Trending Topics Headline IAEE’s Expo! Expo! in San Antonio, Texas

November 20, 2017

International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) will hold its annual Expo! Expo! in San Antonio, TX November 28-30. The organization will bring in experts from both inside and outside of event industry to examine data, sales strategies, new technology and much more.

In “pit stops”, “tech huddles”, workshops and more, trade show and event organizers will have more than 50 learning opportunities during the three-day event.

“As with every year at Expo! Expo! I hope that attendees walk away with meaningful connections, ideas for the new year and actionable insights to incorporate into their everyday lives at exhibition professionals,” said IAEE President and CEO, David DuBois, CMP, FASAE, CAE, CTA.

He added, “I am excited for the ‘show for shows’ this year in San Antonio. The team, Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee and Education Committee have all created new experiences both on and off the show floor and education sessions that will benefit the worldwide exhibitions and events industry.”

Velvet Chainsaw’s managing director, Dave Lutz, CMP and vice president of strategic narrative, Betsy Bair will present “Infuse Micro-Learning Experiences into Your Expo”. They will discuss the evolution of the B2B professionals buying process and how trade show organizers can design bite-sized learning feature areas that will help keep attendees on the showfloor - and in the booths - longer.

“Many organizers are placing show floor education experiences in the rear or far side of the hall as an after-thought and presentations are often product demos with a pay to play model,” Lutz said.  

He continued, “Savvy organizers are being more thoughtful and designing authentic and helpful bite-sized learning experiences that are featured destinations. Our session will help you build the business case for what makes sense for your show.”

In “Insights, Innovation and Inspiration to Grow Event Attendance” Nancy Drapeau, PRC, director of research, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM, president and chief account strategist, mdg will offer participants a first-look at newly released data on organizer strategies and tactics aimed at growing event attendance.

Drapeau will highlight commonly used tools, techniques and technologies, with an emphasis on what’s working, how the marketing mix is changing, and what’s on the horizon.

She notes, “At the heart of any exhibition are the attendees that come. Attendee marketing professionals have a tremendous responsibility of delivering the audience exhibitors want to see. This session offers insights to help marketers maintain the essential laser focus that achieves results.”

Hardcastle-Geddes will bring it home with advice for translating strategy and insights into an attendee marketing campaign that delivers results.

“Too often, event professionals talk about data insights and attendee marketing in separate conversations,” said Hardcastle-Geddes, “In this session, I will translate key findings from CEIR’s latest research into actionable strategies and tactics, using real-world examples and case studies to bring the learning to life.”

In “How To Build Community Like A Comic Con”, moderator Danielle Cocanougher, vice president, Allcal and panelists, Jennifer Jessup, head of events & operations, Twitch; Nick Borelli, president/strategist, Borelli Strategies; and Ian Tingen, CEO, Power Level Productions will show participants how to build a true community within their events, like comic cons, anime cons, and fan cons and bring the excitement of fandom and community to events.

Attendees will learn whatever they need to take their events to the next level, whether that involves a clearer understanding of analytics, reimagined sales strategies, or cases studies of complete event overhauls.

Besides learning opportunities and great networking, including IAEE’s Expo! Expo! Opening Reception and GES’ Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause, there also are plenty of new elements launching at the event this year.

HERE is a full list of everything new; some of the highlights include the Communal Networking experience, bite-sized education experience in a laid back atmosphere; the Women’s Leadership Experience, with topics including combatting unconscious bias; and Tech Huddles with IAEE Technology Partners at which attendees can learn more about valuable tools for their own shows.

To learn more about IAEE’s Expo! Expo!, visit

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: