30 May 2013

ECEF Report: Turn Events Into Communities

Washington, D.C. --About 200 tradeshow industry executives learned that every event could and should become the central meeting place of an entire community at this year's Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum (ECEF).

Michela O'Connor Abrams, president of Dwell Media, explained how Apple Corp. and Dwell on Design, a tradeshow she produces, are creating "authentic" brands that serve communities and that every tradeshow can do the same thing.

"A completely designed experiencing putting everybody into one space," said O'Connor Abrams at the opening keynote presentation at ECEF Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

It was the introduction to a wide-ranging conference that touched on topics such as accurately forecasing the business cycle to predict tradeshow outcomes; hosted buyer and VIP buyer programs; and how to turn the millennial generation into both good employees and loyal tradeshow attendees.

Citing recent research that indicates Apple is the most well-recognized brand in the United States, O'Connor Abrams noted: "Every single place that touches their customer is absolutely nailed."

She said her company has strived to do the same thing with its show, Dwell on Design, "not by trying to put every possible booth in to the space," but by turning the event into a seemingly never-ending collection of experiences for the attendee.

At the same time, she told the group of tradeshow professionals, "we built sponsorship opportunities into all the experiences," which includes Dwell Outdoors, design labs, environmentally sustainable vehicles, demonstrations, competitions, and design consultations.