Have you ever been to an event that utilized an app to navigate where to go, who to meet and when to meet them? Welcome to the new age of events, and one of Tallahassee’s newest events is highlighting this event technology at the upcoming Capital Events Tradeshow on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the FSU University Center Club.
This show is designed with the event planner in mind, and is free for all qualified event planners. With Tallahassee being home to a large number of associations, state agencies, businesses and individuals who plan a ton of meetings and special events all over Florida – the Capital Events Tradeshow is the perfect place for event planners to learn, network and plan their 2014-15 event schedule.
Featuring 5 free education classes and showcasing 45 of Florida’s top hoteliers and event suppliers, the show utilizes an event app that matches event planners and hoteliers based on the needs of their groups, meeting space, and geographic location. For instance, if you are a planner who needs to book 20 hotel rooms for a seminar or conference in Orlando, or you need a meeting space for a small banquet for 50 people that your church organizes in Tallahassee, you would be automatically matched up (1% to 100% match) to a hotelier in that area who is exhibiting at the show. You would then set up an appointment with those high percentage matches, sit down 1-on-1 to discuss your group needs, and book the best facility/hotel that provides the most amenities for the best possible price.
The meetings and events world has been hosting tradeshows for years, but Capital Events' simple app technology combined with its unique tradeshow format, is a model that will likely be replicated and applied to many other traditional networking events as a way to build new relationships and generate sales. The suppliers/exhibitors who pay to attend these shows have recently been trending away from the traditional open tradeshow format that utilize pipe/drape booths, bingo or scavenger hunts and other ice breakers to get people to visit exhibitor booths. In fact, the event planning world has recently moved to more “appointment” shows, where planners and hoteliers are matched together “speed dating style” and individuals meet 1-on-1 at small tables to discuss potential business. Appointment shows are effective because they cut through the clutter of traditional tradeshows and allow people to sit down and talk uninterrupted about potential business connections. Appointment shows have also proven to be difficult to manage, and have left many event organizers scratching their heads about what went wrong with their plans. A drawback to these shows is they often force people to meet, put them on a timer, and have them go from one person to the next. Even though appointment shows are becoming more popular with exhibitors, attendees sometimes feel pressured to meet with someone they don’t know for 10 minutes to discuss business 1-on-1, and because of this, many planners don’t show up and the exhibitor is left sitting around with nothing to do until the next person is scheduled to show up. You can never a guarantee that everyone will show up for appointments, especially if they are attending the event for free.
The potential for new business is why any exhibitor pays for a booth at any tradeshow. The possibility of gaining that business, or taking it from a competitor, sometimes drives this sense of urgency from exhibitors. Having good ROI, or return on investment, is something hotel sales managers often refer to when booking these shows. Having "qualified" attendees, who actually decide where a conference, meeting, wedding, or convention is held is another major factor to consider for exhibitors. The bottom line is, if an exhibitor gets business from attending the show, or meets a new contact for the future, it is worth all of the time and effort.
What is different about the Capital Events Tradeshow is that it combines the open tradeshow format -- minus the pipes/drapes -- with the appointment show, for a hybrid format that is smart, elegant, and efficient. By using our app, Planners and suppliers can receive each others contact information before the show and pre-set appointment times with individuals they want to meet with. Planners/attendees can also look around the room, and even if they don’t have a pre-set appointment, they can sit down and meet 1-on-1 to have an in-depth conversation about their upcoming events. This casual use of technology and innovative format creates a casual business atmosphere, where event planners and suppliers can set their own schedules and are not forced to meet with anyone they don't want to meet with. It also eliminates the "no-show" from the appointment process, because if someone doesn't show up, there is still a room full of people who might casually walk by and introduce themselves to meet right then and there. Free food, beverages, live jazz music by Zach Bartholomew, and raffles including more than 40 free resort packages and 3 iPad Minis creates a festive and fun atmosphere. Everyone receives a special name badge with individual QR codes printed on them, allowing attendees to scan each other’s contact information directly into their smartphone at the show. The app also provides full contact information before, during and after the show, which makes follow ups easy to coordinate.
In addition to the technology, the education program features a perfect mix of technology and event related subjects. The Capital Events Tradeshow offers five (5) FREE classes for CMP (Certified Meeting Planners) and CAE (Certified Association Executives) credit on May 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. With more than 30 years of event planning experience, Tallahassee resident Barbara Ann Cox is moderating an all-star panel of Tallahassee-based planners, featuring Jill Jackson, Christine "Princess" Poole, and Christy Stacey to review "What’s Hot, What’s Not with Meetings that Matter". To be sure, there is always something new, clever or creative that makes a meeting planner's job more efficient, effective and engaging. This savvy panel of planners will discuss these topics with audience members for an engaging panel discussion that is sure to delight.
Additionally, the 2014 Legislative Update Panel Discussion provides attendees with an opportunity to meet and discuss what took place during the 2014 Legislative Session. United Way of Florida President Ted Granger will moderate a powerhouse panel of legislative leaders including Sen. Bill Montford, Rep. Halsey Beshears and Rep. Alan Williams. This is a unique opportunity to have an intimate discussion and unparalleled access to our statewide leaders for more than 1 hour and 30 minutes.
One of the area's only CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) and local newspaper columnist, Alyce Lee Stansbury, will host an informative discussion on "The Five Things You Can Do Today to Raise More Money". Alyce Lee will offer the audience with advice on how to kick-start fundraising efforts in a flash.
For those interested in learning more about how technology is shaping the meetings and events world, Social media expert Michael Winn with RB Oppenheim Associates will highlight "Successful Social Media Strategies" and Thomas Hallin with ITM Mobile, will discuss "Emerging Event Technologies".
It is about having the right recipe for a successful event, and this recipe of event technology, networking and education will be on display for event planners to consume on May 20. For more information and details visit the Tradeshow page, call 850-222-3868 or email
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