Keeping Your Conference Content On Target

As a trade show marketer, some things are out of your hands. Factors like overall industry health and venue rotations can be predicted, but they can’t be controlled.

Favorable cycles for each of the elements above came into play for Hanley Wood’s International Roofing Expo, says Tracy Garcia, the show’s director, but a revamped marketing plan was also part of the formula that helped them set an attendance record.

Set at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Las Vegas after a two-year absence and at a time when the roofing industry has fully recovered, Garcia’s team drew close to 10,000 attendees in late February—a 13-percent increase. New prospect databases boosted email response rates, while a new digital ad retargeting vendor and a focus on social media also led to a significant increase in registrations. The latter two accounted for nearly 250,000 impressions alone.

At the heart of the attendance growth was education however. Garcia says that 90 percent of the content was new, calling it their “best, most timely conference program in 10 years.” That led to a 45-percent increase in conference session bookings at the show.

Here are the five ways Garcia says they were able to make IRE’s conference content enticing:

  1. Issue a call for presentations
  2. Attend competitive shows
  3. Conduct industry research
  4. Receive input from an advisory board
  5. Survey conference attendees before and after the show


Posted by Michael Rondon

Michael Rondon is a senior editor for Expo. Reach him @Mike_Rondon or View all articles by Michael Rondon →