New Format for HSMAI’s MEET a Hit with Exhibitors, Planners

Maybe they were inspired by the old post office slogan, but HSMAI wasn’t about to let rain nor gloom get in the way of its mission to launch a new format for HSMAI’s MEET National earlier this month. The Washington DC event literally started out with a bang (lightning and thunder) but ended by making a big impression with the exhibitors and meeting planners in attendance.TEEMUP HSMAI's MEET 9.11

Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI, explained, “From the exhibitors, what we heard was that the show was so much different than previous Affordable Meetings that it really affirmed the need for all of us to look at how to remodel trade shows. We did a lot of work and a lot of remodeling on that show, and I can tell you I felt it was a home run.”

Brasseux spoke with several exhibitors who hadn’t attended Affordable Meetings in recent years because they saw a declining return on investment for the event. ”They decided they would try the new show and they said they received 100 percent positive feedback from their sales people who attended.” She added that exhibitors reported that the show brought them solid business opportunities, including RFPs being issued on the show floor and site inspections being scheduled. “The exhibit floor was crowded,” she added.

“This was my first time attending in three years, and the changes resulted in an awesome show,” noted Loretta Howard, National/State Association Sales Manager for the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It was a great show for face-to-face selling, and the educational sessions were full of valuable information.”

The event’s new reverse trade show concept called TEEM Up proved to be a success. Planners who participated were able to pre-schedule 10, 10-minute meetings with the exhibitors of their choice, making for an efficient use of time.

Brasseaux was also gratified to see that the show’s educational sessions were packed with planners and exhibitors. “We modified a lot of the educational sessions to include speed learning and peer-to-peer interaction so they could share best practices,” Brasseux noted. She described one round table discussion with nine speakers who each gave ten “takeaways,” so attendees could walk away with 90 new ideas. “(We looked at) how fast can you go and how can you make the time more valuable? What I heard was very positive feedback.”

She summed up, “I think everybody was pleased with the attendance and the quality of the planners that attended. I think this year we saw an even higher level of experience. And that was driven by the education we modified.”

Two more HSMAI’s MEET events are in the planning stages for 2012: HSMAI’s MEET Mid-America in April and HSMAI’s MEET West in June.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Are You leaving Group Business on the Table
Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter