Ewald in Practice
Blog Home All Blogs

Key Takeaways from IMEX Event

Posted By Carissa Wolf, Meeting Planner, Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ewald planners participated in IMEX’s Hosted Buyer Program to attend their 2016 America Conference held this past October in Last Vegas, NV. The conference, which had over 12,000 total participants and 3,250 exhibitors, provided an opportunity to meet with suppliers from around the U.S. and the world and learn from the best in the industry.

Each planner met with a minimum of 16 exhibitors over the course of two days. Exhibitors included hotels, technology, and Convention and Visitors Bureaus across the United States and the world.  

In addition to the tradeshow, planners attended Smart Monday sponsored by MPI. I visited the Play Room to attend an interactive session on the little things that meeting planners can do at events that make a big impact with little cost. It was a great opportunity to network with other planners and share ideas on how to engage with attendees in a meaningful way.

Another session that I attended was on Wi-Fi 101 Comprehension and Negotiation Tools. It was a helpful look at the basic tenants of Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi network and on the key questions to ask when negotiating Wi-Fi with a hotel. I learned that hotels can provide a Bandwidth Utilization Report so we can review peak and number of connections used throughout the conference. It was also recommended to download speed test prior to a site visit as a way to test the internet strength.

On the exhibit floor, I met with Event Management software companies and mobile app companies to talk about all the new tech capabilities available for our industry. I really enjoyed meeting with EventMobi as I had an opportunity to talk with our contact about the new tools, such as uploading photos, that will be released in the New Year.  It was really neat to meet with companies who offer Event Management software and demo their online registration functionality and interfaces.

Tags:  event planning  IMEX Hosted Buyer Program. meting planning 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Monthly Q&A: Ewald Consulting's Events Department

Posted By Kate-Madonna Hindes, Monday, June 8, 2015

I am so proud of each member of the Events Team.” – Julie Cygan, Vice President, Meeting and Event Management, Ewald Consulting

This week, we’re hosting a Q & A with our Vice President of Meeting and Event Development, Julie Cygan. Learn a few of her secrets to the event planning team’s success, as well as the recent wins from the ASPR Conference, held in Orlando, Florida last month. 

 

Q. What was your favorite part of the ASPR conference?

A.  This year was much different than other year’s conferences and presented us with new challenges we haven’t faced with ASPR before. The conference was moved up three months, cutting out a lot of our planning time and without an executive director, a key resource in past conferences. Our team put in a tremendous amount of work to pull off this event, absorbing these responsibilities in addition to our typical responsibilities. I would have to say my favorite part was seeing all of the hard work of our team pay off through the interactions we had with attendees. We received overwhelmingly positive and heartfelt thanks in person and online. Many attendees echoed that it was “the best conference they’ve ever been to.”

 

Q.    Did you see any indicators that this event would be successful?

A.    To begin with, we experienced record attendance and a sold out exhibit hall, before the event had even begun. Our logistics were in place to secure an attendee experience with euphoric atmosphere. We also utilized social media to keep the conversation and key points going before, during and after the conference.

 

Q.    What’s the secret to hosting an event that isn’t simply a conference, but an experience for attendees?

A. Memorable experiences happen though strategic planning, location, content and networking.  Attendees want an interactive experience that they can be fully engaged in, both physically and mentally. It’s important for attendees to discuss controversial real-world topics and have open conversations with peers about pressing issues they face in their daily careers.

 

Q.    What’s one thing we should know the Events team?

A. Our team is extremely passionate about what they do. They are able to achieve just about anything in a “New York minute,” while keeping a smile on their face, managing half a million other items at the same time and making it all look easy- I am so proud of each of them!

 

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  event planning 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Quick and Easy Marketing Moves to Boost Conference Attendance

Posted By Julie Cygan, Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Untitled Document

Conference season is upon us and organizations are in various stages of marketing their events to build awareness, solicit exhibitors and sponsors, and, most importantly, ensure strong attendance. Strong attendance is the most critical of these activities. People want to attend an event that is successful — and attendance is a very visual, quantifiable measure of success. They see the conference as an opportunity to network and exchange ideas… so more attendees means more opportunities to connect. Sponsors and exhibitors are primarily interested in maximizing their exposure to decision-makers in the field and the value they perceive through conference sponsor/exhibitor opportunities is directly related to event attendance. Additionally, media contacts and stakeholder groups the organization hopes to influence will be more inclined to give attention to the organization if they know that its conference is a strong industry forum.

The following five moves can help give your conference an extra attendance boost.

  1. Send a special invitation to members who have never attended a conference before. This can be particularly impactful if the letter comes from an organizational leader like the board president or someone who has a direct relationship with the member. Even if a member is not able to attend the event this year, you will still gain some insight into why, which could result in changes for future years.
  2. Reach out to all new members who have joined in the last year. Again, this can be an invitation from a volunteer leader. Many organizations have an “ambassador” assigned to orient new members for the first year, which provides a natural fit for this. New members likely are not aware of the full value that is available through the conference experience, so a personal outreach effort to discuss this could be just what is needed to pull in a few more member attendees. You can bet that when the first-year member receives his/her dues renewal s/he will remember this invitation.
  3. Engage members, fans, and followers through social media. Most organizations find that they have a whole group of professionals who are loosely affiliated through social media but have never been contacted directly by an individual of the organization to ask them to engage further. The conference is the perfect opportunity for these individuals to convert their online interest into in-person networking. Make an effort to connect one-on-one through social media with people who haven’t engaged through another forum; you may be surprised at the responsiveness.
  4. Cross-promote with companies and organizations that support your membership. Many sponsors and exhibitors overlook the very easy promotional value they can gain by simply contacting their current and potential customers to encourage them to attend the conference and visit them while they’re there.
  5. Offer an incentive to those who help build attendance. This can be as simple as recognizing event promoters online or at the conference. It can be as involved as providing financial credit toward membership dues, event registration, advertising, or even cash back. An incentive-based campaign that recognizes successful attendee recruitment can generate new attendees, new members, and grow the overall organization.

While each of these moves is intended to boost conference attendance, they have the added bonus of giving the organization an excuse to contact and be front-of-mind with members and/or important industry supporters. This outreach may result in collateral benefits to the organization such as increased member retention and engagement by members and supporters in other activities of the organization. The impact that can result from a few little extra marketing steps can be significant and make the conference attendee experience all the more enriching.

Tags:  attendance  conference  event planning  ewald consulting  julie cygan  marketing 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES

MANAGEMENT | View all Management articles
A Successful Year Starts with a Solid Budget by Bill Monn
Read full article

MARKETING | View all Marketing articles
9 Marketing Ideas for Your Organization by Kathie Pugaczewski
Read full article

MEMBERSHIP | View all Membership articles
A Holistic Approach to Membership Recruitment by Darrin Hubbard
Read full article

VOLUNTEERISM | View all Volunteerism articles
Three Ways to Stronger Volunteer Engagement by Paul Hanscom
Read full article

© 2018 Ewald Consulting | All rights reserved
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114
p. (651) 290-6260 | f. (651) 290-2266

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal