By Dennis Slater, AEM President
When a show is held only once every three years, it’s easy to forget how much thought and planning takes place early in the cycle.
A case in point: much of the success of this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG show can be traced back to major reinvestments totaling some $5 million included in the show budget approved two years ago in March 2015.
Recommended by the show management committee and approved by the CE Sector Board and the AEM Board of Directors as part of the budget, these reinvestments speak volumes about what members said they wanted – and needed – to achieve a successful show experience.
Members clearly expressed their desire to increase exhibitor value and ROI/ROO, even if it cost AEM substantial revenue in the short-term.
New Tech Experience
Among the new show features offered through this reinvestment strategy was the Tech Experience, a 75,000-square foot pavilion dedicated entirely to presenting new construction innovations and emerging technologies. The Tech Experience was located in Silver Lot 3, a prime piece of exhibit space directly in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center
Other new values for attendees included:
- A 3-day unlimited monorail pass
- Remote badge pickup locations at McCarran Airport and throughout Las Vegas
- A third on-site, full-service registration area to reduce waiting time
- A VIP buyer program, including a business lounge
- A young attendee experience, reaching out to the next generation of attendees
- A give-back auction and concert, benefiting the Call of Duty Endowment and helping to connect military veterans with high-quality industry jobs
State-of-the-Art Lead Retrieval
On the exhibitor side, we offered a complimentary, state-of-the-art lead retrieval upgrade package with access to attendee behavioral data never before available at a trade show – data that, among other things, provided additional attendee qualifications such as dwell time and aggregate demographic activity around booths.
Considering the information and insights this upgrade package provided and its usefulness in measuring ROI, it was a tremendous value, especially to more budget-conscious, small- to mid-size exhibitors.
Other new values for exhibitors included:
- Inclusion of a 7-day unlimited monorail pass in exhibitor badges
- Discounted badge pricing codes that exhibitors could use to invite customers and dealers to the show – and into their booths
- The addition of trash pickup to the show package plan, a savings of from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on booth size.
In addition, we made a substantial investment in our show communication efforts with the new CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 e-newsletter and CONEXPO-CON/AGG radio program and podcasts. These two new initiatives were successful in engaging attendees and reinforcing the prominence of the show, and plans are to continue these programs post-show to keep attendees connected with show branding between events.
More to Come
Of course, this is not the end. As we head into another show cycle very shortly, there will be further enhancements, developments and investments to ensure that CONEXPO-CON/AGG – and all of AEM’s exhibitions and events – provide both exhibitors and attendees with the means and motivation to connect and do business.
Finally, thanks to our 2017 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show Chair, Rich Goldsbury, and all of the members of the show management committee for their hard work and dedication on behalf of their fellow AEM members and exhibitors.