De-Bunking Myths about Attracting Millennials to Your Trade Show

With a nod to this TSNN article on last week’s ECEF,  Moderator Terence Donnelly will lead a discussion on what is working and what is not! Attracting Millennials seems to be top-of-mind but not necessarily insurmountable. Some of our questions:

Let’s be clear. What are the demographics of “The Millennial”?
Why is there such a mystique on how to understand their needs?
Why is this audience so important to trade shows?
Which type of trade shows benefit the most from Millennials?
What are some examples of trade shows that are getting it right with Millennial audience development?
What are No No’s of trying to attract Millennials?
What’s the risk of trying to be “all things to all people” when marketing to multiple generations?
What’s the next generation we should be on the look out for?

Join us Wednesday, June 8th at 3pm EDT, 2pm CDT and noon PDT on #Expochat.

Extra Special #Expochat with Kai Hattendorf, MD of UFI, discussing Global Exhibitions Day!

Here’s the storify from this #expochat!

Associations from around the world are participating on June 8th’s Global Exhibitions Day. Please join us for our first truly international #Expochat with Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director For those who are unfamiliar,  UFI is The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Kai will be tweeting us live from Turkey!

Be on time – we’ve got some good introductory questions…

Some of our discussion questions:

  1. For those who many not be familiar, what is UFI?
  2. As a global association, you hold conferences and events all over the world. Where are your next events?
  3. As MD of UFI, how many miles/kilometers you would say you’ll travel this year meeting members?
  4. Tell us about how Global Exhibitions Day, June 8, came into being.
  5. Besides IAEE & SISO, how many global organizations are now taking part?
  6. What are some of these associations doing on June 8?
  7. Talk to us about the #GED16 marketing campaign & its viral success.
  8. What can we do to support #ExhibitionsDay and #GED16 if we’re not in capital cities?
  9. What are the plans for GED next year and beyond?

For more information, you can visit the UFI Website.

Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1st at noon, PDT, 3pm EDT and bring a friend. Exhibitions mean business!


How To Put Community First

If you missed this chat, you can still read all of the tweets here.

One of the themes that emerged from the recent Society of Independent Trade Show Organizers (SISO) meeting was “Community First,” the idea that attendees are the reason that other stakeholders are drawn to trade shows, therefore nurturing them as a community should be a priority. In #Expochat this week, Michelle Bruno will lead a discussion about the concept of community and what organizers and suppliers can do to grow the ranks of attendees and keep them coming back to the show. Here are some questions  we’ll be chewing on:

  1. What do you think of when you think of attendees as a community?
  2. Why do you agree or disagree that attendees should be of primary importance?
  3. How can trade shows nurture attendees as professionals?
  4. How can trade shows nurture attendees as human beings?
  5. What can organizers/suppliers do to make attendee participation easier pre-event?
  6. What types of post-event nurturing can organizers/suppliers do for attendees?
  7. What are the best ways to know what attendees think/want?
  8. What are the best ways to give attendees recognition?
  9. What do you think makes attendees come back year after year?
  10. How can organizers serve attendees year round?



Facing Controversy

What’s the fallout for trade shows and events when something like the Bathroom Bill passes? Let’s help each other from a business perspective understand the considerations and steps to be taken when local politics don’t coincide with your organizational stance on a social issue.

1. Have you ever canceled an event or not gone to one because of your organization’s political stance?
2. How can/should groups going into one of these political hotbeds communicate with attendees about their decision? How often?
3. What do you say when attendees say they are not coming? Do you give refunds? What about exhibitors?
4. What must be considered before making the call to pull out or keep the space?
5. is there language that can/should be included in contracts to give you more options, should local gov’t conflict with your group’s ethics or values?
6. What are options besides a boycott cancellation for groups in scheduled to meet in political climate not in line with their values?


Read some thoughts from #expochat stalwarts Steph, Michelle and Rachel on the Storify:

Exhibitions Day – It’s up to all of us!

2016 has been consumed with the presidential election and the future implications it will have for the U.S. Regardless of your political affiliation, the one thing we can all agree upon is the importance of advocacy for the exhibitions and events industry.

For the next #Expochat, we are teaming up with the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign to discuss the upcoming June 8th Exhibitions Day 2016 in Washington, D.C. During the chat, we’ll be talking with advocacy experts about the importance of promoting the value of our industry to politicians on both local and federal levels.

Exhibitions Day Date LogoAs a whole, our industry hosts over 10,000 trade shows and events each year that help contribute more than $70 billion to the U.S. economy. (Yes, that’s a B for Billion!) We’re an industry that is crucial to every business sector and specialty area around the world. Let’s make sure our political leaders know it!

As a homework assignment, please familiarize yourself with the Exhibitions Day 2016 Toolkit which has several resources you can use to become a better advocate for our industry. Click here for the toolkit.

We look forward to chatting with everyone tomorrow, Wednesday at noon PDT, 2pm CDT, 3pm EDT!

#ExhibitionsMeanBusiness Video

To register for Exhibitions Day, click here.  For housing in DC, click here.

Here’s the storify from today’s chat. Thanks to Terence Donnelly for moderating, David Bott from Exhibitions Mean Business and Nicole Bowman from IAEE for being our guests!




Is the “shared economy” the wave of the future or a fluke?

For our next #Expochat, we’re discussing the new shared economy and what that means for exhibitions, conventions and events. As someone who lives in Las Vegas has taken Uber, Lyft, and taxis in a variety of cities – guess which one I like least – and costs the most? What kind of impact is Airbnb having on room blocks? Will it grow, shrink or stay the same? What’s next for the traditional exhibition and convention model?

A recent study released at IMEX Frankfurt surprisingly (to me) showed that not everyone is on board with the shared economy. So this week we’re going to discuss what we think the impact will be and also why so many in the face-to-face, business-to-business events business are opposed (or is it fear?).

Homework is required! Please read the release from IMEX before you join the #Expochat. Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, May 4th (may the 4th be with you…) at noon PT, 2pm central and 3pm Eastern. Bring your friends, colleagues, ideas and opinions!


Great participation! Check out the storify summation: and leave your ideas.

Making a Difference

Are charity tie-ins at trade shows and exhibit booths effective? How and Why? If not, how could they be? Join us at 3pm Eastern/12 noon Pacific to chat with fellow exhibitionists about how trade shows and events make an impact on communities and on their attendees with charitable works.


Have you participated in a charitable event at a tradeshow/event/expo?

What did you get out of it?

What are the benefits for the tradeshow community to having a charitable event/fundraiser/drive?

What are the important components to creating a charitable tie-in?

What works? What doesn’t?

What resources do you use to vet the charity?

How much do you involve the local office/branch/chapter/CVB?

How could these types of things be more effective?

Special #Expochat! Preview of IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Forum

The sold out 3rd edition of the IAEE Women’s Leadership Conference takes  place April 25-26 in Washington, DC. We are pleased to have Marsha Flannigan, VP of Education for IAEE and Mindy Abel, Chair of the Forum as our guests.

We’ll discuss what need IAEE is addressing for its membership with this forum, what this year’s educational agenda is, and who and why the speakers (including keynote Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton) were chosen.

As a personal note, I attended the Forum last year and was very impressed on the topics, relevancy of education, camaraderie and organization – so much so I’m signed up again! Please join us Wednesday, April 13 from 12pm-1pm PDT, 3-4pm EDT.

PS: This will be a fun (read: not boring) and interactive discussion.

Should We Sweat The Small Stuff?

Exhibitions are more than booths and education. When you strip away the trade show floor and the conference sessions, what you’re left with is all of the auxiliary components: charity events, fun runs, or closing galas. This week on #Expochat, Michelle Bruno will lead a discussion on how those events add or detract to goals of business-to-business exhibitions and conferences. Here are the questions:

  1. What is the purpose of a trade show and conference?
  1. What are the sorts of charity (where donations benefit a local charity) events that you have seen recently at trade shows?
  1. What do charity events add to a trade show?
  1. What sorts of volunteer events have you seen during a trade show?
  1. What do volunteer events add to a trade show?
  1. What sorts of fitness events have you seen associated with trade shows?
  1. What do fitness events add to a trade show?
  1. What sorts of activities have you seen done during lunch?
  1. Do large lunch gatherings add or detract from the purpose of the trade show?
  1. What should be the litmus test for whether an event “belongs” around a trade show or not?


Overcoming the Arduous Tasks of Exhibiting at Trade Shows

It seems that as a result of managing risk, unions, increased travel costs, and prevalence of a digital economy, exhibiting at trade shows can be a huge effort. Or does it have to be? Today, March 30th, at 3pm, our experts on #Expochat are going to demystify the onerous task of exhibiting at trade shows with some simple tips and ideas to help you and your constituents be successful at your next exhibition.

  • What has changed in the last 10 years that has made exhibiting more difficult?
  • What are organizers doing to help their exhibitors overcome the daunting task of exhibiting?
  • How far out should exhibitors start thinking about taking action with exhibiting prep-work?
  • What can exhibitors do to make their exhibiting experience easier?
  • What are the “free” or inexpensive things exhibitors can do to be successful?
  • What’s the most important thing that exhibitors can not forget when exhibiting?
  • When should exhibitors arrive to the show and what should they do first when onsite?
  • What are the top things exhibitors should incorporate into their onsite experience for buyers?