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Expo! Expo! Speaker Spotlight on Paige Cardwell

Paige Cardwell discusses the takeaways attendees will gain at the session she will be presenting during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 on 5-7 December in Dallas, Texas.

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Senior Communications and Content Manager


Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 features a three-day educational journey covering seven diverse content tracks, including this enlightening session led by Paige Cardwell titled Four Questions to Ask and Answer to Improve the Impact of Your Audience Acquisition and Retention Campaigns. Amid the uncertainty of the last few years, better ways to attract and retain audiences have emerged. Plus, attendees have different priorities, different needs, expectations and often, different budgets.

What do you need to do to maintain your event as a “must-attend” and keep attendees coming back for more? Using recent case studies and success stories, this session will address four questions every event marketer must ask before activating their next campaign:

  1. Is your brand still relevant? Events need to look in the mirror to see if they are delivering on their promise and, more importantly, understand how the industry perceives the value of your event.
  2. Do you know (really know!) what your audience needs or values most from an event experience today? If not, it’s time to dig deep with innovative research methods to fuel your brand strategy and your acquisition campaigns.
  3. How will you elevate your event experience to meet changing needs and priorities of the next generation of attendees?
  4. Will your typical marketing strategies still work, or do you need to rethink your plan, your budget, and your tactics?

Only after you know the answers are you able to develop an effective marketing and messaging strategy to drive awareness, conversion and deliver the experience to keep them coming back for more!

Here, Paige shares a preview of how participants will benefit from the information presented at Four Questions to Ask and Answer to Improve the Impact of Your Audience Acquisition and Retention Campaigns.

In this session, you will explain how the definition of “brand” has evolved and why building brands on a core conviction is essential to success. What makes this understanding so important?

Paige: Understanding your brand has never been more important. Brands represent the perceptions of your stakeholders. Do they see you as a meeting coordinator? Content distributor? Or business problem solver? Knowing your core conviction fuels brand authenticity, purpose and expression. Your brand conviction needs to be reflected in your culture, your experience, customer interactions and your communications strategy. There needs to be total alignment to have a powerful brand.

You will also demonstrate how research-based methodologies will help participants “show-up” for their attendees in their messaging and creative strategies. How will this affect and/or change the standard by which they’ve been operating until now?

Paige: We’ve had a lot of success looking into the value of associations and organizers from the lens of the member, attendee and exhibitor. You need to go deeper than the traditional post-show survey to really listen to a cross-section of stakeholders to tap into the insights that can be distilled into a strong brand strategy. Research establishes a perceptions baseline giving your leadership a clear understanding of the organization’s true value as well as identifying gaps. From there, you can maximize value and shape the programs accordingly to better reflect or shift audience perceptions while showing up in a more meaningful way.

In addition, you will explore ways to segment audiences and adjust the timing of tactics to improve response rates and drive conversions. What results can exhibition and event marketing professionals expect from adopting this process?

Paige: Understanding your data and identifying behavioral trends, comparing segment performance year over year, can help delineate audience segments that may need a unique messaging strategy to better appeal to their specific needs. Developing vertical campaigns that speak directly to a segment’s needs have yielded better results and re-engaged lapsed attendees.

What fuels your passion for this subject, and why is this information so relevant in today’s business environment?

Paige: I have always been fascinated by the power and impact of brands, and see huge opportunities for event organizers to embrace strong brand principles to enhance their marketing and communications as well as the onsite experience. We need our events to make an emotional connection to our audiences, and to have these brand experiences reflect a core conviction and deliver on the brand promise. While our industry has been resilient, there is no better time to invest and future-proof your brand to sustain and grow for years to come.

Expo! Expo! is THE PLACE TO BE to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, as well as network with professional peers. Find more information here including how to take advantage of special promos for IAEE members.

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