You know what sucked/sucks? Pandemics. Tell you something you don’t know, right?
It’s been almost a full year since many the events we used to consistently attend are back in person; not all, but many. Ann and I have been lucky enough to attend a handful of them, and we’re happy to report that we’ve noticed a silver lining come out of this time that seemingly has nothing but a negative vibe.
One thing Ann and I have always maintained is that change doesn’t mean bad; and we’ve all had to change… A LOT. But while it may have seemed like everything that has happened is nothing but bad news bears, we feel there is actually some seriously bright light at the end of the tunnel…
Meetings can no longer cut and paste.
Before 2020 we saw a lot of meetings do the same routine over and over; for years. In many ways that was good, as there are positive characteristics from each meeting that we don’t want to see go away. Not to mention, that when a meeting runs in a copy/paste fashion, we all know what to expect and how to get the job done.
But, when there is little-to-no change year after year, ROI for exhibitors can begin to decline. The risk is that there’s nothing new or exciting to motivate DPMs to get into the exhibit hall… the same companies are providing lunch symposiums with boxed lunches… everyone is marking off bingo cards but getting no qualified leads… you know – you’ve been there.
But we (exhibitors) all continued to go to the same meetings each year because we still understand the value of face time with our customers and our prospects.
Then COVID said – go home for over a year, don’t travel at all and see if you can maintain a sales funnel without a live exhibit hall. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.
We did it, and while we are stoked to get back to face-to-face meetings, we’ve also realized there are ways to get the job done without spending as many dollars on booths, flights, hotels and meals.
So what does this mean for meeting planners and how they accommodate vendors who might not want to return to the hall?
Well, meeting planners have seen the numbers. There aren’t as many returning vendors in the exhibit hall as there used to be. They also know that we’ve had to get it done without an exhibit hall presence… and maybe we will continue to do so. If you thought running a meeting was hard before – it just got harder for them.
Ann and I have taken a lot of time discussing these facts with meeting planners over the last several months. One of the reasons we’ve been holding so many Experienced Exhibitor Mastermind Focus Groups is because we want to let vendors know that many organizations are ready to listen to what their vendors need and create stronger working relationships.
So get ready to see some creative ways that meeting planners are going to not only liven up the exhibit hall scene, but open up a stronger line of communication with the vendors that support this industry. They are listening, so let’s dive back in with a positive outlook… and use our voices to make sure we continue to make positive change!
The following seminars have partnered with us and invested time and money to work closely together to deliver a 5-star experience for our beloved exhibitor family.
They are taking your needs seriously and have asked us to be a liaison to help ensure a successful event for all involved!
Show them some love and add them to your calendar!
Kent State Annual North Coast Foot & Ankle Symposium | Aug. 18-21
Texas Podiatric Medical Association Southwest Conference | Sept. 15-18
Kent State Annual Southeast Conference | Nov. 17-20
Florida Podiatric Medical Association SAM Conference | Feb 2-5, 2023
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