IAEE Expo! Expo! 2015
This year’s Expo! Expo! broke previous attendance records when more than 2,500 attendees met in Baltimore, Maryland, December 1-3rd, to attend the premier show for trends and technology for the events industry. The Baltimore Convention Center’s 41,000 net square foot show floor held 269 exhibitors from around the globe boasting networking opportunities from wall-to-wall.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
Several members of the Ungerboeck Software International team were able to experience the expo first hand and came away with additional information and feedback on new products that USI has to offer. The general theme this year was the question of how to enhance and elevate the exhibitor experience thus affecting the attendees experience as well; a couple of things we're pretty familiar with.
Judging by traffic and the conversations that we had in the booth, the level of engagement at this year’s show was extremely high.
BE INVOLVED, BE MOBILE
Utilizing a website and mobile app, Expo! Expo! set a concrete foundation for attendees to be involved before they arrived at the convention center. The Twitter tag #ExpoExpo (commonly paired with #eventprofs) saw a good amount of hype being built prior to the events beginning and it exploded with images and videos as attendees began networking with industry professionals. Even now that the dust has cleared, #ExpoExpo is being mentioned in thank you’s and takeaways from attendees reviewing their notes and (finally) unpacking their bags.
I think the success of the event stemmed from specific tactics used for involvement: social media, chapter meetings, opening receptions and networking parties. There were very few sessions that conflicted with exhibition hours and that attributed to a nicely executed event.
The foundation for a successful event comes from understanding the exhibitors and the audience they intend to attract. Beacons are not a new technology per se, however, advancements in the overall construction and lower costs are making them a more desirable and flexible tool. They can be used within the events industry to gather better information about attendee behaviors, in turn providing better data to exhibitors. This is a key part of enhancing the experience at the event and through this technology, users can better quantify an event’s worth and see where areas for improvement may be.
The result of the IAEE Expo! Expo! lends itself to excitement for the years to follow (Anaheim, CA in 2016 and San Antonio, TX in 2017) and gave attendees a wealth of information, resources to consult, and connections to be cultivated until we meet again next year.
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