At Jacoby Expo, we value the insight that leading experts in our industry have to offer. That’s why we are excited to announce a feature on our blog we are calling, Insight From The Experts.
Our guests will be sharing their tips and secrets to success in the trade show world with you!
Learn from the best in the business as they cover a wide range of topics from valuable lessons learned to the future of trade shows. Join us as we glean from their years of experience and knowledge.
Name: Brittany Peck
Title: Training Events Specialist, Shared Hope International
Company: Shared Hope International
At Shared Hope International, Brittany is the event coordinator for our Annual JuST (Juvenile Sex Trafficking) Conference. The event rotates to a new location each year and with attendance growing, the challenge is finding a venue that can accommodate their model while maintaining a non-profit budget. Brittany recently started at Shared Hope but has 7 years of corporate event experience. This is her first time coordinating events for a non-profit and she enjoys learning more about the challenges faced by the non-profit events segment.
What is the one thing you make sure to do at every show?
There are SO many important things I could list here that should be prioritized at every show, but what comes to mind first is establishing a positive environment with my onsite team. It seems so simple, of course, you want your team members, whether they are organizational staff or volunteers, to be happy, but it doesn’t always happen in a high-stress event environment. Most of my team members aren’t working on the event all year long like I am so they don’t have the same comfort level with the schedule, presenters, facility, etc. I make an effort to welcome everyone with lots of positive energy, reinforce their comfort level with lots of organization and make sure they are aware that myself and other event coordinators will always be available for them to resolve any issues that may come up. I want the team to be able to focus on having positive interactions with attendees, exhibitors, etc. not on whether or not logistics are in place.
How do you define or track the success of your show?
Setting measurable and achievable goals is important. Measuring your registration numbers, exhibit space contracts and sponsorship dollars are all a given pre-show. I think comparing your numbers to previous years helps you understand your growth rate and keeps you aware of where you should be. I liked to compare for up to four years back each week. Four years gives you historical insights – maybe last year’s registration was low because you had bad weather, etc. You need the previous year’s registration numbers to accurately measure where you are this year. Onsite, I like to know that attendees, exhibitors, and speakers are achieving their goals at the event.
How do you continually improve your show year after year?
Post-show reports and meetings are an important tool for improving your event year over year. When you have a large team working on the event you miss a lot of the important conversations taking place onsite. Collecting their experiences and observations in one report gives you a well-rounded perspective on what went well and what may need improvement. This is also really helpful when you are working on multiple events in one year and you have to switch gears quickly.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Relying on a team effort to successfully produce an event is so fulfilling for all parties involved. You also decrease your risk of burnout and onsite mistakes.
What does the future of trade shows look like to you?
Trade shows are increasingly prioritizing an interactive attendee experience. Entertainment and Special Events need to be photo worthy and should promote nontraditional networking opportunities. The challenge is hosting exciting and surprising experiences at every budget.