a2z Helps IAEE Build the Model Trade Show

Creating the Trade Show of Trade Shows
IAEE LogoIt’s challenging for an association comprised of trade show organizers and event marketers to actually organize a trade show. So, when the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) hosts its annual Expo! Expo! exhibition and conference, it has to really deliver on its value proposition for attendees that include the owners, executives, directors and managers of companies and associations that organize events. In 2015, IAEE collaborated with a2z to energize engagement in ways that even the most discerning industry professionals would appreciate.

Going for Growth
Like most trade show organizers, IAEE’s goal was to grow the number of exhibitors, square footage and attendees; increase the learning and networking opportunities available for attendees and enhance the overall attendee experience. The association was also looking for ways to automate existing processes, such as matchmaking and appointment scheduling, with state-of-the art technology. It also needed a platform to facilitate its hosted buyer program, which allows first-time attendees or members who have not attended in recent years to engage with exhibitors and peers.

Facilitating Engagement
Through an extensive request-for-proposal process, IAEE selected a2z’s diverse product suite, including a2zShow equipped with online floorplan and booth sales capabilities and ConnectTM, a solution to match individual attendee purchasing needs with exhibitor product/service offerings. Connect uses the demographic information submitted by each attendee during registration to create customized matches and set appointments with exhibitors. The a2z platform seamlessly synchronizes the exchange of data across both applications within the event website.

A look at the Numbers
The Connect platform provided IAEE with results in a number of categories. Here are some highlights:

  • 95% of registered attendees included exhibitors in their Personalized Plans.
  • An average of 9 pre-show leads resulted from enhanced listings.
  • Hosted buyers made an average of 9 appointments per supplier.
  • 81% of post-event survey respondents were satisfied with the event website.

Building on Success
Scott Craighead, CEM, Vice President of Exhibitions and Events for IAEE is looking toward next year. “By learning from our experience in 2015, we are building a strategy and plan for 2016 that will improve the overall show experience and value for attendees and exhibitors even further,” he says. Data will be a key component of the strategy. “We’ll use the data we’ve collected the first year to customize programming and help paint the value proposition for exhibitors for this year,” he adds.

IAEE will also build on the headway it made using a2z’s Connect matchmaking and appointment-setting platform. “Solutions like Connect give show organizers the ability to facilitate networking in a way that has never existed before. It allows the attendees, exhibitors, and the show organizer to effectively report and track networking directly attributed to the exhibition. We are confident that that this type of networking technology will mature into a must-have component for our show,” Craighead says.