In March our team attended CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas to experience immersive field research and customer outreach. The convention featured more than 2500 exhibitors representing every major construction industry, and stretched across 2.5 million square feet. Our goals were to discover what attendees look for from an exhibitor, and learn from convention pros how to connect with prospects at a show of such grand size.
Although we weren’t exhibitors we maximized our networking opportunity by wearing customized WrightPlan t-shirts and kept a healthy supply of contact cards at the ready. Our first of 2 days at the convention was spent getting the lay of the land, and our fellow attendees. The second was spent in meetings and improving network connections. Here are our top insights:
On a Mission:
Most CONEXPO-CON/AGG attendees know exactly what they want out of their convention experience. The majority of people we spoke to planned to purchase equipment, increase their network, or investigate business software solutions. We were surprised, and encouraged, by how many people were specifically looking to improve administrative efficiencies.
Maximize Time with Pre-Planning:
Generally speaking, convention websites supply a detailed list of events, exhibitors, and sitemap. We highly recommend that you scope out who you want to speak to before the show and make visiting those booths or demonstrations a priority. We took this a step further and set up meetings to take place at the show ahead of time, and furthermore took those meetings outside of the convention space to limit distraction. Since WrightPlan often connects with customers internationally, it was a valuable opportunity to meet face-to-face and to receive direct feedback.
Implement a Creative Booth Experience:
As an exhibitor you always want to stand out from the crowd, and in a convention the size of CONEXPO-CON/AGG standing out is paramount. While attendees are typically there on a mission, they will inevitably have some free time and it is as imperative to capitalize on spontaneous contacts as it is to plan-ahead. Two WrightPlan customers attended the convention and although their concepts were entirely different, both were wildly successful. Doral Equipment Rental demonstrated their Versa-Lift with patriot colours by a tent-covered meeting space outfitted with comfortable seating and cold drinks. This proved to be greatly appreciated at a convention in the desert, even in March. They provided several representatives on site at all times to field prospect questions. Southwest Industrial Rigging featured a massive beautifully painted crane as their main attraction. Representatives took shifts at the booth to talk to prospects while others walked around the convention to increase visibility and their network. While decidedly different, the approaches catered to individual convention goals of each company.
Timing is Everything:
Last, but not least, we found it critical to know travel times. This includes the trip to the convention from the hotel, and travel within the convention ground itself. One of our trips to the site took us almost 3 hours because we hadn’t counted on traffic, or demand of public transportation.
Our CONEXPO-CON-AGG experience was exceptional and it’s just the beginning. Don’t miss out on our next public appearance! Sign up for the WrightPlan newsletter here, or contact us to talk about our quotation software solutions by calling (519) 489-2320.