Tips When Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business.

Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays.

If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors.

Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor.

Another good time saving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer.

Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogs, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor.

If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while “who gets what” is still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds.  The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like at the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20′ x 20′ Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either light wood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display’s, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

Tips When Displaying at Trade Shows

Almost all products being sold in the market today have already been sold before by their competitors but what makes other products a hit despite their being new in the market? Most entrepreneurs say it is a matter of marketing your products to your target market.

Marketing can be done in various ways depending on the expertise of the marketer. However, one common way to market a new product is through participation in trade shows. Trade shows are held at any time of the year and they do attract buyers and prospective customers.

There are general trade shows but you can choose from niche trade shows depending on your area of business. Companies join trade shows not so much for actual selling but most importantly for showing off their products and for the possibility of getting bulk orders during the trade show.

A company or a sole proprietor planning to join a trade show should take note of the following:

1. Able personnel to man the trade show booth. A trade show is not just an ordinary selling venue but it is a venue where prospective clients abound so make sure that you send your best personnel to man the booth. Some companies take trade shows for granted and allow inept personnel to watch the booth. The people who are put in charge of your trade show booth can make or break your product. A good staff with public relations skill can attract more clients to your products. It is also important to instruct your booth personnel to dress properly depending on the venue of the trade show. Business attire will always be safe.

2. Invite visitors to your booth. The booth personnel must be trained and instructed to invite visitors to the booth. Most visitors walk away from trade show booth when they see the staff busy with their own thing. Tell your staff the main reason why they were assigned to the trade show and that is to get as many visitors to see your products. Booth personnel should be able to answer questions from the visitors because the visitors may already be potential customers. A booth demo will catch the attention of visitors especially if the demo is useful to them.

3. Prepare your brochures, leaflets and business cards and make sure you do not run out of them.  Always expect plenty of people to visit trade shows so never be caught without your marketing tools. Imagine if a potential client asks for your brochure or your card and then you cannot give him anything just because you did not prepare for an influx of people. It is better to have plenty of left over marketing materials after the show rather than miss the opportunity of showing off what you have to offer.

4. Keep a visitors’ book. Most companies who join trade shows require visitors who get their free marketing materials to sign up in a guestbook. However, only a few of these companies will communicate with the people who signed in their guestbook. Be creative and use the guestbook as a sourcebook for potential clients. The people who visited your booth and who got your materials are definitely interested in your products or else they will not even glance at your booth. Why not take advantage of their contact information?  Mail them a thank you letter along with more information about the product and where they can buy the products.

5. Promote your products but do not be too pushy. Visitors are often turned off by very eager booth personnel who call out to the visitors using their loudest voice. No one would want to visit your booth if your personnel are boisterous. Allow the visitors to go inside your booth and look at the items you have on display but always keep a welcoming smile. Entertain their questions and try to respond to them accordingly. Never shout your words of welcome to the visitors since they might feel defensive all of a sudden and decide against looking at your products.

Anatomy Of A Successful Trade Show Exhibit

A trade show, also known as a merchandise show or market week, is an exhibition or a business gathering organized by companies that showcase and demonstrate their new products and services and also their latest offerings. Trade shows also provide opportunities for companies to meet their customers, to learn new trends and to identify new prospects.

Trade shows are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the trade and members of the press. One advantage of holding a trade show is that it shortens the time it takes for companies to look for prospective customers. But the major disadvantage is that customers and prospects pay little attention to the many exhibitors and their products due to the many distractions and the busy atmosphere inherent in trade shows.

Exhibitors can make effective use of trade show displays in trade shows to direct visitors to their main display area. Trade show displays are used to give visitors a better understanding or appreciation of the products or services being marketed. Although exhibitors are only supposed to put their trade show displays within the confines of their designated trade show exhibit area, exhibitors also display items in strategic areas of the fair grounds. Trade show displays often used include banner stands, counters and cabinets, panel display etc. that clearly display the company logo, basic company information and company slogan.

The trade show booth is an important component of the trade show display as it aims to enhance the brand and marketing experience for the visitor. It facilitates valuable direct face-to-face contact between the companies and their prospective customers. The whole booth set-up includes counters kiosks, lighting, flooring, literature racks, banner stands and high impact graphics, with the booth design, the staffing and the handouts the main factors to a successful trade show booth.

Many companies prefer to rent pre-owned trade show exhibits and displays rather than to buy or to create them from scratch to save on the trade show booth construction costs and also on the expense of warehousing the displays after the trade show is over.

Trade shows demand a lot of work and effort, and exhibitors have to plan well in advance so as to make the trade show a success. It is because any successful trade show offers exhibitors with a very valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with their clients and to close lucrative business deals.


As part of TSNN’s Research Series, we currently are collecting survey responses from show organizers for the Event Technology Trends & Future Outlook study.

The link is ]]>HERE]]> and everyone who completes the survey will receive an executive summary of the report, as well as a 20-percent discount on the full 30-40 page report on the latest event technology trends.

Events and technology have a unique and powerful relationship. Yet the pace of technological change is unprecedented and accelerating, and even staying on top of trends is a challenge.

To help event management analyze these issues, TSNN and the Event Marketing Institute, our research partner, is asking if show organizers would participate in an industry study focused on event technology usage trends and best practices with an outlook to the future. 

The individual responses will be studied in aggregate and are confidential.

This report will allow you to benchmark your organization vs. industry averages.

We hope you will click the link below and take less than five minutes to complete this survey or recommend it to the appropriate person in your organization. Thank you in advance for participating in this study.

Once again,]]> HERE]]> is the link to the survey.

TSNN and EMI previously have released two other research reports:

Attendee Marketing & Audience Development Trends & Best Practices Study – how show producers are driving high-quality, new and repeat attendees along with the most effective cutting-edge technology and social media practices. Buy

The Exhibit & Sponsorship Sales Best Practices Study –how leading convention and exhibition producers are selling more exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities. Buy

For more information on the TSNN Research Report series please visit: http://www.tsnn.com/tsnn-research-reports

7 Tips for Leveraging Your Speakers as Event Advocates

January 20, 2017
Elise Taylor
Elise is EventMobi’s Customer Success Manager. She has worked with ]]>EventMobi ]]>for more than three years, helping event planners achieve their goals, increase attendee engagement, and design the best events possible. 
 


With more and more conference and event organizers competing to attract participants, it is important to use every strategy available to “get the word out”. Conference and event speakers are a largely untapped resource.

Many keynote speakers and breakout session facilitators have extensive and active networks both on and off-line. By enlisting the aid of speakers to reach out to their existing connections, event planners can tap into an unmined pool of potential attendees.

Here are 6 ways to engage speakers and facilitators in pre-event marketing. No matter what strategies you select it is extremely important to spell out exactly what is expected in speaker contracts and facilitator agreements.

1. Content sharing

As you release information about the event on social media, through email, and via other channels, ask your speakers to share it. The opportunities for engagement are endless. Speakers can re-tweet content, like and comment on LinkedIn , Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat status updates. It takes a few seconds but social media engagement ensures that your content will be distributed to a wider and wider audience.

2. Pre-conference interviews

Someone from your organizer can interview each speaker and facilitator and prospective participants can ask questions. YouTube live works well as it is interactive. Skype calls can also be recorded.

Videos remain on-line as promotional tools that can be shared on social media or incorporated into web pages or blog posts.

3. Twitter chats

Twitter chats are some of the most effective ways of “getting the word” out about conferences. To use them effectively, your network must be in place before you need it.
Create a customized hashtag for your organization or event. Use it to share content on Twitter and host Twitter chats regularly. Even if your chats are just once a month, you can attract a following and switch to weekly chats with speakers and facilitators when event marketing kicks into high gear.

4. Guest Blog Posts

Many keynote speakers and facilitators have their own blogs. Likely they already have existing material that they can easily customize.

5. Pre-event “Ask the Speaker” sessions

Pre-event “ask the speaker” sessions can take place on a variety of platforms. Facebook Live, Google Hangouts On Air, and one of the many webinar platforms can be used for pre- conference engagement with speakers.

6. Promotional video clips and pre-roll

With a creative approach, video has the power to go viral. Make it clever and upbeat. Use clips from your speakers. Share the video both on and off-line. Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook are just a few possibilities. YouTube offers targeted pre-roll: short clips that run before viewers access the content they have requested.

Once you have videos, definitely tweet them. Don’t forget to post them on LinkedIn where videos are underutilized but highly visible.

As GBTA Canada has demonstrated, ]]>videos from last year’s conference]]> can be used on your website to build excitement for your next conference.

7. Enlist the assistance of speakers in e-mail campaigns to their own network of contacts

Prepare brief, copy ready, promotional pieces. Ask speakers to include them in their own e-mail campaigns.

In Summary

Speakers can be your best event advocates if you let them know what is expected and find effective strategies to use them. They can help build excitement for your event and ensure that event marketing efforts go more smoothly.

What strategies have YOU used to leverage speakers as event advocates?

First published ]]>HERE]]> on EventMobi.com. 

Meetings Mean Business Launches New Initiatives in 2017 to Prove Value of Industry

January 19, 2017
TSNN News


The Meetings Mean Business Coalition had a busy 2016 advocating to prove the value of the meetings industry, and 2017 looks to be even busier, as MMB continues to push existing initiatives forward and launch new ones.

“Meetings Mean Business continues to grow as a coalition, attracting new supporters and elevating the industry,” said Richard Harper, MMB co-chair and HelmsBriscoe executive vice president.

He added, “In 2017, we are excited to build on this momentum and expand our reach through the newly launched Meeting Planner Taskforce aimed at engaging this important audience, a global licensing agreement that provides a framework for other countries to create their own MMB and the second annual Global Meetings Industry Day on April 6.”

Last year, MMB continued to advance their mission of bringing together the broader industry to promote the value of face-to-face meetings in fostering relationships, driving positive business outcomes and building strong communities.  Here are a few highlights in this 2016 “Year in Review” ]]>video]]>.

The ]]>Worth Meeting About]]> campaign in 2016 also highlighted the critical role that in-person meetings played during the election and connected the work we do to major current events.

Leveraging paid media, digital tactics and storytelling, the coalition targeted elected officials and policymakers with the message that when it’s important, it’s Worth Meeting About.

To demonstrate the important role that meetings play for business leaders across a wide variety of industries, MMB also launched last year the ]]>Business Leader Video series]]> that showcases real life testimonies.

Videos to date include: Mike Gallagher, CEO at the Entertainment Software Association; Cynthia Fenneman, president and CEO at American Public Television; James Curleigh, president of Levi’s Brand®; and Brian Connolly, CEO of AdvoCare among others.

Small businesses are a critical contributor to the American economy and MMB wanted to look specifically at this important stakeholder group to explore how face-to-face meetings help them make the most out of their investments.

MMB released a ]]>survey]]> that found small business owners agree that face-to-face meetings are a worthwhile investment and 91 percent of small business owners plan to spend as much or more on travel for meetings and conferences as they did this year.

In 2017, MMB plans to expand the scope of Worth Meeting About to highlight current events and issues other than the election.

They also plan to work with their newly created ]]>Meeting Planner Task Force]]> to directly involve meeting planners with MMB’s advocacy and engagement efforts.

On April 6, MMB will hold its second annual ]]>Global Meetings Industry Day]]> and will look to keep rallying industry advocates across the globe to champion the value of the meetings industry, in particular to elected officials.

To go global in another way – MMB has created a licensing agreement that allows international partners to build their own MMB coalitions in a way that is authentic to their country.

The licensing agreement will allow partners in countries and regions outside of the United States to use MMB branding, messaging and research to form one strong, cohesive voice for the industry.

“We’ll also continue to look beyond our industry, making sure the new Administration and other policymakers understand how meetings and exhibitions foster stronger relationships, drive positive business outcomes and support strong communities,” Harper added.

He said, “We’re looking forward to working with our exhibitions partners as we spread the industry’s value story far and wide.

Meetings Mean Business is an industry-wide coalition to showcase the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities.

For more info, please visit: ]]>http://www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com/]]>

Nashville’s Music City Center Gets Nod for Expansion

January 18, 2017
TSNN News


Three years after Nashville’s Music City Center was built, the local Convention Center Authority just approved to expand the venue.

The center now has a $19.9 million construction budget to build a new food and beverage outlet and expand the Exhibit Hall and Davidson Ballroom concourse space.

“We are thrilled that the Authority agrees we should continue to invest in and enhance the Music City Center,” said Charles Starks, president and CEO of the Music City Center.

He added, “As we have listened to our meeting planners’ feedback over the last three years, we’ve identified these as areas we can expand upon to better the customer experience. With the new hotels and development on 8th Avenue, we feel this is the right time and the right place to make these improvements.”

The expansion will add 5,000 square feet of additional concourse space and 4,350 sq. ft. of retail and kitchen space on the Exhibit Hall level, as well as 2,000 sq. ft. of additional prefunction space outside the Davidson Ballroom.

The new food and beverage outlet, which will be operated by the Music City Center’s culinary team, will be located on the third level of the Music City Center and accessible from inside the building, as well as from Demonbreun and 8th Avenue.

The concourse space adjacent to the new market will be expanded to allow for a registration area on the Exhibit Hall level.

The Davidson Ballroom concourse also will be extended to accommodate registration and receptions.

Construction will begin immediately and is slated for completion by the end of year.

The Music City Center currently has 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and is on tap to host next year’s Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders annual meeting.

Trade Show Industry Veterans Band Together to Form Event Consultancy Company

January 17, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


A group of veteran industry professionals has launched a consultancy company – the Event Advisory Group – designed to help associations, trade show organizers, publishers and corporations improve the financial, brand and operational performance of their events.

Formed in early 2016 and officially launched six weeks ago, EAG features an executive team of five seasoned event professionals, who boast 120 collective years of event management, marketing and operational experience and a comprehensive knowledge of producing and launching events ranging from large global trade shows to small conferences and corporate meetings.

The EAG executive team are as follows:

·      Rick Dobson, Jr., CEM, with more than 38 years of event management and business development experience, and a proven track record of improving results for association-sponsored events including the National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show.

·      Ray Luca, who for more than 20 years has managed events ranging from large, city-wide trade shows to small conferences including Worldwide Food Expo, Pack Expo, Society of Toxicology Expo and AFCEA’s military technology events.

·      Mike Muldoon, whose 35-year career has included managing a host of top-tier trade shows, and advising and consulting with dozens of premiere trade associations and organizations in a wide range of industries.

·      Courtney Nazareno, M.Ed., an experienced educator, professional coach and facilitator with extensive experience developing and implementing training programs focused on building staff capacity and driving long-term growth.

·      Karen Vogel, who brings 25 years of experience managing branding, marketing and business development for trade show organizers, Fortune 500 companies, an event technology start-up, and marketing and event agencies.

“We recognized a significant gap in support provided to organizations that are struggling with their events, including the uncertainty about strategic direction, lack of staff resources and knowledge to implement new initiatives or technologies, and pressure to produce more revenue and attendance without increasing costs,” said Mike Muldoon, who co-founded the group along with Luca and Nazareno.

He added, “Adding new partners Karen Vogel and Rick Dobson to the team rounds out the extensive event experience of the group, including event and revenue growth strategies, branding, marketing, sales, operations and technologies.”

With a robust menu of services to choose from, ranging from branding, market positioning, data analysis and strategic planning to revenue enhancement, attendance building, strategic partnerships and technology implementation, clients have the option of implementing EAG’s recommendations on their own or having EAG continue on in a support capacity and help guide them in implementation, according to Dobson.

“Most companies serving the event industry are either pitching management services or selling a specific product, (whereas) EAG is a true consultancy,” Dobson said.

He continued, “Our proprietary ‘360°Review’ ensures that virtually every aspect of a client’s event is examined in depth after which we deliver a comprehensive report detailing our findings (which include) recommendations for how to save costs, drive additional revenues, find efficiencies and enhance the performance of their events.”

In the short time since its official launch, EAG already is acquiring and working with clients, including a company that hired EAG to create and implement strategies for its first-time participation as an exhibitor, according to Dobson.

“I’ve known the founding partners of EAG for years and jumped at the chance to join a group that can offer so much to the event industry,” he said. “With the partners’ combined knowledge and experience, EAG is uniquely qualified to assist (organizations and companies) in overcoming virtually any challenges they face with their events.”

Dobson continued, “The emphasis we place on mentorship and helping organizations make ongoing improvements is especially exciting.” 

13 Notable U.S. Health Care Trade Shows

January 17, 2017
Sofia Troutman
Sofia is the Customer Engagement and Industry Relations Manager for ]]>Skyline Exhibits]]>. Sofia has more than a decade of experience with both B2B and consumer packaged goods companies and an MBA from the University of Arizona with an emphases in marketing and entrepreneurship. 
 


Health Care trade shows in the U.S. are currently in a period of re-adjustment. In a (recent industry study), research indicated that in the latter half of 2015, shows that are on an annual schedule (excluding outliers) took 0.6% less square footage of exhibit space than in the first half of 2015, had 1.9% fewer exhibitors, and attendance was down by 1.2%. The city of Chicago hosts two of the nation’s largest shows, Atlanta hosts two large shows and Las Vegas hosts one huge show and several smaller ones. Other top medical shows take place in Orlando and various cities in California. If you are looking for a good reference on the basic challenges and rules of healthcare events, Exhibitor Q&A has a good ]]>starting point summary]]>.

While the adjustment in the number of exhibitors and attendance is likely to continue, in light of expected changes in the industry, many shows have demonstrated staying power in the industry. We have listed those notable shows below.

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting – Nov. 11-14, 2017. The ]]>AAO]]> Show, held in 2015 in Las Vegas, had 28,355 attendees, up an impressive 15.1% from 2014, and the attendance was up in all categories: U.S. Physicians, International Physicians, Health Professionals and sub-specialties.

]]>Neuroscience]]> – Nov. 12-16, 2016 in San Diego. This annual conference’s attendance in 2015 was 29,033, down 7.1% from 2014. The 2015 conference was held in Chicago and the 2016 conference was in San Diego. The Neuroscience conferences are a hotbed for sharing up-to-the-minute research, findings, and techniques among the world’s elite neuroscientists. Vendors are also held to elite standards, with requirements that all exhibits be of an educational nature, and emphasizing instruments, products and services for use in research or teaching.

Radiological Society of North America (]]>RSNA]]>) – Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 2016. Held annually in Chicago, the RSNA show had an attendance of 51,000 in 2015, down 9% from 2014. The 2015 RSNA show boasted international registration of 38% of the professionals in attendance. The theme for the 2016 RSNA conference was Beyond Imaging: Maximizing Radiology’s Role in Patient Care. There were 659 exhibitors, representing professional societies, radiological equipment manufacturers, lab equipment and supplies, software developers and more. And, if you weren’t able to attend in person there was an option to participate ]]>virtually]]>!

American Society of Hematology ]]>Annual Meeting]]> – Dec. 3-6, 2016. The 2015 ASH Annual Meeting in Orlando had 25,319 attendees, down 3.3% from 2014. Last year’s symposium addressed new therapies and possibilities for treating hematologic disease using genetic therapy. The 2016 ASH meeting in San Diego gathered hematology professionals and researchers for updates on the latest trends and topics in malignant and non-malignant hematology. The meeting’s 250 exhibitors included pharmaceutical companies, publishers, medical suppliers, clinical diagnostic and research-focused companies, and non-profit organizations.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo – July 30-Aug. 3, 2017. Although the AACC show in 2015 was sold out, with attendance of 17,600, it was down 9.3% from the attendance numbers of 2014. This is a show that appreciates marketing innovation from its more than 750 exhibitors and has an international buyers’ program. As reported by the show organizers from ]]>attendee surveys]]>, 24% of attendees have the authority to make purchasing selections, 24% recommend products, and 20% are responsible for evaluating options for purchase. ]]>It’s an ideal show for exhibitors representing lab-related products to bring their most impressive and effective trade show exhibit]]>!

]]>HIMSS]]> Conference & Exhibition – Feb. 19-23, 2017 in Orlando. As much a technology as a healthcare show, this is a must-attend event if you want to find what is new in tech for healthcare. Over 40,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors worldwide attend this show. This show offers classes, world-class speakers, cutting-edge products and networking.

]]>Molecular Medicine]]> Tri-Con – February 19-24, 2017 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. If you are working in diagnostics and drug discovery, this is a must-attend event. Attracting over 3,500 drug discovery and development professionals, including developers, payers, and researchers from over 40 countries in 2016. The Tri-Conference has grown into a diverse event, focusing on Molecular Medicine, specifically on Discovery, Genomics, Diagnostics and Information Technology.

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (]]>AAOS]]>March 14-18, 2017 at the San Diego Convention Center. This show changes venue on a yearly basis. With over 10,000 exhibitors, attendees have the opportunity to see and evaluate new products, nurture vendor relationships and network with other attendees.

]]>FIME Show]]> August 2-4, 2017. Florida International Medical Expo takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center and is organized by Inform. Topics covered in the past have included Smart Hospital, Biomed, Private Practice, Intentional Medical Markets, Information technology and Future Healthcare. The conference offers free workshops and seminars for healthcare professionals from international healthcare companies.

]]>MD&M East]]> June 13-15, 2017. MD&M East Expo and Conference is the East Coast regional show in a series of medical manufacturing events throughout the US and the world. Other shows in that family include MD&M West, ]]>Pri-Med]]> West and MD&M Midwest. MD&M East is the gathering point for more than 500 leading medical technology suppliers and manufacturers, including 3M, Abbott, The Tech Group, Phillips-Medisize and Stratasys. The show is organized by UBM the organizer of multiple]]> medical]]> and manufacturing shows throughout Europe and the U.S.

American Society of Clinical Oncology (]]>ASCO]]> Annual Meeting) June 2-6, 2017 in Chicago. This show was ranked 68th on TSNN’s 2015 trade show list as determined by square footage. With 407 medical exhibitors, over 30,000 attendees and hundreds of educational and research sessions, this event represents a key learning and networking opportunity for both exhibitors and attendees.

]]>Medtrade]]> Oct. 23-26, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress in Atlanta, GA. This show gathers Home Medical Equipment manufacturers and buyers. In addition to exhibits, there are speakers addressing legislative and regulatory environment as well as networking events.

Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (]]>AAMI]]> Conference and Expo) June 9-12, 2017 in Austin, Texas. This show is attended by over 2,000 biomedical technicians, clinical engineers and other managers and users of medical devices. The expo showcases over 200 healthcare technology from top medical equipment manufacturers.

While there are other shows that focus on Dental (]]>Greater New York Dental]]>, Chicago Dental), Laboratory (]]>Pittcon 2017]]>), Audiology (]]>Audiology Now!]]>), Vision (]]>Vision East]]>) or Emergency medical care (]]>EMS World]]>), we feel the shows described in the list above are the most relevant purely medical shows in the US. Let us know if there is another major medical show that you attend that should be added to the list.

Sources: HCEA announcement of top Medical Trade Shows: ]]>http://momentummgt.com/hcea-announces-top-medical-trade-shows/]]>, TSNN top US Show list, and individual show websites.

Special thanks to Brian Butler from ]]>Skyline Boston]]> and Scott Price from ]]>Skyline Exhibits New Jersey]]> for their advice regarding medical shows to include in this post.

Data Breach Strategies and Technology Trends Were Top-of-Mind at ASAE’s Technology Conference

January 16, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


More than 1,200 association executives, consultants and industry professionals converged at the 2016 ASAE ]]>Technology Conference & Expo]]> for three days of networking, education, insights and information about the latest trends, technologies, and strategies needed to take their organizations in a more forward-thinking direction.

Held Dec. 12-14 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD, the association’s 11th annual event offered 32 high-level education sessions, a host of networking opportunities and an expo that featured135 exhibiting companies spanning 18,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“This year’s conference focused on how technology is impacting our members, from mobile, strategy, leadership and marketing technologies to infrastructure, security, operations and analytics,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

Three Preconference Workshops made their debut this year, including “Digital Convergence: A CEO-CXO Summit,” which explored how industry professions can turn challenges into growth opportunities, embrace risk-taking and keep up with the rapid pace of an ever-changing digital landscape.

“Ctrl-Alt-Del: Dissolving Tech and Marketing Silos,” focused on how to leverage a collaborative culture and convert data into business intelligence and association growth, while “Reboot: Women in Technology,” examined the global tech talent shortage, the importance of digital fluency in leadership competency and the incredible career opportunities awaiting women in the industry today.

As the event’s opening keynote, Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics” and sitting professor at Harvard & MIT’s edX labs, kicked off the conference by exploring the most cutting edge – and outdated – technology trends, and how association professionals can infuse more innovation into their businesses while staying ahead of the technology curve.

The event’s top-notch education options offered a plethora of topics and interests, from mobile, strategy, leadership and marketing technologies, to infrastructure, security, operations, and analytics presented by leading industry content leaders.

New to the conference was the Futurists Lab, a hands-on learning format that allowed attendees to familiarize themselves with new and trending technologies their associations can use to enhance education, marketing and member engagement, along with demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies including augmented reality, wearables, simulations and robots.

Also debuting this year was a partnership with Byte Back, a nonprofit organization that provides computer training, access to technology and career services to underserved adults in the Washington D.C. area. Besides offering complimentary conference registrations and exposition space, the ASAE Technology Section Council also provided onsite mentorships to five students.

On the final day, closing speakers Dr. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, senior security leaders at Uber’s Advanced Technology Center and renowned “white hat” hackers, revealed how they identify vulnerabilities in various technologies and devices, and what that means for industries, organizations and individuals.

“The was a lot of buzz around business and predicative analytics and the ability to use data as a foundational aspect of strategic decision-making,” said ASAE CIO Reggie Henry, CAE. “Also highlighted was the ‘API’ economy we are now in, and how connecting best-of-breed tools together to form better solutions for members is a growing priority.”

He continued, “Finally, the realization that the level of change we are facing is the new normal spawned conversation about adjusting our and our members’ expectation about their technology futures.”

The 2017 Technology Conference & Expo will return Dec. 12-13 to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. 

3 Ways to Excel at Experiential Marketing in 2017

January 13, 2017
Steve Randazzo

Steve Randazzo is the founder and president of ]]>Pro Motion, Inc.]]>, an experiential marketing agency located in Missouri.


What makes a modern marketing event memorable? 

Is it when a brand trots out the same ole’ tactics to deliver the same ole’ message to the same ole’ people? Or is it when a brand breaks from the norm to boldly leverage forward-thinking tactics into engagements and strategies that captivate an audience in new and exciting ways?

I think you know the answer to that question. 

Today’s consumers see ]]>thousands upon thousands]]> of marketing messages every single day — and they’re quickly learning to ignore the stale ones that catch them at inopportune moments. That’s why, with the right approach, experiential marketers have such a key opportunity to resonate in buyers’ minds in 2017. 

Experiential marketing is an opt-in medium, meaning the self-selected audiences are willing to devote their undivided attention to what brands say and do during a campaign. To truly rise above the rest in 2017, however, event marketers need to step outside the box and incorporate innovative, tech-driven tactics that result in deeper engagement.

These three strategies should do the trick:

1. Go live. 

While ]]>78 percent of marketers]]> say they promote events in advance online, only 62 percent choose to continue that engagement during the event itself. That’s because, up until recently, there really weren’t many effective ways to accomplish this.

Today, however, sites like Facebook and Periscope make it incredibly easy to live-stream an event and drive engagement in real time. This allows brands to extend their reach and involve a remote audience in their campaigns; it also helps them attract more bodies to their next showcases. In fact, ]]>according to one study]]>, 30 percent of people who watch a livestream of an event end up physically attending that same event the next year.

2. Transform consumers into content creators. 

It’s important for brands to own the conversation at their events. However, in 2017, they also need to capitalize on the fact that ]]>there will be a smartphone]]> in nearly every attendee’s pocket. 

]]>Eighty-five percent of consumers]]> say user-generated content is more influential than marketing material created by brands. With that fact in mind, event marketers need to encourage audiences to organically spread the word about the experiences they’re having.

If your attendees are known for being avid Instagrammers, set up a fun photo booth that urges them to use hashtags and geotags when posting pictures. If they prefer Snapchat, invest in a branded filter they can use when documenting the experience and sharing it with friends.

3. Blur the line between physical and virtual. 

If 2016 was the year virtual reality ]]>trotted onto the scene]]>, 2017 will be the year it hits its stride. Involving cutting-edge technology doesn’t just ]]>boost event attendance and decrease costs]]>, it also, like live-streaming, allows brands to rope in remote attendees.

Virtual event attendance is actually expected to grow ]]>at a faster rate]]> than in-person attendance. To stay ahead of the pack, savvy brands would be best-suited to start exploring the wide world of virtual reality today. 

The more a brand can integrate exciting technology into an experiential marketing campaign, the more impactful — and more memorable — it will be. 

2017 will be a year when technology continues to solidify experiential marketing’s meaningful role in the advertising world. Brands that incorporate emerging tools such as live-streaming and virtual reality into their campaigns will be the ones consumers listen to, love, and talk about for years to come.

Steve Randazzo is the founder and president of ]]>Pro Motion Inc]]>., an experiential marketing agency located in Missouri.

CES 2017 Showfloor Breaks Record in Las Vegas

January 12, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


CES, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, had yet another record-breaking year. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and venues throughout the city Jan. 5-8, the 50th annual event for the global technology industry boasted a 2.6 million net square foot showfloor occupied by 3,800 exhibitors and more than 175,000 attendees, including 55,000 from 150 countries.

Final attendance figures will be released after the show’s independent audit late this spring, according to officials from the Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces the show.

Last year, CES attracted 177,393 industry professionals representing 158 countries and 3,886 exhibitors, spanning 2,475,646 net sq. ft. of exhibit space.

As a gathering for the world’s greatest innovators, companies, technologies, products and entrepreneurs, the event welcomed the globe’s most well-known technology companies, as well as more than 600 startups showcasing the latest in virtual reality, smart home, 3-D printing, self-driving vehicles, robotics, wearables, health and fitness tech, to name just a few categories.

“From startups to established businesses, traditional tech companies, along with those in new industries like travel and sports, (all) came together and vigorously embraced technology for the 50th anniversary of CES,” said Karen Chupka, CES senior vice president and corporate business strategy, CTA.

She continued, “This year’s show was all about connectivity – both in the form of the technologies unveiled and in the valuable face-to-face business connections happening throughout the show.”

In addition to a plethora of speakers, educational sessions and networking opportunities, the event hosted several competitive contests, including the Best of CES awards, the Mobile App Showdown, and the semi-finals for Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC).

Besides welcoming government officials and political leaders from around the world, CES also drew its fair share of world-famous celebrities from Hollywood, sports, eSports and music looking to check out the hottest trends in tech.

The event’s worldwide media coverage continued to be robust, with more than 6,500 members of the media in attendance. This coverage resulted in strong social media momentum, including nearly 1.4 million mentions using #CES2017 hashtags.

“CES 2017 shifted to a new level as large and small companies from around the globe gathered to reveal solutions for many of our world’s most challenging problems,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.

He added, “Our industry is bettering the world through connectivity and innovation, touching literally every facet of our lives. Today’s connected world was on full display this week at CES 2017 – our largest, boldest show in history.”

CES will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 9-12. 

How to Do a Digital Event the RIGHT Way! PCMA Knocks It Out of the Park

January 11, 2017
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.


For the second year in a row and much to my chagrin, I was unable to attend the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders annual meeting. 

This year, it was held in the great city of Austin, Texas, and had three days packed with education and networking events.

Of course, I had serious FOMO (fear of missing out) – but lucky for me, PCMA holds an online digital event powered by INXPO that streams throughout their live event.

In my humble opinion, it is bar none the best digital event out there that coincides with a live event.

Here are just a few of the reasons why PCMA’s digital event not only works, but also works well. In fact, 1,700 people agreed and joined me online from all over the globe.

Content is King: Every day, there were several education sessions to choose from, including the keynotes. I had the great pleasure and surprise (along with the rest of the PCMA online and live audience) to gasp in utter shocked delight when actor Matthew McConnaughey bounded onto stage to kick things off.

He was just the beginning of many highlights. Keynotes included Rachel Botsman, a speaker and author, who talked about “Collaboration and the Meaning of Trust in the Digital Age”.  There also was a plethora of sessions to choose from. I watched several, and one of the ones that I really liked was “Trade Show Rapid Fire: Reniventing Your Trade Show Strategy.” The session was led by Society of Independent Show Organizers’ Executive Director David Audrain, along with several show organizers who talked about how they executed major changes on their shows.

To say the least, there were a lot of sessions all three days that were available to the online audience. In three, short days, PCMA offered 18 difference education sessions, 8 interview sessions and 2.5 hours of technology demos.

Feeling Included: PCMA’s digital team does a great job of ensuring those who are taking part online are included on what’s going on live. The speakers always acknowledge the online audience and questions are taken from the online audience in the same way they are from the live audience.

If they are doing something in the room, like a quick get up and jump around moment to get the blood flowing, the online moderators encourage everyone to take part.

I felt like even though I was not there, I was acknowledged as being a part of the event.

Creating Community: PCMA’s digital team also did a really awesome job creating a community amongst the people taking part online. I recognized a lot of people from last year and the moderators facilitated a lot of conversations in the ‘chat’ area. They also were very quick to answer questions and provide information for speaker bios, content, etc.

In the mornings, there also were hosted coffee hours, and in the afternoons, there were virtual happy hours too. They both were a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people.

Having a Plan B and Plan C: Just like any live event, things online can go wrong as well. On Tuesday, there were issues with the broadcast during Jeremy Rifkin’s keynote.

Fortunately, PCMA’s digital team had a plan B. They also were streaming it Live on FB. Although the chat capabilities were not as nimble as their regular online platform, at least everyone could still watch it.

Plan C was the very next day they sent everyone who missed out on the live broadcast a link to watch the replay on demand.

Professional Interviews: Every day there also were live interviews that typically were with people who were going to be leading a session and they talked about a snippet of it beforehand. The interviews were extremely well done, expertly paced and handled. I really enjoyed being introduced to a lot of people and concepts in the event space that I didn’t know about before. The interviews all were about 5 minutes long and breezed from one to the next very seamlessly. Well done Sarah Soliman and Amanda Marijanovic. Well done.

The reality is, everyone’s not going to be able to make it to your live event, so why not give them the opportunity to still take part in a truly engaging way?

As PCMA has found out over the past few years of offering the digital component of their annual event, it has not only introduced new people to PCMA, but also attendees of the online experience have had so much FOMO seeing what was going on live, that they often converted pretty quickly to ‘live’ attendees in following years.

If you are interested in how your organization could add a digital component to your live event, PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute offers certification on becoming a Digital Event Strategist.

For more info visit:  ]]>http://digitalexperienceinstitute.org/digital-event-certification]]>

Also, look out on Feb. 1 for a rebroadcast of a few of the PCMA Convening Leaders live sessions.