Exhibition World Issue 1 - 2022 - Page 12

Stateside with Stephanie

Brave new worlds

I n November of 2021 , the long running Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum ( ECEF ), an informationsharing and networking event for leaders at associations and independent organisers , took place in Washington , DC , writes Stephanie Selesnick . One of the sessions , HLTH and Money 20 / 20 Case Studies , focused on those events held in October 2021 .

The forces behind these events , Monique Ruff-Bell , vice-president Events , USA , Money 20 / 20 and Rich Scarfo , president of health industry event HLTH , held an interesting session ( available on demand ). I caught up with Monique and Rich recently to learn more about what they and their teams did right .
Money 20 / 20 was celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Venetian Expo ( formerly Sands ) in Las
Vegas , NV , US and had 10,000 people . HLTH held its 4th annual event ( including one digital ) with a record 6,500 in-person attendees ( and another 1,000 digitally ) at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston , MA , US .
ROE first Here ’ s the big secret to the success for both events : They embraced CHANGE . They put the experience and ROE ( Return on Everything ) of visitors , exhibitors , and sponsors first . In the case of Money 20 / 20 USA , they brought in Cirque de Soleil ’ s co-creation partner and agency , Sid Lee to conduct multiple workshops for the whole team , making both ideation and buy-in on changes more effective than a ‘ top down ’ directive .
In HLTH ’ s case , Rich said they “ re-examined and reimagined every touch point with attendees ,
Top : Stephanie Selesnick
“ It takes a certain amount of bravery for an organiser to blow up a current business model , but when done right it can be memorable , and profitable ”
start-ups , exhibitors and sponsors ”. Since they run a leading health industry event , safety was especially top of mind . HLTH required attendees to be fully vaccinated , masked and to produce a negative Covid test result . They included a redesign of the registration area which included complimentary and mandatory onsite testing , a results-waiting area and a ‘ puppy park ’ to entertain those attendees . Over 4,000 tests were carried out by 30 health professionals in three days .
New sponsorship opportunities As long as we ’ re stuck with Covid and its variants , a same day , proctored negative Covid test will be de rigueur for entry . It ’ s a health and safety investment B2B events will have to build into the cost of doing business , by either charging an entry fee to attendees and exhibitors , taking it on as an additional line-item expense , or creating a substantial sponsorship . I think HLTH ’ s dedicated waiting area ( replete with champagne or smoothies , depending on one ’ s mood ) within the registration space was a smart idea . What a great place for additional sponsorships with many literal ‘ captive eyeballs ’.
Something else HLTH offered were coloured wrist bands – red for ‘ stay away ’, yellow for ‘ fist bumps ’ and green for ‘ hugs ’. This is something CES 2022 , PCMA 2022 and some other shows and conferences presently offer . Another sponsorship offering , perhaps ?
Money 20 / 20 USA also offered nocost testing to the unvaccinated and masking ( per the current rules in Las Vegas , NV ) was required for all .
Re-acclimatising Monique and Rich explained how their respective consultative approaches to sales helped drive revenue and satisfaction – and how they made the live experience
12 Issue 1 2022 www . exhibitionworld . co . uk