Not all tradeshows are created equal

Tradeshow, tradeshow, tradeshow….

Put on your sparkly red shoes, close your eyes, and say it 3 times.  Careful, you might end up at a tradeshow. If you are an event marketer like me, you might already be at one. If only the sparkly red shoes were conducive to the 16+ hour days on your feet.

Tradeshows are a massive undertaking and a daily grind for event marketers. There are so many behind-the-scenes elements in motion that people never see. As a former wedding planner in a past life, I try to follow the rule of, don’t let the bride know that anything has gone wrong.

As we put out fires, we simultaneously try to develop and execute the best marketing plan possible. In the end, the entire organization has the same goal: look your best, catch the attention of the right person, say and show the right thing to that person, and close the deal.

Since a ton of money is spent, and the results are so important, tradeshow strategies are a hot topic. So hot, in fact, that there are educational sessions at most marketing conferences dedicated to tradeshow planning. One of my favorite conferences is the CEMA Summit, which event marketers put on for event marketers. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) has been my go-to conference for many years now. The organization is built of a community of experienced corporate event marketers who seek professional development and the opportunity to learn behind-the-scenes knowledge of the industry.

This year, I have the honor of being on a panel at CEMA Summit, speaking about, guess what? You guessed it- Tradeshows. The session is called: Developing a Successful Tradeshow Strategy.  For the first time, I will be sharing my knowledge and experience of more than 10 years in tradeshows and facilitate an open conversation with the audience about best practices for successful tradeshow strategies.

  • What defines a successful tradeshow? Not all tradeshows are created equal.
  • Are you there for brand awareness or lead generation?
  • What is your message, and how do you get your audience to receive it?
  • What are the expectations of the internal stakeholders and the leadership team?

I have VMware Explore on my brain. With only (counting days) 14 days until the start of VMware Explore, it is hard to think of anything else. As a Technology Alliance Partner and an Enterprise Solution Partner of VMware, our strategy is multi-faceted. We show up for our partners, and we want to be amongst the most qualified IT professionals in the industry. Our message? It’s simple, really. Fewer support tickets, closed faster, give a better experience for everyone. ControlUp’s VMware Horizon solution identifies, resolves, and prevents complex issues in real-time, reducing MTTR and providing unmatched support for your EUC environment.

I am really excited about what my team has accomplished in the planning and preparation leading up to our “Superbowl.”  We have a fantastic booth, and our sessions are given by some of the best EUC experts in the industry.

If you are lucky enough to be a Platinum Sponsor as ControlUp is at a show like VMware Explore, you have a great opportunity. But with great opportunity comes great responsibility.  It’s the Super Bowl – no pressure.

About the author

Michelle Olmstead

An integral part of ControlUp’s Field Marketing team, Michelle’s focus is on planning ControlUp-sponsored events (hopefully in person) and global events, such as HIMMS, Nutanix .NEXT, EDUCAUSE, VMWorld, Gartner Symposium, and more. Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, she is a beach lover, a former college soccer and volleyball player, and “mom” to a rescue dog who is incredibly spoiled.