Recently, T3 Expo held the first Executive Leadership Forum with a panel of Presidents and CEOs from leading industry Associations. The event, held in Washington, DC, was designed to share the findings of T3 Expo’s recent survey, conducted together with Heidrick & Struggles, a leading executive recruitment and placement firm, to help uncover and address the most pressing issues on the minds of CEOs and their heads of events. T3 Expo gave an overview of the most pressing findings of the survey, followed by an interactive discussion of the CEOs on how they were addressing these challenges within their respective shows.
The survey focused on Association leadership, membership strategies, tradeshow strategies, Shareable Moments™ and more. The industry panel included panelists, Bill Carteaux, president & CEO, The Plastics Industry Trade Association; Robert Cresanti, president & CEO, International Franchise Association; Phil Kafarakis, president & CEO, Specialty Foods Association, and Lori Anderson, President & CEO, International Sign Association.
The CEOs provided anecdotes and impactful learnings on how their membership and services have changed dramatically over the last two decades. As was validated in the report, business executives’ expectations have been forever changed as anxious Boards and Shareholders desire direct return on investment for time and money that they spend on Associations and their programs and events.
Subsequently, Trade and Professional Associations have been forced to embrace increasing demands from busy executives. T3 Expo focused on how Association products, services, and strategies must reflect how they will help members learn things in the morning to apply later that day. Membership is no longer a lifetime commitment; it’s only a promise to stay if there is value to what a company and an Industry need to achieve to be successful.
“Through the study and the panel discussions, we have learned, from some of the most respected executives in the Association community, just how Associations are positioning themselves as extensions of company and industry business outcomes,” said Tim Heffernan, chief development officer, T3 Expo and host of the event. “In several cases, we observed Associations mapping their strategic plans to address these challenges and support Industry success. What we found as most compelling is the extent to which each of these organizations relied on their Trade Shows to bring the value chains of Industry together.”
Trade Shows help to transform the industry into unique connection points whereby suppliers, manufacturers, and end users learn about new innovations, share experiences and build new alliances leading to business growth. Below is a graphic that demonstrates what the Association CEOs, who were interviewed, said are their member’s biggest changes and needs in the industry.
If you are interested in seeing the entire survey and its results, we encourage you to contact us at www.t3expo.com for a copy of the report and let us know what you think. It is important for Association Executives and C-level leaders as we enter a new era of tradeshow and events, to continue this important conversation.
The nearly 70 executives attended the event, provided additional insight and feedback. We are looking forward to sharing that information in several follow up blog posts highlighting what each of our star panelists discussed during the event. Stay tuned…