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Association Trade Show

Seattle, Washington

An association client sponsors a meeting every year in a major U.S. city to bring together the suppliers, dealers, end-users and manufacturing entrepreneurs to share valuable education and market solutions. The meeting offers both buyers and sellers educational courses, exhibits, awards, and lectures as well as networking activities to explore issues and solutions that make a sustainable difference in our world.


  • Experiential architecture analysis and recommendations
  • Event planning and logistics


  1. Conference attendance
    While the member retention rate remained consistent, attendance at the annual meeting has declined. Attendees expressed that program content was growing stale and the event was not engaging.
  2. Sponsorship and exhibits
    Participation in the tradeshow also steadily declined because the exhibitors saw less tangible value for their businesses. From a buyer perspective, there was not enough interaction or “face time” with the exhibitors to be beneficial for either party.


  1. A strategic approach

    Experiential architecture offers a strategic “look” into the organization, its members, and potential risk factors. There are a number of ways to uncover obstacles to success and devise solutions to overcome them, as well as creating new opportunities for growth:

    • Evaluate the reasons for shrinking attendance

    • Assess specific values attendees place on the current program layout

    • Determine the potential financial risk involved with all possible options for change

    • Implement a plan with clear goals, key tasks, allocation of resources, including milestones and benchmarks

    • Uncover additional revenue streams

    • Gain more flexibility for the future, revealing opportunities or obstacles not identified before

  2. Implement recommendations based on findings

    • Create a formal process for establishing initial and secondary list of targeted speakers

    • Fewer panel discussions and individual speaker sessions

    • Shorter, more interactive, peer-to-peer sessions

    • Change the meeting room sets and meal functions to facilitate interaction with buyers and sellers

    • Re-evaluate the sponsorship levels and booth pricing, as well as the benefits for each

    • Designed an exhibit space that was interactive allowing for informal discussions and one-on–one interaction

    • Reallocated funds within the conference budget to offer more value-added opportunities for networking 


In partnership with the client, we utilized experiential architecture and applied our strategic approach to the organization’s challenges.  As a result, we revitalized their meeting for success and implemented a set of working tools to use moving forward on the planning and execution of their annual meeting.

We developed a program that featured content on a diverse range of topics and delivery methods using the data gathered during the strategic phase of our engagement. As project managers of this extensive process, we were essential to cultivating change to include:

  • Offering compelling content creation and delivery 

  • Providing robust feedback methods for members related to their conference experience

  • Showing value and ROI to retain previous exhibitors and sponsors while attracting new companies

  • Increasing revenue and bottom line profits for the association

  • Achieving highest rated results ever from post conference survey 

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