I have been involved with trade shows all over the world starting in 1993, personally supervising the build and strike of custom booths ranging from 9 sqm (100 sqft.) to over 900 sqm (9,500+ sqft.) on five continents. I personally design all show floor plans in conjunction with subcontractors who build out the vision. I have been an exhibitor, conference planner, speaker, floor supervisor, booth designer, overseer of booth builds and strikes, negotiator and problem solver, along with staffing scheduler, travel and logistics manager, securer of booth vendors, caterers, translators, security, and other services.
At JobNet, I oversaw a career conference in Yangon, quickly saved a hot mess of a job fair in Mandalay due to careless planning, and planned all the specifics for the first annual Myanmar Employer Awards, all in less than 90 days. For the Employer Awards, I drew the initial sketches, theme, colorway and floorplan, created the show run schedule and wrote the entire evening’s speech for the emcee, identified emcee options, and created marketing materials for individual entrants to use to promote the event through additional well-followed social media streams. Had a blog added to the web site to produce daily blog posts about the awards. Produced the Final Judging event with Deloitte to ensure rule compliance, that resulted in 12 print articles and three television spots about the MEAs. Later, I ended up joining the events management contractor as a Senior Project Director.
At Sannam S4, I executed an annual Sales & Marketing Summit to train all department heads in social media, cross-selling, client retention best practices, and online marketing principles. This two-day summit increased inbound queries via social media from 0% to 38% of sales source mix, increasing revenue by 40% in six months.
During my tenure at the Shyam Telecom Group, I planned and executed international and domestic trade shows in Singapore, Jakarta, New Delhi, Bangalore, Dubai, Moscow, Rio de Janiero, Sao Paulo, Abuja, Cape Town, Cairo, Nairobi, Geneva, Yangon, and Barcelona each year. I was responsible for every aspect of each show: designing, scheduling, executing, shipping, transporting materials and employees, build and strike, catering, security, local transportation, show marketing and staffing, speaker/VIP and press coordination, lead generation and processing, contractor management, show management liaison, follow-up sales support activities, etc. I launched new products and companies into new markets. We also launched two new companies worldwide: Shyam Networks™ (consumer telecom devices) and Shyam Defence™ (military-grade telecom solutions). Through best practices and proactive planning, I managed to decrease the average cost per show from $1,863/sqm to $431/sqm by second year.
At Semaphore, I sold the existing cumbersome and outdated custom booth and as part of our rebranding launch, purchased a modular booth for a variety of configurations. The sale and savings from drayage costs paid for the new booth. Saving the shipping costs enabled us to design and purchase custom add-ons and test other shows without changing the annual show budget for the year. At the time, I was also part of the Exhibitor Advisory Board for the Object Management Group’s international software development trade shows and conferences, along with the New England Data Processing Professionals Association’s Conference Planner in 1995, and Head of Operations in 1996.
At iPlace USA, I created the themes and all internal marketing materials and promotions for the annual anniversary celebration in May, and a winter party in December/January. Themes included “Casino Royale” with all employees in dressed in clothes with “Gambling Flair”, close hand magicians, roulette and blackjack tables for prizes, photo booth, free flow drinks and buffet dinner. “The Oscars” was my personal favorite for their 10th anniversary, where we featured a red carpet, MC, several media cameras interviewing guests and humorous awards voted on previously by the entire company and awarded that night by the CEO and myself. We were the first company in India to use a drone camera for our winter parties which featured themes like Hawaiian Luau, with plenty of costumes like straw skirts and coconut bras for the three photo booths, plus face painting, and as the evening progressed, around the pool we had fire dancers and hula dancers.
Prices for events can grow considerably based on the number of attendees, duration, venue, catering, celebrity engagement, and media services required. If you are looking for someone with the ability to negotiate the best options, and offer affordable, yet creative solutions for your next event, you never have enough time to plan for everything that can go wrong; because it will.
Do you want someone with a new perspective to handle this type of work, so that you can focus on higher level activities? Subscribe today to learn more about building your business. Feel free to email me to learn more about how I can help you grow your business.