A marketing perspective: What makes a conference successful?
ActiveHealth is a sponsor, exhibitor, presenter or a combination of all.
Dodge: From your experience/perspective, what makes a conference successful?
Amin: I look at this three ways: from an exhibiting perspective, sponsorship perspective and speaking/thought leadership angle.
Exhibiting allows for increased visibility, interaction and lead generation. It’s great to follow up with interested attendees who stopped by our booth to discuss more details about the products and services we offer. Booth raffles create the “fun” factor at conferences and helps to draw traffic to your booth. Exhibiting allows an organization to showcase collateral, including case studies, data sheets, fact sheets, at the booth. Last but not least, exhibiting is a good way to network.
Sponsorships help increase visibility and name recognition before, during and after the conference. Some examples include tote bag inserts, conference mobile apps, workout sessions and opening keynotes. In my experience, sponsoring an opening keynote was the most valuable investment. It generated interest in our organization and attendees stopped by our booth after the keynote to learn more about our products and services.
Presenting at conferences is another way to increase participation. Co-presenting with a client shows you have strong client relationships and stand behind the results of your products and services.
Dodge: Do you have any advice for first trade show attendees?
Amin: I would encourage organizations to participate in as many ways as possible, depending on the organization’s budget. Pre-and post-conference communication is very important to create awareness, drive traffic to booth, etc. It’s also important to staff your booth with a variety of people with different roles within the organization. For example, having colleagues from Sales, Product and Marketing allows for different perspectives. Don’t forget to take a break from your booth to walk around the exhibit hall! It’s fun to see what other organizations are doing as far as booth set ups, collateral, giveaways, raffles, etc. It allows for great market insight/intelligence.
Dodge: What has been your favorite health care conference and why?
Amin: I really enjoyed the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA) event in 2012. There were a lot of exhibitors and the sessions were informative.The conference organizers are always doing something different to engage attendees, such as exhibit hall challenges and walking learning labs. The venues are in nice locations to attract attendees.
Dodge: Any other thoughts about conferences?
Amin: Conferences are all about networking! They are a great way to meet people, make contacts and generate leads for your organization.