The more popular an industry event grows, the broader the audience it attracts. A well-established trade show will become a focal point for experts from every level of the industry. While this is certainly a great thing for your event, it can make your job as event manager much more challenging.
Large trade shows need to become as multifaceted as the people attending them or risk losing the positive associations that made them successful in the past. People in attendance are looking for information, products and connections that are relevant to their jobs and businesses, ranging from executives wanting innovative solutions to IT managers seeking the latest technology. Delivering something for each of these personalities is the mark of a great trade show.
Tip: Create customized paths for attendees to control their experiences
One strategy that could help keep your event relevant to a broad audience is to design different experiences for those in attendance. Thinking about the way that individuals in specific roles will utilize their time at conferences can help you ensure that there are appropriate exhibits, panels and events for everyone.
This is the strategy that the ASAE has taken with its annual technology conference. The organization works to support associations and nonprofits, which can be a very broad audience. Nonprofits working in the health care industry have different needs than those working in education, for example, but they have people fulfilling similar roles within their organizations. By designing pathways for CEOs, marketing professionals, IT managers and more, the event promises to create unique experiences for everyone. Attendees can select the paths that fit their positions and needs knowing that they will be able to network with others in similar positions. The move can help improve lead generation by pre-qualifying individuals.