Shifting perceptions of Tradeshow Value
Every year, the Association For Creative Industries (formerly Craft & Hobby Association) produces a trade show to bring together the creative community to conduct business. This event is a key revenue generator for the Association. However, with the shifting products sales cycles and declining tradeshow attendance, the Association has seen a decrease in attendees, exhibitors, and sponsorships. The tradeshow was not providing attendees the inspiration or sales opportunities they were seeking.
The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) needed help reframing the perceptions of the annual trade show to make it more relevant, more exciting and increase both participation and revenue. MBLM was charged with reinventing the trade show with a new identity and as a new user experience for members and attendees—a thought leadership conference, a celebration of the creative industry, a source for inspiration, and a meeting place of like-minded creative professionals.
This was activated through dynamic and streamlined communications where we developed both concepts, creative and content—tradeshow mailers and programs, social media channels and event programming to bring learn, connect and discover to the forefront. The tradeshow floor itself was transformed into a bustling city, complete with an Innovation Center where entrepreneurs submitted products and ideas to be showcased; spaces to meet up and network; as well as exciting new programming like the Ultimate Pitch contest. Together with AFCI, we created “the creative destination,” and renamed it Creativation to highlight the celebration, inspiration, and destination for creativity.
At Creativation 2017, members were introduced to new thought leadership programming—the Innovation Center and the Ultimate Pitch Competition—which were the two highest attended programs. They also saw an impressive 37% increase in event sponsorship.
“It was a great experience.” [Attendee]
“Thanks for trying to bring energy and ideas into the show.” [Exhibitor]
“The show was a success and we took a record number of orders! We do a lot of pre-show marketing and invited our customers, so we know that, combined with the efforts of AFCI, helped us shine.” [Exhibitor]