Signature Boston

Course Descriptions

Conference & Meeting Management Principles

While planning and managing exhibitions and meetings share some common aspects, competent planning and management of meetings requires special knowledge and skills. Exhibition managers may be called upon to work closely with their organization’s meeting and education manager and should be knowledgeable about the essential aspects of meetings in all of their various formats.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify different types of events and meetings
  • Compare education and programming formats
  • Explain adult learning theory
  • Select appropriate speakers for a program
  • List common event space set-ups based on meeting type and size
  • Describe basic requirements for conference related housing, travel and transportation
  • Prepare Event Specification Guides and Function Set-up Orders
  • Organize ADA- compliant and accessible meetings (U.S. only)

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Consumer Show Management

Consumer (public) shows are exhibitions and events in which companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, services and activities to public consumers.  Consumer show organizers must possess a working knowledge of the activities and functions related to consumer shows and master the skills to address this different set of logistics than those related solely to the management of a private trade show or event. This program provides attendees with the skills necessary to effectively produce a successful consumer show.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Recognize the role of consumer shows within the greater exhibition industry
  • Describe how consumer shows differ from other shows
  • Explain the difference between horizontal and vertical exhibitions
  • Indicate key elements required for planning public events
  • Indicate key elements required for managing public events
  • Describe differences between marketing and sales
  • Describe the elements of a marketing plan

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Digital Events Management

Digital events can be a key element of a company’s omni channel offerings as an alternate method of bringing event attendees together virtually. By leveraging various virtual tools and platforms, event and exhibition professionals can create experiences that engage and expand a company’s digital footprint and connect individuals anywhere in the world. Whatever the purpose, there are similarities between in-person and digital—as well as many differences, with the common goal of bringing everyone together.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify different types of digital events
  • Learn the basics of building a basic digital event strategy
  • Understand the elements and processes for designing and delivering a digital event
  • Determine all key stakeholders when developing a digital event
  • Identify key criteria to include in a request for proposal for a digital event
  • Explore the role of using live and/or pre-recorded content for a digital event
  • Identify digital and virtual event platforms to use in delivering digital events

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Event Marketing

Marketing is not an exact science. It includes a number of strategies and tactics that are constantly evolving so they can address changing social, cultural and economic circumstances effectively. The creation of a marketing plan that includes core practices as well as new ideas, innovations and unique points of view allows for the creation of an exhibition that may have begun as just a concept. The goal of an exhibition is to provide an appropriate environment in which buyers and sellers can come together face to face. Today’s technology increasingly permits the show organizer to extend the useful life of an exhibition by employing digital tools, thus further enriching the show experience.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Define marketing, explain the difference between the marketing and sales functions
  • Identify the elements of a marketing plan
  • Describe market segmentation, define target markets and explain how to reach global audiences
  • Review event evaluation processes and discuss the importance of establishing benchmarks to measure goal attainment
  • Explain the benefits of developing omni channel marketing and content management strategies
  • Discuss the forms of sponsorship and promotional opportunities associated with exhibitions and events
  • Use data analytics to determine Return on Investment (ROI) of partnerships, sponsorships and marketing campaigns

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Event Operations

Producing successful exhibitions often hinges upon the proper management of logistics. Every event contains thousands of details that must be processed logically, sequentially and precisely. While managing logistics well is essential, exhibitions are intended primarily to bring buyers and sellers together in an environment that is conducive to their respective objectives. All of the stakeholders of an exhibition must communicate effectively before, during and after the event to ensure its success. Event operations focuses on the unique role of the exhibition organizer and his/her team in orchestrating all of the elements.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify teams for event and project timelines for key stakeholders
  • Establish show rules and regulations and their enforcement on-site
  • Develop a plan to manage the on-site exhibition operations
  • Explain the components of on-site communications
  • Identify the exhibition cycle phases
  • Review the roles of the on-site exhibition team, including staff and vendors
  • Evaluate the overall on-site operations
  • Conduct a post-event analysis

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Exhibition & Event Sales Fundamentals

In order to ensure the success of an event or exhibition, there are vital elements involved in the planning process that should be conducted from the ground up. No matter how successful or well respected an exhibition may be, it should be presented as if it were a first-time event – it is the marketing and selling equivalent of zero-based budgeting. This involves highlighting an event’s features and benefits, understanding the phases of the sales cycle and the need to support sales efforts with the appropriate tools and resources, and preparing the exhibition prospectus in a comprehensive and engaging way.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify and describe the key steps in the sales cycle
  • Describe the exhibition sales process
  • Understand partnership and sponsorship sale process
  • Explain the importance of relationship selling in the sales process
  • Identify different pricing strategies
  • Develop an international sales strategy
  • Explain the importance of providing exhibitors, partners, and sponsors with measurable ROI

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Exhibitor Strategies & Tactics

This course is ideal for new exhibit managers as well as those who have been in the industry a while, to learn about the value of trade show exhibiting. From content created by a successful exhibitor, attendees are introduced to trade shows and some do’s and don’ts of cost effective pre, during, and post show exhibiting. The post show section includes an alternative to traditional sales lead response management to increase sales and sales lead follow-up after the show as well as earn a positive Return on Investment (ROI) from exhibiting.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand what trade and consumer/public shows are and how they contribute to a company’s overall marketing and sales objective
  • Determine measurable goals of an exhibiting program
  • Learn how to communicate the exhibiting goals to an exhibiting team
  • Work with the show organizer to increase show attendance, booth/stand visitors, and sales leads
  • Identify sources of names for pre-show marketing, promotion, and booth/stand visitation
  • Develop an effective pre-show invitation that can be sent to potential booth/stand visitors
  • Maximize booth/stand staff’s visitor engagement
  • Provide booth/stand visitor qualification guidelines for booth/stand staff
  • Measure booth/stand staff performance
  • Respond to and qualify sales leads for prioritized and efficient lead follow-up
  • Generate Return on Investment (ROI) based on results

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Facilities & Site Selection

Site selection is a crucial first step in producing a successful exhibition or event. This includes the process of choosing both a geographical location and a facility for an exhibition or event. Site selection consists of advanced detailed planning, including access for attendees of all populations, organizational goals and objectives, exhibitor/attendee needs, and transportation. Careful consideration should be given to all factors that could impact the success of the overall exhibition.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Evaluate and select a geographical location and a facility that meets the goals of the stakeholder, as well as the exhibition and/or event
  • Differentiate between the types of facilities that host exhibitions and/or events
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities
  • Articulate the value and economic impact of the exhibition on the host city
  • Identify potential revenue streams for facilities to aid in negotiations
  • Discuss and apply the key components of conducting a site visit
  • Gain an understanding of the essential elements required in a request for proposal (RFP)
  • Discuss the importance of both strategic and operational aspects of site selection
  • Identify members of the site-selection committee

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Finance, Budgeting & Contracts

Understanding the terminology and application of accounting, finance and budgeting fundamentals allows the exhibition organizer to make a greater contribution to the growth and financial success of the organization. It is essential to develop a budget and manage the financial strategies of the exhibition. A well-developed and well-administered budget is crucial to enabling the exhibition organizer to accurately project and monitor income and expenses, track cash flow and cost controls and ultimately measure the success of the event and the organization’s return on investment.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

PART 1 – Budget Management

  • Identify and define common revenue and expense sources for exhibitions and events
  • Design practical fee structures for registration, exhibits, sponsorships and advertisements
  • Explain basic accounting principles
  • Create an exhibition or event budget

PART 2 – Accounting Principles

  • Identify key elements in financial statements used by the exhibition organizer
  • Interpret financial statements to demonstrate the value of the exhibition
  • Understand how to manage the master account
  • Prepare and manage cash flow statements; manage and control cash
  • Calculate return on investment (ROI)

PART 3 – Basics of Hotel and Venue Contracts

  • Recognize the importance of proper contracts for exhibitors, facilities and vendors
  • Discuss the importance of cancellation and performance clauses
  • Explain force majeure and how it may impact an exhibition
  • List possible concessions and explain how they are determined
  • Define the terminology in standard hotel and facility contracts
  • Review provisions and clauses commonly included in hotel and facility contracts

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Floor Plan Development

A well-designed floor plan or layout is critical to the success of an exhibition or event. In a rapidly changing business environment, a floor plan must meet the logistical needs of exhibitors and sponsors and the shopping habits of attendees with sufficient flexibility to adjust for growth or consolidation.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Define elements of a successful floor plan
  • Analyze an exhibition’s target market and industry segment to develop a floor plan that meets both exhibitor and attendee needs
  • Identify factors that impact traffic flow on a floor plan to accommodate all populations of attendees
  • Identify the most common booths/stands used in a typical floor plan
  • Gain an understanding of safety protocols and procedures as they relate to floor plan development
  • Create a floor plan that incorporates the unique features of a venue or facility
  • Understand and evaluate technology options and tools to maximize, traffic flow, sales, and sponsorships
  • Identify various space assignment systems and how they affect the design of a floor plan
  • Analyze and evaluate past and current floor plans to identify sources of improvement and enhancements to future floor plans

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Housing & Registration Management

Today’s exhibition professional has more to do than simply manage an exhibition. In reality, an exhibition professional is responsible for several crucial service-related elements. Two of the service fundamentals inherent in most events are arranging for accommodations for guests (“housing”) and identifying which guests will be allowed access to which portion of an event (“registration”). Planning must begin early to ensure housing and registration are easily assessed and do not become a hindrance to attending the event. When managed well, housing and registration can enhance an event and create an incentive for future attendance.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify key elements of planning and managing registration and housing
  • Describe differences between exhibitors and attendees in housing needs and booking habits
  • Describe differences in registration policies and processes for exhibitors and attendees
  • Evaluate housing and registration event management options
  • Develop basic housing and registration planning timelines
  • Demonstrate knowledge of financial and contractual commitments
  • Understand how to manage housing and registration data (e.g., GDPR, data privacy, data protection, data security)

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Neuroscience of Exhibitions & Events

Our brain selects or inhibits information based on our motivations and needs. Our social concerns are the primary drivers for how we behave. As event and exhibitions professionals we must create event experiences that driver deeper meaning, inspire innovation, accelerate connections and maximize our attendees’ brainpower to supercharge results. It is not about creating high energy events and exhibitions; it is about creating experiences that are meaningful and engage the social brain. This course will help you discover the primary colors of intrinsic motivation, explore how to optimize the physical space of our events and exhibitions to produce experiences that influence what attendees think, and how they think so you can drive the results you want from your show.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Examine why our brains are wired to socially connect
  • Discover ways to leverage social connectivity in your exhibitions and events
  • Identify five key factors that drive motivations, behaviors, and decision-making
  • Analyze meeting room design and exhibition floor layouts to deploy best practices
  • Create brain friendly environments that drive results
  • Deconstruct event industry best practices and CEM standards through a neuroscience lens

This course will provide the learner who achieves competency with a dual digital badge from both IAEE and Madison College.

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Security, Risk & Crisis Management

Risk management is a continuing process that identifies, analyzes, evaluates, and addresses exposures and monitors risk. This involves evaluating the security needs for an event and if a crisis should occur, having a crisis management team in place to manage it.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

PART ONE: Security

  • List security components of site selection
  • Identify the security needs of exhibitions and events
  • Identify essential elements of a request for proposal for a security vendor
  • Evaluate security requests for proposal responses to hire a competent security contractor

PART TWO: Risk Management

  • Explain the principles of risk management as related to insurance coverage
  • List types of events and exhibition insurance
  • Explain the concept of event cancellation insurance
  • Generalize the importance of requiring certificates of insurance from exhibitors
  • Explore the concept of protecting against losses

PART THREE: Crisis Management

  • Define a crisis and understand how to prepare for a variety of crises
  • Develop the basics of a crisis management plan
  • Identify various types of threats
  • Identify evaluation procedures for a crisis management plan

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Selecting Service Contractors

A successful exhibition or event is often produced by the efforts of multiple service providers. A substantial portion of the exhibition or event organizer’s responsibility is to evaluate, source, and contract for the services and products needed to produce a successful event.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Explain the role and responsibilities of the official service contractor (OSC)
  • Identify the purpose and types of specialty contractors
  • Explain the role and responsibilities of an exhibitor-appointed contractor (EAC)
  • Determine criteria to be used for selecting service contractors through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process
  • Discuss the importance of identifying who handles what service and how this can impact services or costs

Articulate how local labor regulations impact events, including labor rights

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Strategic Planning & Management

In order for organizations that plan, manage or own exhibitions and events to remain competitive, they must continually define and review their strategies.  This includes measuring where an event falls within a particular market segment, developing plans to ensure business continuity, and positioning an exhibition or event for success.

After completing this course, the participant should be able to:

PART ONE: DEFINE EXHIBITIONS

  • Use the CEIR Census and CEIR Index Report to gain an understanding of the current scope and performance of the exhibition industry
  • Understand the differences between business-to-business and business-to-consumer exhibitions
  • Explain the roles of the exhibition organizer, attendee and exhibitor
  • Identify the purposes for corporate private exhibitions and events and understand their target audiences
  • Discuss the principal ways that exhibitions can be grown

PART TWO: STRATEGIC ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT: PROCESS AND OUTCOMES

  • Define strategic enterprise management (SEM)
  • Compare the various models of strategic planning
  • Identify and define the major components of a strategic plan
  • Understand experience design principles to optimize the overall experience of stakeholders and attendees
  • Understand how to incorporate principles of EDI, sustainability, and health and safety into event design
  • Describe a basic strategic planning process
  • Differentiate between strategic enterprise management and the strategic planning process
  • Explain the benefits of strategic planning and management

PART THREE: PROJECT MANAGEMENT: MANAGING SUCCESSFUL EXHIBITIONS

  • Identify the major elements in the project management process
  • Demonstrate the role of project management in developing goals and objectives
  • Identify the elements in a work breakdown structure
  • Identify the requirements necessary to effectively manage and motivate a project management team

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