japanese culture event in North America hosting more than 300,000 fans and cosplay enthusiasts, as well as a sold out show floor of more than 400 exhibitors (up 17% from 2015!).
With sponsorship marketing aggressively moving online, 2016 marked the debut of the first ever Anime Expo Sponsorship Website. This site provided current and potential sponsors with an intuitive and comprehensive tool that allowed them to quickly and easily plan their Anime show presence, becoming a one stop shop for all potential sponsors.
Through the use of renderings, photographs and descriptions, the Anime Expo sponsorship website provided potential sponsors a variety of resources to help them create a strategic onsite marketing presence. The site also provided logistical and execution information, making it the one stop shop for all things event marketing. As a result, this first-time resource grew sponsorships 103% in 2016.
“Knowledge is everything when it comes to sponsorships – knowing your clients’ goals, knowing every square inch of the venue, and knowing how to use every bit of that space to its maximum effect,” said Mary Dolaher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IRL Events. “The IRL Events team has been lucky enough to work with the LACC for more than 20 years, and with AX for almost a decade. This experience has given us the knowledge we need to build a sponsorship web site like no other – clients can access layouts, photos, and descriptions all in one place, and then purchase easily through the site. What’s good for the sponsor is good for the show!”
Over 200,001 nsf American Pet Products Association Global Pet Expo
Global Pet Expo, the premier industry event, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 2016 Global Pet Expo had 1,087 exhibitors in 3,218 booths. Total buyer attendance was 6,170, representing 76 countries. Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified media & professionals.
The goal of its sponsorship program in 2016 as to boost visibility and drive traffic to the sponsors booth, as well as build brand awareness. 2016 exceeded the Global Pet Expo sponsorship program goals. With sales up a record 22% the brand awareness that is created through sponsorships is becoming apparent to many of the exhibitors.
The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Social Media Campaign category evaluates the collective use of social media channels to effectively promote a show before, during and after the event. Judging criteria includes: content appeal and usefulness; effectiveness of distribution and target audience engagement; target audience response; how well the campaign correlates with the overall “theme” of the show; how well the social media campaign met its intended goals; and how well the social media drove attendance, general show awareness and overall brand awareness.
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.
SuperZoo is the largest pet industry trade show in North America, with a more than 60-year history of helping pet retailers and service professionals discover new products, find amazing deals, learn how to build their businesses and connect with others who share their passion for pets. SuperZoo started out as a modest, regional trade show but has grown tremendously over the past decade, since moving to Las Vegas in 2004. SuperZoo 2016 marked the biggest SuperZoo in history, with the most exhibitors, buyers and education hours of any pet industry event in North America. SuperZoo has long been known as the event for the independent pet retailer, but it is also well-attended by pet service professionals and groomers, international buyers and corporate buyers interested in expanding their presence in the consumer pet market. SuperZoo exhibitors include distributors and manufacturers of products for cats, dogs, reptiles, aquatic animals, birds and more, as well as companies offering retail-specific services.
SuperZoo’s audience is highly social, therefore a variety of tactics was used to encourage them to engage before and during the show. The primary goals were to increase followers, and drive registrations and onsite verification. With audience acquisition in mind, mdg developed a paid Facebook campaign that mixed boosted posts and events with targeted ads to build SuperZoo’s follower base and drive attendance. Recognizing the importance of Instagram as a platform, they also sought to build this audience.
The 2016 social media campaign was a huge success, with a 23 percent increase in Facebook likes, a 58 percent increase in Twitter followers and a 106 percent increase in Instagram followers. Facebook remained the most popular platform and views and engagement peaked during the show, with users frequenting the page multiple times per day to see what was going on onsite and what they should make time to see. The efforts to build the Instagram audience also paid off with a 151 percent increase in likes over 2015.
The campaign also went to great lengths to get the sort of exclusive, visual content that drives engagement. In the weeks leading up to SuperZoo, a hashtag campaign was run asking people to download a #SZ16 sign and share photos for a repost which featured big-name speakers on successive “takeover Mondays.” This takeover campaign resulted in 68 clicks to registration and had a reach of 33,725 people. They also promoted a #WPAGoodWorks photo contest where followers posted photos of their business doing good works in their community for a chance to win a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
Once onsite, SuperZoo utilized Facebook Live and the new Instagram Stories feature (which came out while the show was happening!) to provide relatable, unscheduled content at exciting moments – show floor pan from a cherry picker, anyone? A Facebook Live post featuring a birds-eye view of the show floor was the campaign’s most successful piece of content, organically reaching 45,617 people, resulting in 1,780 likes, comments and shares and 3,931 post clicks.
The paid advertising campaign had a combined reach of more than 150,000. Facebook’s robust audience-building parameters allowed the campaign to target a highly qualified group of prospects (the difference between dog walker and dog lover is huge for SuperZoo!) and drove nearly 140 registrations at a cost less than one-third the industry average.
According to mdg president, Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, “Our digital team took SuperZoo’s social to a fun new place, not typically seen in B2B marketing. We used Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to leverage the power of social influence, drive engagement through highly visual posts, AND get the community excited about the charitable initiatives being doing by and for the communities served.”
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.”
The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Signage/Décor category evaluates printed and/or digital signage and décor used throughout the show. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; usefulness of the signage and its content; how the signage/décor contributes to the overall “theme” of the event; and effectiveness of signage placement and décor throughout the show.
In today’s IAEE Blog, we highlight the winners of last year’s Signage/Décor category:
Under 75,000 nsf FreemanXP – Tom Yurkin/Nora Summers Oracle Modern Marketing Conference 2016
Leaders in customer service convened at Oracle Modern Marketing Conferences 2016 to participate in hands-on workshops, product demonstrations, and network during interactive breakouts that showcased best practices to help turn the attendee’s customers into brand advocates. For the signage and décor, multiple shows blended into one encompassing event that is attendee and message focused and environmentally conscious. Bold iconography and color palette were used to divide the space and direct attendees between the marketing, sales, commerce and service areas.
The goals and objectives for the signage and décor involved creating a clean, impactful, and reconfigurable suite of signage and registration elements that could be reused over multiple years and scalable for use within an array of venues. A cohesive look was created that reinforced Oracle’s modern brand. Sustainability was essential while incorporating Freeman rental elements like SmartPanels and Smart Counters. This also included using generic branded graphics that could be reused from year to year. In addition to the registration area and expo area, the look and feel was extended throughout the show experience.
Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf GES WVC 88th Annual Conference
Since 1928, the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) has provided comprehensive, progressive and practical continuing education opportunities to veterinary professionals from all over the world. The WVC Annual Conference brings together the best and brightest veterinary professionals for five days, who learn from expert instructors and gain knowledge that they can return to their practice and put to use immediately. With more than 1,000 hours of CE available, the conference is an opportunity to earn all required CE in one place. Offered in a world-class destination that is also cost effective for travel and accommodation, 97% of last year’s attendees said they would recommend attending the conference to a colleague.
The offerings are delivered by WVC use state-of-the-art facilities, methods and technologies. GES partnered with WVC early in the event development cycle to leverage WVC’s existing brand, as well as expand upon it to reflect WVC’s advances in its core areas. Graphics were inspired by design elements found in touchscreen user interfaces, in combination with lifestyle and workplace images that reflected the broad range and scope of the products and services offered by WVC. The images and graphics selected were designed to appeal not only to longtime members of WVC, but also to capture the imagination of younger members who expect data products to be accessible and hands-on resources to reflect the cutting edge in the industry.
The Registration Area was innovative and inviting. The architecture consisted of sleek, kiosk style registration stations staffed by the WVC team. This innovative design challenged the more transactional “over the counter” approach used in most exhibition environments and resulted in a more engaging experience for attendees. Functionality was priority number one since the WVC Annual Conference is a large event. When the doors of the registration area swing open, a crush of eager attendees descends upon the area. Therefore, several functional requirements must be met in the WVC registration area. GES worked closely with WVC to understand its workflow and spent the time necessary in the discovery phase to ensure the designs addressed the show’s true requirements.
The entrance design drew guests in to the central hall area of the WVC booth and functioned as the “grand hallway.” The Online Learning “Genius Bar” became a gathering place where participants charged their devices,and networked with one another. . The Online Learning zone was designed to be inviting and to provide an area for guests to demo WVC’s online platform. The TV Session Area was also a gathering place where participants networked and viewed WVC sessions. Comfortable seating and a custom bar with charging stations encouraged participants to linger. The new design throughout the conference was embraced by the WVC and those attending the 88th Annual Conference.
First impressions are important. Upon entering the Registration, the Online Learning “Genius Bar” or the TV Session Area, guests were greeted with a cohesive, vibrant and informative environment. The architecture and graphics elegantly delivered the WVC message. Guest after guest expressed their delight with the registration area and so did WVC. But first impressions are not everything. If first impressions are important, functionality is essential. GES designed the registration navigation scheme by considering timing of each “event” (e.g. logging a visitor) down to the second in order to ensure a smooth traffic flow and easy navigation for participants. Broad, open navigation lanes were used and WVC concierges directed participants to the next available help desk rather than employing queues at each desk. The planning and collaboration between WVC and GES paid off and the registration process was seamless with thousands of guest moving through the area quickly.
Over 200,001 nsf InfoComm International & Freeman InfoComm 2016
InfoComm is the largest, most exciting event in the United States focused on the pro-AV industry, with nearly 1,000 exhibitors, thousands of products, and 40,000 attendees from 110+ countries. InfoComm offers attendees a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest audiovisual technology, learn the skills that will advance their careers, and grow their professional network.
The “look and feel” for InfoComm 2016 was based on the concept of “play,” prominently featuring the triangle-shaped “play” button found on a variety of products in the audiovisual industry, like video cameras, DVD players, iPods, stereos, etc. The playful use of primary colors for the branding palette reinforced the “play” concept and also reflected the vibrancy of the audiovisual industry.
The goal for the décor and signage was to thoroughly integrate and reinforce the “play” concept throughout the show without being repetitive. The “play” triangle and abstract graphic shapes were configured into a variety of ways, in different scales (from an aisle banner to a meter board), and different colors were mixed and matched to add visual interest (for multiple entrance units).
From the impressively massive IC16 “play” button in the registration area to the small yellow “play” buttons on information carts, the brand concept was seen throughout the event and created a harmonious environment from the show floor, to the shuttle bus pickup area, to the convention center lobby. The abstract shapes could be configured in an exponential number of possible layouts, while still looking like they were in the “same family” and remaining within the confines of consistency.
The “play” concept was designed by another agency for use in 2D print and online, but Freeman elevated the visual impact of the design to a new level by creating 3D graphic elements at the entrance units and having a stand-alone “IC16” play button built for selfie opportunities. As is true with many trade shows, attendees often complain about a lack of seating. Freeman took this challenge and turned it into an opportunity to further the brand “look and feel” onsite. Instead of renting generic furniture, they built custom seating units comprised of the abstract graphic shapes, solving both the attendee demand and furthering the visual impact of the “play” branding onsite.
With valuable education sessions on and off the show floor and networking sessions primed for idea sharing, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition offers attendees a wealth of information they can take straight to their organization. Like the exhibition and event industry, the attendee make-up of Expo! Expo! is rich in diversity and always evolving. Here, IAEE speaks with Mathys Taekema, Business Development Manager at RAI Amsterdam, and member of the Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee, who shares how he makes the most of the valuable information he receives from Expo! Expo! each year as a venue and as a show organizer.
Why do you attend Expo! Expo!?
I attend Expo! Expo! for several reasons. The first reason is that my company RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre has a booth on the expo floor. At this booth, I am promoting the destination Amsterdam and of course, our venue. During my time on the booth and at the many networking events, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of intriguing people who might be interested to organize future exhibitions and events in Amsterdam.
Also, Expo! Expo! is a great event to meet existing U.S. clients once a year. Besides exhibiting and networking, the event is also great to develop your Industry knowledge. I attend the education sessions and the on-site CEM courses at Expo! Expo!.
In October 2016, RAI Amsterdam became a co-owner of IBEX (International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference). Since RAI Amsterdam owns a venue AND is a co-owner of IBEX, you have an interesting perspective on the exhibition industry. Can you explain the unique position of being an owner of a venue and a tradeshow? And what key benefits do you get by attending Expo! Expo!?
Indeed, RAI Amsterdam has the unique position of owning a venue, but it also ‘’owns’’ the expertise of organizing great consumer and trade shows for decades. RAI organizes renowned, market-leading international business-to-business (B2B) trade shows. We’re organizing 25 of our own titles in several brands such as professional cleaning, water technology and horticulture in the Netherlands and globally so it makes sense to share this kind of expertise to the U.S. market by attending Expo! Expo!.
Coming from a venue standpoint, what insights have you brought to the table to make IBEX successful? And did you implmenet any insights from Expo! Expo! in your business plans?
The years of experience in the international marine leisure market with a large agent network adds to the international flavor of the show, as well as the expertise on the venue’s capabilities. In my role as Business Development Manager, I’m not responsible for the business plans for our own shows. However, we’re currently in the middle of a reconstruction of the two divisions – Convention Centre and Exhibitions. With this reconstruction, we’re expecting these two divisions to work closely together.
What I learned from Expo! Expo!, such as planning an exhibition will be helpful in this organizational rebuilding and can provide new ways for the two divisions to work better together. Especially since we’re working more with exhibition organizers in partnerships. Sometimes, there are interesting overlaps between being a venue and owning a show, which results in good opportunities.
At last year’s Expo! Expo! in Anaheim, you attended as an exhibitor. How would you describe your experience on the show floor?
We had a good show and picked up some new leads. At our booth, we invited the attendees to play a game of “Throw the Can.” Everyone was very engaging and enthusiastic about this, which resulted in a great atmosphere and some interesting conversations.
The best thing that happened at Expo! Expo! was an attendee walked up to me, handed me her business card and literally said to me, “Here’s my business card. Send me an email when you’re back in the office because I want to organize an event in your venue!” We’re currently working with her on the Request for Proposal (RFP).
Prior to exhibiting on the show floor, you took the CEM courses: Floor Plan Development and Exhibition and Event Sales. What were the key takeaways for you and how did you apply them at RAI Amsterdam?
Although my role at RAI Amsterdam does not include a hands-on approach to organizing a show, what I learned in the CEM courses was extremely fascinating for me. Being in the same room with so many industry professionals, who are all organizing different shows gave me plenty of insight into how they work, think, sell and plan their shows. These insights have helped me understand the show organizer thought process, which has resulted in a better way of working with show organizers to produce a successful event.
Were there specific education sessions that you attended in Anaheim that really resonated with you? If yes, please tell us how you applied what you learned.
I attended an interesting session, Event Intelligence on the Show Floor: Using Data to Improve Exhibitor Performance, which was all about lead retrieval systems. This session included a short presentation with business cases and an interesting Q&A session with Anna Knight, Brand Director, Consumer Technology and Licensing from UBM EMEA. Partnered with N200|GES, Knight explained how UBM has been using the lead retrieval system for a couple of their shows. This session made me realize how important it is to educate and encourage your exhibitors to be innovative and to use these kinds of systems in order to make the most out of the show.
Could these education takeaways apply to both an exhibitor and show organizer like yourself? If yes, how so?
Yes, most certainly this applies to both exhibitors and show organizers. As an exhibitor, you want to assure you meet your goals of the exhibition (number of leads, etc). As a show organizer, providing a platform where exhibitors can make the most out of their participation means you are doing a good job of fulfilling the exhibitors’ needs and potentially of having them exhibit again in future shows.
How has Expo! Expo! helped RAI Amsterdam as a venue and a show organizer?
From both venue and show organizer side, Expo! Expo! provides us a yearly platform to meet existing and new clients. Expo! Expo! offers plenty of education sessions, which are helpful in my day-to-day job activities.
Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo!
Besides the great (business) contacts I’ve gained over the years, I believe the most unforgettable moments were the opening receptions in Los Angeles (2014) and Anaheim (2016). IAEE really knows how to organize a good opening reception with great food and entertainment, which makes it an outstanding networking event.
As a seasoned international attendee, what advice would you give to those abroad who have not attended Expo! Expo! or are thinking about attending Expo! Expo!?
I would advise them to register and attend the event in San Antonio in November so they can experience for themselves the value Expo! Expo! offers to their attendees. There’s really not a better platform in the U.S., where you have the opportunity to meet so many Industry professionals over a few days’ time.
Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in San Antonio? If so, what are you looking forward to experience and learn at this year’s Expo! Expo!?
Yes, for sure! I already booked my room at the Marriott Rivercenter to make sure I run into the right people during breakfast and at the bar. I’m very excited about a new idea, where we have to create an International Pavilion on the show floor. This pavilion will consist several destinations and venues from all over the world and it will offer a “one stop shop” for show organizers who are organizing exhibitions outside of the U.S. Apart from that, I expect to see a lot of friends again in San Antonio and meet new people on the show floor, in the education sessions or during the network events. It goes without saying that I’m also looking forward to the educational sessions.
By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Mindy Abel, CMP, CTA, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Development of Visit Anaheim has been described as a positive and energetic leader, whose hard work is reflected in the palpable success of the events to which she contributes. In 2016, she advocated tirelessly on behalf of IAEE with significant contributions to the Women’s Leadership Forum Task Force as well as to the Expo! Expo! Host City Committee’s planning process for last year’s event in Anaheim.
Mindy’s outstanding dedication to her commitments garnered her multiple testimonials as an exemplary member of IAEE, earning her the IAEE Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016. Here, Mindy shares with IAEE her thoughts in volunteering and her perspective of the industry from the CVB point of view.
Awards presentation during the Networking Luncheon at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2016 in Anaheim, CA. From left to right: Representing the IAEE Awards Committee, Randy Bauler, CEM; Mindy Abel, CMP, CTA; and IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.
IAEE: You have attended the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum each year, then took your participation a step further with serving on its task force. Why do you consider the WLF to be of such value, and what have you taken away from your involvement with it?
MINDY: The WLF has grown in attendance with each year, selling out last year. This shows the success of the format, content and opportunity to interact with one another. The day resonates with, and energizes, everyone in our own unique way. The demands of our working and personal lives blend and overlap in our industry, and the WLF brings together inspiring speakers that shed light on the direction and path we are on – I always leave with new ideas and focus. Each year you see friends and meet new ones. A very level playing field makes this conference something I always look forward to attending.
IAEE: What do you like most about serving on IAEE committees/task forces?
MINDY: The committees I have served on have included a combination of individuals with different industry perspectives and backgrounds, and with various years of experience. The groups drive content and direction, showing that those active with IAEE are creating member-driven content that makes experiences relevant. I have to add that without the IAEE team, none of the ideas would come to life with successful engagement and results.
IAEE: What do you find to be most challenging about volunteering, and how do you combat those challenges?
MINDY: The challenge lies in the responsibilities of your role – ever changing, expanding and growing. What I have found is that through volunteering, new ideas and concepts are sparked that can translate to things I do in my job each day. I’ve also found that being involved outside of my organization allows others to grow in their roles, filling in and exposing them to other responsibilities they may not interact with.
IAEE: As someone who views the industry from the CVB perspective, where do you see exhibitions and events headed in the next few years? Is there anything in particular you would like to see enter the scene or develop further?
MINDY: Collaboration is key. We can’t live in a supplier versus buyer world; working together to achieve goals and initiatives, understanding strategies, values and aligning to compliment growth will help to sustain and enrich events and experiences.
IAEE: You also served on last year’s Expo! Expo! Host City Committee, helping execute a very successful meeting in Anaheim. What accomplishment are you most proud of regarding last year’s meeting – whether it be your own, the committee’s or Visit Anaheim’s?
MINDY: The excitement felt within our community as we hosted IAEE as one team! We got to share what we are proud of in our destination. Many have been to Anaheim as a visitor or attended an event – it’s always good to come for the first time or back to share new experiences. (And the educational content was excellent!)
IAEE: What advice would you offer an IAEE member considering volunteering in his or her local chapter, or to an IAEE committee/task force?
MINDY: Take the time to challenge yourself and get involved. It doesn’t require a lot of time – you can manage it – and the support you receive on behalf of IAEE makes it a delight. The more you put into something the more you get out of it… not a new concept. Don’t fear it, get going!
IAEE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award! Click here to learn more about the IAEE Individual Awards and submit your nominations today!
Exhibitors and attendees at IAEE Expo! Expo! 2016 were primed to take action leading up to and during the annual events industry’s prime gathering. Building on the success of recent years, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) once again collaborated with a2z to offer online planning tools to attendees along with brand-promotion opportunities to exhibitors. a2z’s contribution included the expo management solution for the show management along with the online interactive floor plan, exhibitor galleries, and Connect™−the online matchmaking, networking and scheduling solution.
The Expo! Expo! Connect website enabled buyers and suppliers to easily and securely request appointments with each other to make their time at the event much more productive. This year, appointment and email activity was at its highest with more than 4,400 emails and appointment requests being exchanged between registered participants. In addition, IAEE utilized the Connect platform to seamlessly generate and coordinate over 600 Hosted Buyer appointments.
High Exhibitor ROI
For Expo! Expo! 2016, the exhibitors were familiar with the online promotion tools available to them in their online console from the get go. They added a significantly higher number of product listings, videos, press releases, and show specials to their online profiles. This produced deeper and more extensive engagement from attendees and website visitors. The online galleries were viewed four times more this year than last year. This increased engagement garnered exhibitors on average seven qualified pre-show attendee leads.
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Congratulations to IAEE for a tremendously successful event in 2016! We can’t wait to see what this year brings!
Great write up about #ExpoExpo 2016 in Anaheim by Messe Frankfurt NA
Pictured above (L-R) Dennis Smith – President & CEO, Carina Whitaker – Operations Director, Kari Martin Bush – Marketing and Conference Manager, Carrie Kittrell – Sales Manager, Brian Hays – IT Director along with (not pictured) Patrick Nohilly – President & CFO and Austin Berry – Business Analyst are all excited to attend this year’s Expo! Expo! December 6 – 8 in Anaheim, CA!
Almost every trade show professional attends IAEE‘s annual “show for shows” to stay up-to-date with industry trends and technology while networking with like-minded professionals. This year’s Expo! Expo! provides an “inside out” approach, focusing on five key strategies: Interaction and Engagement, Innovation, Giving Back: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Encouraging a Global Spirit and Community, Learning: Plan, Perform and Lead.
Two of our employees who have attended Expo! Expo! in the past share their experience:
By Jessica Finnerty, CEM; Manager, Meetings and Events, Auto Care Association
Last week, I wrapped up my annual expo. A year’s worth of work culminated in just a few short days. While the work was exhausting and strenuous, I would do this all over again in a heartbeat. Fresh with ideas I am inspired to learn how to make improvements and create a better Auto Care Association expo for next year. What better way to learn cutting edge trends than by attending Expo! Expo! in Anaheim, California?
This will be my third year attending Expo! Expo! and let me tell you what you can expect – the best and the brightest; the new and exciting; the tried and true. From event technology to attendee acquisition and so much more, the expo floor is chock full of everything that an event planner could need to help make his/her show a success. Already, I have received meeting requests from industry leaders about products and services spanning the entirety of the industry. In addition to the meetings already on my agenda, I am excited to walk the show floor and discover new innovations that could be beneficial to me and my organization.
However, the show floor is only part of the Expo! Expo! value. The 2016 educational offerings address topics for all aspects of planner life. These sessions are critical, particularly to me, because unlike so many other sessions for event planners, these sessions focus primarily on the exhibition side rather than the meetings. I find more relevant content in these few days than I do throughout the rest of the year. Of particular interest this year is the MATSO agenda. The challenges for large-show organizers are different compared to organizers of smaller shows and it’s great to have the opportunity to collaborate with others who are in the same boat.
Of course, what is a conference without the networking? After all, isn’t the power of face-to-face interaction what we are selling? Getting the chance to meet and connect with so many industry professionals has been instrumental to my career because I can talk shop with other planners, or hear tales from the other side of the aisle. From the familiar faces at my local chapter event to the friendships that have yet to be made, I am looking forward to all of the interactions in just a few weeks.
My show is in the automotive sector and our tagline is “Ahead of the Curve” (see what we did there?). This is not only our mission statement, but our promise to both attendees and exhibitors alike – attend AAPEX to keep your business ahead.
Thanks to Expo! Expo!, I can keep MY business ahead of the curve, the competition and the expectations.
Originally published by Trade Show Executive, November 2016 Edition
We are only a few weeks away from Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim, California and I could not be more pleased with the program we have in store for attendees. With more than 70 education sessions on and off the show floor, great networking opportunities and social events, this year’s meeting is all about the experience of sharing information with colleagues and keeping our industry thriving.
This year’s show focuses on five key strategies that provide an “inside out” approach to the Expo! Expo! experience. We will offer show organizers inspiration and solutions that they can apply to their own events, which includes providing product/service providers the appropriate platform to educate on their unique offerings. Here is just a taste of what to expect at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in December.
Interaction and Engagement
There is no denying the power of conducting business in a face-to-face setting. The connections made at exhibitions and events are all potential investments – at the end of the day, this is serious business! At the same time, we are not robots (at least not yet) and the ability to connect on a personal level with current and potential associates is an essential part of doing business. With this in mind, Expo! Expo! has integrated various tools of interaction and engagement such as mobile app beacon programs, crowd sourced content, a general session backstage tour, IAEE chapter meet-ups, networking events for young professionals and LGBTQ meet-ups.
Whether you are a technophile or technophobe, Expo! Expo! has something for you, even beyond knowing what is available or what is new. What is your technology need? Are you interested in collecting big data? Tracking attendee behavior? Maximizing your marketing efforts? Or, perhaps, your goal is to have attendees walk into your show and simply say, “oh wow!” The innovation is out there; quite often the challenge lies in deciphering the best approach to meet your objectives. That is when you take full advantage of Expo! Expo!’s Tech Center Showcase, Tech Start Up Pavilion, Beacons, New Product Showcase and Show Tech Partner Highlights.
Giving Back: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
There is much information regarding the economic impact our industry has on its destinations. In fact, we are quite proud of the local revenue that exhibitions and events deliver. It is only natural to extend this positive corporate effect and contribute in a social sense to the local communities that host our meetings. For many years, Expo! Expo!’s Gift of Service has exercised local volunteerism and this year is no different. This year, we are working with the Orange County Family Justice Center. In addition, proceeds from the eighth annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause will be donated to the organization. Last year, we launched the IAEE Chapter Challenge that extended our CSR to a national level, with each chapter contributing to their local communities through various activities. They will be reporting their results in Anaheim.
Encouraging a Global Spirit and Community
By now you already know that the “I” in IAEE is not just a letter – it is a call to action. Expo! Expo!’s International Reception celebrates attendees who understand and embrace just how globally connected our industry is, and who are ready to take the power of face-to-face meetings to the next level. Our gracious host Visit Anaheim has welcoming programs in store, and Expo! Expo!’s concierge programs are ready to serve attendees at every turn.
Learning: Plan, Perform and Lead
As I mentioned in my September column, we have taken a very thorough approach to our education programs at Expo! Expo! We have meshed cutting-edge principles of neuroscience with good, old-fashioned industry experience to create an innovative array of learning opportunities for all levels of job experience and functions.
Expo! Expo! is a great opportunity to surround yourself with the best of the best in the exhibitions and events industry, and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim at the “show for shows”!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO