The United Motorcoach Association’s annual Motorcoach EXPO was included in a report on trends creating “exceptional expos.” The story was published in the fall 2019 issue of Associations Now, the magazine of the American Society of Association Executives.
The article stated, “Conference expos are major revenue generators, but the standard booth-maze model is past its prime. Today, both exhibitors and attendees expect associations to offer something better. If your conference includes an expo, here’s some good news: Globally, attendee satisfaction with conference shows has remained stable in recent years, according to a survey by UFI (Union of International Fairs), the global exhibition industry association. In 2016, 67 percent of attendees were very or fairly satisfied, and that rose to 71 percent last year.
“The top reasons that attendees go to shows are ‘to source products, to find new ideas, to network, to learn, to stay up to date with the industry—all of this is not changing,’ says Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s managing director and CEO. But to keep people coming back, ‘the ways you deliver that—they have to change to stay fresh.’”
The magazine cited UMA’s EXPO for creating excitement on the show floor.
“The United Motorcoach Association’s tradeshow includes two competitions—one for drivers and one focused on safety and maintenance—but both had been held offsite, so attendees had to leave the show floor to watch them. Last year, for the first time, UMA brought buses onto the floor for the maintenance competition and hired a camera crew and emcee to live-stream the drivers competition back to the expo, where it hosted a watch party.
“’It created different levels of energy on our tradeshow floor,’ says President and CEO Stacy Tetschner, FASAE, CAE.”
The story continued, “It also expanded the event’s reach: People tuned in to the drivers competition from around the country. The safety and maintenance competition involved putting two buses up on jacks in the expo hall, so that everyone could see the mechanics working. The day after the competition, UMA used the buses to provide an education session by representatives of a regulatory agency. Attendees could walk under the buses as the regulators pointed out what they look for in inspections.
“’All of a sudden, our tradeshow floor wasn’t just about the products. It became about the experience and the education,’ Tetschner says.”