Accolades / Media

Executive Update 1988 Turnkey Trade Show
Fast Forward:

  • Associations are increasingly turning to outside show-management firms.
    Tough economic times and staffing difficulties are two main reasons.
  • Outside firms help associations cut costs in two primary ways.
    They handle all auxiliary staffing requirements, and since the firms do multiple events, they can negotiate better deals with contractors.
  • Professional management firms offer other benefits as well.
    They often are more creative than association planners, and can invest in specialized show-planning tools.
  • Show-management firms operate on various fee arrangements.
    For well-established shows, they may earn only a small commission; in other cases, it may be 100 percent.
With three professionals plus clerical support, the meeting planning staff of the American Gas Association manages 300 committee sessions and conferences a year. Add a sizable annual exhibition on top of all that and it would be too much to handle. "There are just so many hours in a day," laments Dolores Harrington, AGA's senior staff vice president of meeting services.

So since 1990, AGA has retained Exhibits Promotions Plus, a trade show-management company in Ellicott City, Maryland, to do the job.

AGA is among a growing number of associations that are turning to outside full service trade show management firms to mange their trade shows, conventions, and meetings. And Exhibits Promotions Plus is part of a growing cottage industry that is finding there's almost more association business coming its way.

"Not a week goes by that we don't get an inquiry. We are turning away business," reports Harve. Horowitz, president of the company.

At the International Association for Exposition Management (IAEM), 30 percent of the membership growth in the past year has been from trade show-management firms, says president and CEO Steven Hacker.

Outside firms bypass staffing problems
Economics and staff problems are compelling more associations to farm out trade show-management and meeting-planning responsibilities.


Dear Harve,
This letter is to inform you that you have been selected as one of ConventionSouth's 100 Meeting Professionals to Watch in 2000.

The staff of ConventionSouth would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your thoughtful responses to our questionnaire and to congratulate you for your outstanding professionalism, creativity and dedication to the meetings and convention industry. It was a honor for us to be able to profile you in our December 1999 issue.

Again, thank you for dedication to this industry and best wishes for a successful 2000.

Kristen McIntosh
Executive Director

ASAE Successful Exhibit Marketing - April/May 1988

At a recent Conventions & Expositions Section Roundtable at ASAE headquarters, Harve C. Horowitz, president , Exhibit Promotions Plus, Columbia, Maryland, offered some tips on how to successfully market an exhibit. He started off by answering the most basic question: Why hold an exhibit?

Beyond the obvious, creating income, there are some nonfinancial reasons to hold an exhibit, such as educating members of the latest products and services offered in their field. Exhibits also create a marketing opportunity for associate members who can inform other members about their firm; provide an opportunity to sell advertising for your newsletter or journal; create a welcome diversion from standard correspondence, create an additional attraction that will sell conference attendance; and, most important, meet the competition from a rival association that is also holding a trade show in conjunction with its annual meeting.

Those are the reasons associations sponsor exhibits, but how can they successfully market them? To begin a sales campaign, you need to know who would be interested in buying a booth and how to identify them. Horowitz recommends beginning with your associate members, the supply side of the association, because they have vested interest in selling to you other members, the buyer side. He also suggests obtaining list of your competitors' associate members or trying to get a competitors list of exhibitors/advertisers from a current program etc. checking various trade journals in your industry for advertisers; trading prospect lists with friendly competitors or with colleagues in related industries who are not in direct competition with the show; looking to your own members who are not in an associate category; and, as last resort, investing in a list broker.

Horowitz gave an example of how his firm has helped some if its association clients expand their prospect lists. The National Fire Sprinkler Association, Patterson, New York, originally identified only five sprinkler heads manufacturers who could exhibit at its show. By expanding it definition of

USAE - Subs and Substance on Menu During ASAE Lunch Session

Subs and substance were on the menu at a recent American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) regional lunch on successful exhibit marketing at ASAE's headquarters in Washington D.C.

Harve Horowitz, president of Exhibit Promotions Plus, a Columbia, MD, conference planning and management service, hosted 75 hungry participants, said to be a record for such a meeting, to a fest of overstuffed Italian submarine sandwiches.

Horowitz is a firm believer in attention-grabbing gimmicks. When the Wilmington, DE, lawyer set up his full service trade show management business, he knew which read-made gimmick he would use to help attract and keep clients and friends.

For the ASAE meeting, Horowitz drove from his Columbia office to Ellesmere, DE, a Wilmington suburb, where five generations of Horowitzes have been buying and eating the two-pound subs produced by the Casapullas family. After loading up on subs, he turned around and drove south to Washington. The whole trip took about five hours.

For the ASAE crowd of convention and exhibit managers, or the just plain curious and hungry, he brought 50 whole sandwiches which he spit into one-pound portions. His gimmick

USAE - Meeting Pro Offers Trade Show Sales Tips...Tricks of the Trade Show

Marketing strategies for selling exhibition space and educational programs are very similar, according to two meeting professionals.

Speaking at the Associated Meeting Professionals Jan. 12 seminar at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA, William J. Schrepel, administrator of marketing for the Construction Specifications Institute, and Harve Horowitz, president of Exhibit Promotions Plus, agreed that although the ends are different, many of the means are the same.

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Trade Show Marketing & Management by Exhibit Promotions Plus, Inc