This year I attended IAEE’s Expo! Expo! from a totally different perspective. In my past life I was part of a crowd. Working the booth, attending show functions as well as touching base with old friends, colleagues and clients. The old Woody Allen proverb that 80% of life is just showing up was a thought that passed my mind more than a few times over the years at Expo! Expo!.
This year, as part of T3 Expo, the experience could not have been more different. I was an attendee and exhibitor and I quickly remembered that events are what you make of them. The show organizer can put together great content, attract the right mix of attendees, speakers and exhibitors to deliver a compelling mix, but the delivery of ROI ultimately fell on us.
The whole T3 Expo team spent many hours creating and executing our exhibition and marketing strategy: refining and defining our offering and messaging, creating our booth design (which turned out to be award winning!), seeking out attendees and creating raffle prizes. While we certainly did not get it 100% right, we were and continue to be overwhelmed by the positive outcomes from the experience. There is no magic solution to making this kind of exercise a success. There are a lot of great technology and service tools, but in the right recipe is equal parts passion, planning, commitment and old-school hard work (and conversely a total lack of sleep).
In a face to face marketing industry is grappling with myriad questions relating to costs, marketing alternatives and measurement of ROI. Here at T3 we walked away from Expo! Expo! with a reinvigorated, more personal perspective relating to the industry in which we participate in and even greater commitment to assist in growing it (not to mention that pretty cool Best of Show award!)
Thanks to IAEE, everyone involved with Expo! Expo! 2009 and all of its participants for making the week in Atlanta a great one for T3 Expo.