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Reboot Your Association Event: How Network’s Integrated Solutions Supercharged ABA TECHSHOW

Most people probably wouldn’t immediately associate lawyers with state-of-the-art technology, but what they may not know is that the American Bar Association (ABA) has been in the high-tech business for decades. 

The ABA TECHSHOW is an annual, three-day opportunity for legal professionals to “Touch, Talk,
and Test” the wares and services of more than 100 technology vendors. Held in April of this year in Chicago, the ABA TECHSHOW offered attendees a glimpse of how cutting-edge technologies integrate into the practice of law. 

The ABA TECHSHOW website explains it this way: “As technology evolves, it can be difficult to stay informed of the latest advancements. With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult knowing what’s the most suitable to you and your practice. This is where ABA TECHSHOW can help.”

Cindy Galvan, CMP and Associate Director, Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association notes that the event’s variety of programming offered a great deal of education in a short amount of time. 

There’s more to the ABA TECHSHOW than the educational programs, however.

“Attendees also get access to the Expo hall, where legal technology vendors are eager to demonstrate their products and services.” said Pamela McDevitt, Director of Law Practice and Technology Group, ABA.

But who helps the conference organizers increase revenue from exhibitors and sponsors while improving the attendee experience within the exhibit hall and staying out in front the technology curve? How do you stay fresh when you are the go-to source for the freshest systems, apps, and technologies? The challenge of putting on a technology driven event is being able to fulfill the promise of savvy.

Enter Network Media Partners’ events management and sales teams. In a coordinated effort, Networks teams have helped build not only awareness and attendance among exhibitors and sponsors at ABA TECHSHOW, but have—each year since 2011—amped up the energy and engagement in the vendor community servicing the Expo. As a result, ABA TECHSHOW revenue has grown 92% since 2011.


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“ABA TECHSHOW works well as an example of Network’s combined sales and event management relationship. Our team members, working as true partners with the ABA staff, are committed to building up the vendor community and making their contributions valuable to the whole conference.”

– Carrie Hartin, Network COO


“The Network teams built in new ways to engage and move beyond the ‘I have something to sell, you need something to buy’ mentality of trade shows,” said Lisa Feldner, CMP, Network Media Partners’ Director of Marketing and Events.

“We added in sponsorships of high level networking opportunities such as Taste of TECHSHOW Dinners and valuable learning experiences facilitated by sponsors through Vendor Track sessions and Lunch N’ Learns,” Feldner said.  “Last year, we had a real-time, visual note taker as a sponsored opportunity that resulted in visual summaries of important sessions. It allows for a sponsor to demonstrate their services real time while bringing value to attendees.”

Network’s strategy has been powerful while simple: Create a set of circumstances in the Expo hall that builds relationships and shares the latest technology for small- to mid-sized law firms in a way that doesn’t intimidate the attendees.

One such change Network introduced was to create an exhibitor Vendor Track that provides an opportunity for technology vendors to demo their products and services to larger groups of attendees.  Another Network innovation was to introduce new floor plan technology and sales materials that make pre-event logistics smoother for exhibitors and sponsors.

All of these innovations have led to significant results for the ABA TECHSHOW: More exhibitors, more sponsorship sales, more traffic in the Expo hall, and, in short, more profitability.

“We are very good at removing the barriers for the ABA TECHSHOW event planners responsible for the full conference, so that the Expo becomes a highlight instead of an additional ‘to do’ item on a checklist,” said Network’s Senior Marketing and Event Coordinator Janet McClenny. “Network eliminates obstacles and connects the dots so that exhibit halls can be highly successful (and profitable!) without exhausting the resources of the association.” 

Through targeted sponsorship packages, cultivating attendees’ attitudes, and simple incentives like drawings for smartphones and tablets, Network’s events and sales specialists, working with vendors, sponsors and the ABA staff, have successfully crafted the climate at the ABA TECHSHOW’s Expo into a progressive, cutting-edge “must-see.”

“ABA TECHSHOW works well as an example of Network’s combined sales and event management relationship,” said Network COO Carrie Hartin. “Our team members, working as true partners with the ABA staff, are committed to building up the vendor community and making their contributions valuable to the whole conference.”

For ABA TECHSHOW attendees, staying plugged into the industry has never been easier.

“The Network teams built in new ways to engage and move beyond the ‘I have something to sell, you need something to buy’ mentality of trade shows,”

– Lisa Feldner, CMP, Network Media Partners’ Director of Marketing and Events