FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Vogel
Event Advisory Group Lands National Science Teachers Association Account
Fairfax, VA, February 27, 2017 – Event Advisory Group, LLC (EAG), an event consultancy, has been selected by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to conduct their proprietary 360° Review of all aspects of NSTA’s five annual conferences and exhibitions.
EAG’s partners’ more than 120 years of collective knowledge and experience enables them to identify opportunities and areas of improvement quickly and cost-effectively. Their 360° Review culminates with a comprehensive report detailing actionable intelligence and recommendations that clients can implement for immediate results, as well as strategies that will improve long-term event performance.
“The meetings/exhibits department of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) looks forward to working with EAG as it reviews associated processes and makes recommendations for improving efficiencies and implementing best industry practices,” said Delores Howard, Associate Executive Director, Conferences and Exhibits/Sales.
“We are thrilled to be working with the leading organization serving science educators for more than 70 years,” stated Rick Dobson, one of the EAG partners. “NSTA’s events are not only critical to furthering the education of science teachers, the non-dues revenue they generate enables NSTA to continually enhance member benefits. We are confident that EAG can help unlock untapped potential for revenue growth and cost-savings, enabling NSTA to continue to focus on their core mission, as well as enhance the organization’s value in the education market.”
About Event Advisory Group
Event Advisory Group is a creative team of proven event management experts that partner with associations, for-profit trade show organizers, and corporations to help maximize the financial, brand, and operational performance of their events. EAG’s partners have worked with countless professional and trade associations, event organizers, and companies, improving exhibit sales and attendance, turning around declining event revenues, as well as launching new events and onsite programs that drive results. We pride ourselves in our ability to develop strategies that achieve event objectives, while exceeding our client’s expectations.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership of 55,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.
This is a question lots of show organizers struggle with.
With all the pressure most of us have to drive non-dues revenue, the tendency to monetize anything and everything is understandable (I recall back in the ’80s when a certain show starting selling advertising on the front cover of their show guide!). But I caution my clients to tread carefully.
If you agree that your attendees are your most important and valuable asset (in my opinion, your exhibitors are more your partners than your customers – I’ll be happy to elaborate at another time if you’d like), then it’s important to make these decisions in the context of what is in their (and your exhibitor’s/partner’s) best interest. Sure, you can charge exhibitors for “enhanced” listings but think about what happens when you do that. There are many reasons why a company might choose not to purchase an enhanced listing, and one of those reasons is that they’ve already stretched their marketing budget to the breaking point. I would argue that depriving your attendees of any information that may be important to them is an unintended consequence not worth risking.
I would strongly recommend that you make your “enhanced” listing the standard listing that comes with the booth. Announcing that everyone will be getting enhanced listings at no additional charge beginning next year will likely be viewed as a good thing. And if you’re contemplating a booth price increase, it gives you something to point to as an offsetting benefit.
As show organizers, we all feel (or should feel) a tremendous responsibility for ensuring that our exhibitors receive value for the investment they make in our events. Unfortunately, many of the strategies we employ to accomplish this not only fail but actually exacerbate the problem.
Case in point: serving food in the exhibit hall. Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? If attendees want to eat (and they do), serve them in the exhibit hall and, voila!, instant traffic. True, it does provide traffic. But does it drive business for exhibitors? I would argue that it typically does not. Here’s why (if none of this applies to you, congratulations; you are among the minority):
Chances are lunch is being served immediately after a session has concluded, and new sessions are scheduled to begin immediately after the lunch break. Attendees are not only hungry, this is also likely the first opportunity they’ve had to check email, call into the office, etc.
So, how exactly does this exacerbate the problem since it does drive traffic to the hall? Imagine you’re an exhibitor and you see hundreds (or thousands) or attendees rushing into the hall. But instead of stopping by to visit your booth, you see them grabbing lunch and going (hence the term “Grab and Go”). As an exhibitor it feels like a big tease!
The problems we often look to solve are of our own making. We provide hours of open exhibit time and then run programming in competition with it. The end result is hours of boredom with an occasional window of opportunity to get the attention of attendees who are already starved for time.
More often than not, the key to giving one’s exhibitors a quality, satisfying experience is providing a reasonable number of exhibit hours unopposed by programming of any kind (and, preferably, not during lunch or at the end of the day). This is the time when attendees can take what they’ve learned in your sessions and engage with the many potential “partners” who are there with the products and services designed to help them turn theory into practice (and results). In other words, create an appreciation for the fact that your exhibitors are an essential part of the education process.
What I always suggest to my clients is this: When in doubt about a strategy or tactic, put yourself in the shoes of the person or group you are trying to help. What are the possible unintended consequences?
Drive more attendance and increase attendee ROI at your next event
By: Ray Luca, Event Advisory Group Partner
A successful tradeshow has to serve the needs of both the exhibitors and attendees. So, what motivates professionals to spend the time and money to attend events? According to a recent ASAE Foundation research report, Current and Emerging Trends of Trade Shows (completed in conjunction with Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research), attendees go for different reasons than exhibitors:
TOP 5 MOTIVATIONS FOR ATTENDING A TRADESHOW:
- Attend educational sessions
- Review/learn about new products and services
- Network with industry peers
- Attend panel discussions, speaker sessions, and/or workshops
- Enhance relationships with existing partners/associate
Specifically, attendees make decisions based on these factors:
Education draws attendees. For attendees, learning programs were the top factor in their decision to attend, along with networking and relationship activities.
Location, location, location: Large or midsize U.S. cities are best. When it comes to location, attendees prefer large or midsize U.S. cities over resort locations or international destinations.
Time and money matters. Total costs including registration, travel, and lodging are a primary concern for attendees. Even a 5 or 10 percent decrease in cost relative to average expenditure was consistently rated by attendees as highly motivating to attend a particular tradeshow.
Duration: Regardless of their role, respondents all favored an event of two to three days. They want to come in, do their business, make connections, and leave. If the event is shorter than two days, they don’t have time to conduct their business; if it’s longer than three days, the event becomes stale and people leave early.
Bigger is better—to a point. Attendees generally preferred larger tradeshows and found attendance levels of 1,000 or 2,000 unfavorable, and gave positive ratings to a conference with 4,000 attendees. After the size of the show reaches 5,000 people, it declines in attractiveness for attendees.
Personal connections count. The ability to meet, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships face to face is a unique value that tradeshow organizers provide their participants. When asked to rank their motivations for attending recent tradeshows, enhancing relationships with existing partners and associates and networking with industry peers was in the top five for attendees.
As you plan your next trade show or conference, you may want to consider these ideas to optimize your attendance and improve satisfaction:
- Conduct surveys with your attendees to determine the top large and mid-size cities they are willing to travel; learn about their current educational needs; and find out how they want to connect to exhibitors, speakers, and attendees pre-show, onsite, and after the event.
- Conduct a 360 degree review of all aspects of your event to find operational efficiencies to reduce costs for attendees, identify new partnerships and speakers that can expand the education program to keep it fresh and on the cutting edge, and better contract negotiations that allow your organization to hold your event at top tier cities while maintaining profits.
- Create highly targeted communications that highlight the value of the event, travel options, and specific education and networking opportunities based on attendee roles, geographic location, and other demographic selects.
- Highlight the opportunities for attendees to engage in distinctive learning programs and provide plenty of opportunities to forge fruitful connections with their peers and exhibitors by offering pre-show appointment setting, onsite one-on-one meetings, networking events, and other programs that connect attendees to the exhibitors, speakers, and peers they want to meet.
- Leverage event technologies to help facilitate networking and connections to improve attendee ROI and satisfaction.
- Negotiate with top tier city CVBs and hotels to lower costs and reduce the risk of attrition.
You can read more about the research here: https://www.asaecenter.org/resources/articles/foundation/2016/what-drives-tradeshow-attendance
The Association of Association Executives (formerly Associations Network) recently posted this article … association leaders managing events have a lot to remember when looking to maximize the effectiveness of their event!