Friday, April 22, 2016

Vitalizing Trade Events

Trade shows have "outgrown" learning, networking and party-going, says Holly Barker in Event Manager Blog.

Trend-setting organizers and exhibitors are re-caffeinating mature events with these five ingredients:

VIP treatment. They're treating attendees to "all-star access" to special events and lavishing them with "gifts of information."

Personalization. They're tailoring touch-points by "listening to attendees and creating a customized plan that appeals to their interests and needs on an individual level."  Attendee feedback is essential to the effort.

Data. They're letting data drive new ideas for deepening attendee engagement, as well as personalization.

Experience. They're abandoning "old school" insistence that bigger's always better and focusing instead on little things, like themed tchotchkes, better signage and handsomer staff shirts, to deliver a memorable experience. "You want to look like a complete, professionally pulled together package," Barker says.

Un-booths. They're turning exhibits into teen hangouts where attendees can "chill and mingle with booth staff." Food, fun, artworks and "blinky giveaways" make un-booths happening places.

Vitalizing an event takes study and a little chutzpah, Barker says. 

"It never hurts to test a new idea and see if it picks up or is a total flop. The best way to be a trendsetter is to get out there and just do it!"
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