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The MATSO Guide to Expo! Expo!

When we think of big shows, it comes with a heavy bag of problems and challenges for show organizers. How can you make hundreds of your exhibitors and thousands of attendees happy with the event experience? Just thinking about what all needs to be done for a show can be daunting.

At Expo! Expo!, our MATSO (Major American Trade Show Organizer) attendees are ready to lighten their load and find solutions for their unique challenges. Not only do our MATSO attendees interact with new technology solutions, they network with other large show organizers and discuss their hurdles and successes, creating a tight-knit community.

To give a better insight into the MATSO experience at Expo! Expo, IAEE interviewed Adam Andersen, Senior Vice President, Events of Informa Exhibitions. Adam is part of the MATSO Council, Chairperson of the Rocky Mountain Chapter and a member of the Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee.

Tell us a little about yourself. What are your current responsibilities?   

I currently manage the Informa Exhibitions US Health & Nutrition portfolio, including the Natural Products Expos, Supplyside shows and a number of smaller events within those portfolios.

Why do you attend Expo! Expo!?

I attend Expo! Expo! to meet with current vendors and destinations, as well as network with other event organizers. We have really unique jobs, so to meet other organizers and discuss challenges and successes is extremely valuable.

How do large show organizers like yourself benefit from attending Expo! Expo!? 

I benefit from attending Expo! Expo! by attending relevant content for all shows, and especially the MATSO content. That content is more tailored to the size of my events and discusses the challenges my shows have as they grow.

What education sessions caught your attention at Expo! Expo!? Did you have any takeaways from those sessions? 

The MATSO-focused content has always appealed to me. Knowing that organizer peers have created content especially for our segment is a great appeal to me! My biggest takeaway has been to always be open to new ideas, whether it’s from your colleagues, industry peers, or clients. You never know where a good idea will come from and if you are open to it, it creates a dynamic environment at your events.

Adam Andersen_1

As part of the MATSO Council, how do you approach your time spent at Expo! Expo!?

For Expo! Expo!, my schedule is packed. Between MATSO Council and MATSO programming, as well as Chapter Leader responsibilities and my regular vendor and destination meetings and dinners, as well as checking in with my team that is attending, it’s a full week! I try to attend all of the MATSO related programming as it is highly relevant to my specific job, so I build my schedule around that.

Adam Andersen_2

As an active member of the Chapter Leaders Council and Chairperson of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, why is it important to be involved with one’s local chapter? 

We have a small chapter, but a relatively engaged one. I think it’s important for one to be involved with their local chapter so they can continue to create valuable connections and learn how to promote the events industry through advocacy and education.

When the Rocky Mountain Chapter gets together at Expo! Expo!, what is something all the members do that probably other attendees don’t do?   

We drink good beer! We have an incredible amount of craft breweries in Colorado and enjoy having a good beer (and laugh) in other destinations.

Adam Andersen_3

Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo! 

I think being an attendee in Baltimore and Anaheim was one of my highlights over the past two years. We have our Natural Products Expos in each of those cities, and it’s fun to be an attendee, not just an organizer in those cities.

If you were talking to someone who had not attended Expo! Expo! and was considering going, what would you say to him/her?   

I would ask that person what their priorities are in their career. If they are interested in great education, networking and learning about new technologies, they should come to Expo! Expo!.

What tip would you give to a first-time attendee that you wish someone had told you when you attended Expo! Expo! for the first time? 

I would tell any first-time attendee to take some time to pre-plan their education and networking, but also leave enough time to explore the host city.

What is one event or program that attendees cannot miss at Expo! Expo! that you thoroughly enjoy?

I always enjoy the Opening Party! It’s a time where the host city shows off their local cuisine, music and cultural scene. It’s always fun!
Andersen Blog_4Will you be attending this year’s Expo! Expo! in San Antonio? If so, what new MATSO programming are you looking forward to experiencing? 

Yes, I will be in San Antonio! The MATSO programming I’m looking forward to is “Cocktails and Content” on Wednesday evening. It’s something new we are doing this year to bring a more social aspect to some great content with one of our speakers.

Don’t forget to register for Expo! Expo! so you can experience education, networking and the trade show floor.

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