CONEXPO-CON/AGG: Just Over the Horizon

All of a sudden, its 2014 and I’m six weeks out from CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Where did the time go?

For those of you not familiar with CONEXPO, it is AEM’s largest event and, I believe, still the largest exhibition in the Western Hemisphere (sorry, International CES) with more than 2.35 mi

llion net square feet of exhibit space and 3,000 exhibitors.

As you can imagine, these last few weeks leading up to the show are incredibly busy and stressful. Not just for AEM staff, but for exhibitors too, who are putting the finishing touches on their booths and getting ready to head out to Vegas.

One of the biggest challenges we always face with this event is how to get information out to exhibitors. There is so much important info they need to know—target move-in dates, shipping information, where the marshalling yard is, show rules, etc.—and, if they have never exhibited in CONEXPO-CON/AGG before, it can be extremely overwhelming.

So not only do we need to make all this information available in multiple ways, but we need to make it as non-threatening as possible for first-time exhibitors who just want to press the EASY button.

At the same time, we don’t want to bombard exhibitors with tons of e-mails. They are getting messages all the time from vendors, suppliers, other exhibitors and show management. So how can we hel

p to cut down on some of that correspondence but still get the critical information in their hands and, more importantly, in a way they will actually look at?

We started by putting together the Exhibitor Insider. This is an e-newsletter sent out once a month with show information from all departments and includes links to the website where exhibitors can get more details. We also coordinate a vendor Exhibitor Insider with our service providers’ information. This way they don’t need to directly contact the exhibitors through e-mail and the exhibitors are only getting one monthly e-mail with all the vendor details.

But, we all know how it is when you are getting multiple e-mails—you just can’t keep up with them all and things don’t get read. So, recently we held a “Helpful Information Webinar” for exhibitors. 

This was a short presentation that provided operational and logistical details based on the questions we have been receiving on our customer service line.

We had more than 50 exhibitors participate in the webinar, and it’s had another 30 viewings on YouTube in the last five days.

Websites are great as a platform for all the show information, but it can still be somewhat challenging to navigate and find exactly what you are looking for. So the Exhibitor Insider and info w

ebinars are just two of the ways we’ve tried to increase communication with our exhibitors and get them the info they need most in an easy format.

Melissa Magestro is senior director, exhibitions, for the, responsible for overseeing all exhibit sales activity for AEM trade shows, including CONEXPO-CON/AGG and ICUEE-The Demo Expo. She is also show director for the IFPE exposition, CONEXPO Russia at CTT (held in Moscow), and bC India. Reach Magestro at mmagestro@aem.org.

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