2020 had it’s fair share of challenges… and growth opportunities.
In May of 2020, we had the idea to host a small, simple event that would connect our exhibitor friends & family with DPMs and hopefully, would result in a small boost in sales for them, as well as an engaging event for DPMs to experience new products and services.
We never do anything half-way. No matter what is is, we put everything we’ve got into it. This project was no different. Our plan for a “simple” event soon evolved and we worked our tails off to design something unique. The PodiatryExpo, held in August 2020, was the result. The Expo was limited to only 19 exhibitors and just over 100 physicians. We had never done anything like this, we just knew we had to do something to help our exhibitor family during this time.
We wanted the virtual exhibit hall booths to be engaging and customizable, yet not overwhelming. There were many sleepless nights, long hours, successes and failures, but the end result produced overwhelming praise from both exhibitors and attendees.
After the Expo wrapped, we patted ourselves on the back and slept for 3 days. We had no idea of the impact the Expo would have on what we do.
Over the next several weeks, we received calls asking about the Expo. Some were from exhibitors asking how they missed it and if we were planning on doing another one. Some calls came from meeting planners asking how we pulled it off and if we might be interested in helping with their event.
We hesitated for a long time and said no to a few meetings because we kept telling ourselves, “This is not what we do. This was a simple event to help our friends.”
In early November, the Florida Podiatric Medical Association came knocking at our door again asking us to consider partnering with them to produce their virtual exhibit hall. I was intimidated by such a large-scale event but Sarah kept telling me, “We got this.”
Looking back, I can say with certainty that “We got this!”
We love to travel and are looking forward to the day the event industry gets back to “normal”. However, until then, we will continue to work together, solving problems and filling gaps any way we can. I think we can all agree that even when in-person events return, we are looking at the necessity of a “hybrid” format for at least all of 2021. We believe it’s a possibility that all events will have a virtual option, possibly forever.
To offer a sub-par virtual exhibit hall experience for our industry vendors would be a disservice. We owe it to them, for standing by associations and returning year after year, to offer the best experience we possibly can while we all work through this together.
I’ll say it again, we never intended to develop a “virtual event platform” and “sell” it to meeting planners. Everything we’ve ever done began with the desire to help someone. That being said, who are we to say “no” to opportunity?
If you are frustrated with the virtual exhibit hall platform options available and find that they are either too boring or too expensive, we invite you to chat with us about your goals and how we may be able to help. You are welcome to ask any of the exhibitors we’ve had the pleasure of working with about their experience with our events.
Because of the amount of time and customization we put into each individual exhibitor booth, we can only take on one event at a time. We want to make sure everyone that works with us has the same, exceptional experience.