During the Smart Monday Event Design breakout session, Mary Boone suggested that trade shows are great places to pick up ideas for corporate events and conferences. I thought it would be interesting to track some of the ideas that event planners could pick up at IMEX America. Here are my top 10:
The Canadian Trade Commission provided glasses so that its presentation video could be viewed in 3D.
Use costumes and national dress to add a special flair.
Portugal, Germany and Dubai had hosts and hostesses in local dress. Canada had 2 real RCMP officers from Edmonton and a town crier from Victoria. Ladies were delighted by the men in kilts from Visit Scotland.
Throw a surprise party.
On Wednesday evening, after the show, the European exhibitors threw a block party. Germany had juggling bartenders. Ireland had musicians and cloggers. Switzerland gave the ladies a chance to pose for photos and get autographs from a hunky James Bond model.
Prizes are a crowd-pleaser.
During the Euro Party, party-goers were given passports. When they were stamped by all participating exhibitors, they were entered into a draw for airline tickets, hotel stays and other fabulous prizes.
To please participants, find interesting ways to feed them.
Dubai, Canada, Singapore, Fairmont, Swiss hotel and Raffles were among the exhibitors to serve lunch and, towards the end of the day, snacks and beverages. There was Canadian and German beer, Italian wine, Turkish Delight from Turkey, Sacher Torte from Vienna, and wine and cheese at the Euro Party.
Provide quiet space for relaxation and networking.
The Hosted Buyer's Lounge and Press Centre were two of the spaces provided.
Make it easy for people to get on-line.
A Wi-Fi account was created for hosted buyers. The password was emailed to everyone. Hotspots and banks of computers were available.
Give people a break.
Massage chairs just outside the exhibition hall gave participants comfort for aching back muscles and feet.
Make it easy for people to find the schedule.
Prior to the event, hosted buyers created an on-line dairy. Special computers were available to download and print schedules. Giant copies of the scheduled education sessions were also provided.
Select unique hotels and event venues.
IMEX America role modeled this beautifully from the choice of the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel and Casino to the memorable party venues.
Venetian & Palazzo Hotels, Las Vegas