Inner Circle

Marketing Strategy  

Our Recap of IAEE’s Expo! Expo!

Last month, the mdg team traveled to Los Angeles for IAEE’s Expo! Expo! to teach, to learn, to meet with industry friends and, in Vinnie’s case, to be recognized with the association’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award! In addition to bringing back trophies, tchotchkes and a new iPad (Samantha Lee), we brought back some new insights and ideas that will help us be better marketers, leaders and event professionals in the new year…

Christina Cade“Studies show that the increased digitalization of our environment is actually increasing the basic human need for face-to-face interaction. In the tradeshow industry, we are intimately aware of how valuable that person-to-person connection is, for businesses and individuals alike. Amidst all of the business happening on the floor, it is important to take a step back from each experience you create for your attendee and ask through the lens of human experience: How do we want to make them feel? Whether at the opening of the expo floor, the keynote address or the VIP luncheon, appealing to an individual’s emotional sensibilities drives a positive experience, increases memory creation and stimulates learning—all reasons attendees will keep coming back.”
~ Christina Cade

Samantha Lee“Near field communication (NFC) technology is not new, but the way it’s transforming the event experience certainly is. With NFC technology likePoken, attendees and exhibitors can obtain valuable information they want or need in a matter of seconds simply by touching their NFC-enabled device to another. For example, attendees and exhibitors could exchange contact information, or an attendee could download seminar handouts or an exhibitor’s product information using this technology. The possibilities are endless but considering how frequently NFC was mentioned at Expo! Expo!, I think we will definitely begin to see this technology integrated in events as a key tool for enhancing the attendee and exhibitor experience.
~ Samantha Lee

Megan O,Neal“With the way that our society has interconnected over the past decade, the idea of a “brand” has completely shifted. People have so many options available to them and, because of this, branding has changed from merely name recognition to building trust and a personal connection. A (successful) brand needs to embody a mixture of attributes, values, passions and a clear purpose, all of which collectively resonate with its customers. If, after all of this, customers can see their own values or passions within the brand, they’ll likely remain loyal to the brand for life; not because of a superior product or service but because of that emotional connection.”
~ Megan O’Neal

Kimberly Hardcastle“I loved listening to Bob Safian of Fast Company talk about Generation Flux and how there are no “new rules” to success. We’re living in a world of chaos, one that’s constantly evolving, and if we want to be successful, we must flexibly adapt to the changes that are going on around us. The ability to add new skills is the most important skill in the age of flux. Keep throwing things in your backpack and eventually you’ll have a totally full toolkit.”
~ Kimberly Hardcastle

Vincent Polito“Listening to the story of Sprinkles, the parallels to launching brands and events were inescapable. Candace Nelson started with a very simple premise and stayed (and continues to stay) consistent with her brand values. Candace and Sprinkles continue to develop without losing the passion of a startup and have been able to grow and expand. Whether it is an innovation like the cupcake ATM or the opening of Sprinkles Ice Cream, you can see the consistent and constant striving for excellence.”
~ Vincent Polito

Shauna Peters“My biggest takeaway from IAEE’s Expo! Expo! 2014 is that the next several years of events will be all about ME! As in, the identification and customization of our branding, marketing and experience development based on the needs and wants of our attendees. As our fearless leader said in the opening of her panel session in the last time slot on the last day of a jam-packed week, ‘the days of one-size-fits-all marketing are over.’ This sentiment was echoed throughout the event, from education sessions discussing the development of audience personas and attendee relations programs to Wednesday’s Keynote speaker Seth Mattison who focused on leveraging our digital connections to build better relationships.”
~ Shauna Peters

Claudia Maurer“We all know that customer relationships are important to grow our brands and events, but do we give this topic the attention it deserves? Millennials have it mastered, refusing to place relationship barriers in the workplace like baby boomers do, for one example. They grew up in a digital space and naturally speak social. They know how to be personal and emotional. They listen to what customers have to say because, in this new age, it is not about how we want to communicate, it’s about how the person we are trying to reach and connect with wants to be communicated with. We have to let our customers feel that they have a seat at the table, that we build our events around their needs. Let’s be strategic about our professional relationships, let’s stay curious and accept that we don’t have it all figured out. Let’s learn and grow with our customers, for our customers are what count.”
~ Claudia Maurer