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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Big News! Attendees Matter! 

ABM Tradeshow Summit stresses power is in attendee hands

Sorry to check back in with a 'well, duh' comment, but I'm glad to see that trade show executives are recognizing a "power shift" that places attendees at the focus of event marketing.

It seems obvious that sellers will go to where buyers are. It's a less obvious, but more prevalent, attitude among show producers that buyers will go to where the sellers are.

Our company had the pleasure of working with Richmond Events for five years. You can learn more about Richmond Events here.

The Richmond Events model was and is unique. The company focuses on attendees first. They invite senior buyers to an event, under the promise that the event will be tailored to the needs of those who attend. Only then do they design and develop the conference program, based on the actual needs of attendees (and they succeed in this superbly, based on the post-conference surveys I've seen.) And only then do they sell sponsorships to selling companies, based on an actual list of confirmed attendees.

That's the opposite approach of many conferences and trade shows, which design a conference program, round up speakers, sell booths and sponsorships, and then go after filling the show floor or the conference chairs with attendees.

The Richmond model is easy to understand, but hard to execute. But it is the most effective model for trade shows or conferences I've yet to be exposed to.

We remain among Richmond Events' biggest fans. If you do trade shows or conferences, you should talk to them. Drop me an email and I'll hook you up with the company's founder, Mark Rayner. You might be able to develop a partnership that works for both you and Richmond.

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