Exhibitions Mean Business: Here’s Why!

November 12, 2015

Exhibitions are ubiquitous, yet are not seen as economic engines driving our GDP. It’s time for that to change.

Exhibitions and events represent an incredibly diverse and prolific industry. After all, the face-to-face interaction, the knowledge sharing and the business opportunities that exhibitions make possible transcend individual business sectors and geographies. Exhibitions serve every business sector and every market, worldwide.

There is little confusion around what one does at a trade show. People recognize that, for example, it’s a place where buyers and sellers can interact and do business. Or, that it’s a forum for people from different industries to network and share ideas.

However, there is limited understanding around WHY exhibitions are such a prime channel to do business, gain insights on important topics, or simply network with other professionals. Beyond this limitation, there’s very little understanding around why this industry presents such a viable career path for people.

It sounds silly, really. Companies of all sizes have attended exhibitions and events for years; this method of seeking out business interaction has existed for centuries. Of course people get why exhibitions work so well. Of course they see what makes this industry different and a ripe career market…don’t they?

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that most people do not see the value of exhibitions. Exhibitions and other face-to-face events are too often seen as a box to check in the grand scheme of business marketing. They are not seen for the personality, vibrancy and potential they possess.

The Exhibitions Mean Business campaign is looking to change this lack of understanding. This week, the campaign will launch an initiative called Here’s Why. Through quotes and anecdotes, video commentary and written stories, we will showcase exactly WHY this industry is different, WHY it is a great industry to work in, and WHY nothing matches its value to business.

Here’s Why will kick-off on the campaign’s Twitter channel, @ExhibitsMeanBiz, this week with featured quotes and anecdotes from industry members and media that showcase “here’s why” The exhibitions and events industry is important.

We encourage you to share your own Here’s Why posts by simply tagging them with the hashtag #HeresWhy. We will also have Exhibitions Mean Business campaign team members at Expo! Expo! in Baltimore on the showfloor capturing Here’s Why commentary from attendees – we’ll be looking for photo ops, so if you’re at Expo! Expo! be prepared to say ‘cheese!’. As the initiative progresses through 2016, we’ll also share your contributions via other social media channels, blog posts and online channels, and welcome your submissions to the cause via email, directly on social media or live at events.

The members of this industry are part of what make it different and successful, so we want to ensure you have a prominent place in this initiative. We want to communicate the value of this industry using your words, your experiences and your perspective, so that together we can increase the understanding of the power and vibrancy our industry brings to the global marketplace.

How can you participate?

·         Share your company’s experience with trade shows and exhibitions socially and tag #HeresWhy

·         Attend Expo! Expo! and stop by our booth to learn more

·         Join us as a guest blogger to share why you value this industry. Click here to contribute an idea.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.