By John Galante, President, AE Ventures
I’ve been in the B2B events business for 30 years, including stints with the world’s largest trade show organizer, Reed Exhibition Companies and the producers of the largest annual trade show in the US, CES. I’ve worked on trade show winners and losers. I’ve seen how events can “make a market” and define an emerging industry and how they can reflect the decline of a market or technology.
But, perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve been a part of in the event world is the development of our particular type of hosted-style event. My partner, Nancy Franco, and I have been at it since 2007 when we learned the model from a partnering event group. The original model we inherited was light on session content and guest peer connectivity. It was designed to drive sponsor investments in multiple boardroom presentations with limited customization opportunities that would enable a sponsor to derive more cost-effective results.
Over the years, we’ve been listening — to both sponsors and guests. The guests really wanted to network in both a substantive and social way with their peers from companies of similar stature, so we added roundtable elements and “after hours” events to drive peer bonding. Sponsors wanted more options for engagements with VIP guests—long form, short form; small group, whole group, one-on-one). Sponsors wanted richer information on who they were engaging with—firmographics, brand usage and preference and personal info on the individual–so sales angles and rapport building strategies could be developed before engaging.
Most important, sponsors wanted the things being demanded by the CEO and CFO—the elimination of waste and risk!
So that’s where we’ve arrived now in both our hosted and hybrid hosted-style events. Sponsors have many choices for the number and type of engagements they can book with our VIP guests and at price points ranging from $3,500 to $35,000.
They have the ability to precisely target their engagements. They get the info they need to be effective with their targeted contacts. Most important, their investments in all things (not just the sponsorship fee, but staffing, exhibit space and decorations) are tuned to the predictable size of the opportunity.
So when I walk around a trade show these days what I see is waste and risk—too many companies erecting large booths and staffing them for attendance surges that are only momentary. Booth staffers waiting with scanners in hand that will help them somehow figure out who they just talked to!
We’ve got events your sales team, CEO AND CFO will love.
Give us some time to present and discuss with you — and you too will feel like you are suddenly seeing things in a whole new light!