A News Non Profits Travel — 12 June 2019

Steve: I’m a fundraising consultant who regularly attends conferences – most of which have trade shows.

Alan: And, I’m president of a company that prints custom labels and I usually exhibit at the conferences.

Steve: Between the two of us, we have attended over 100 conferences. And, we both believe that conferences which include trade shows are the best value and most efficient way to gain the education and information you need – all under one roof. With everyone’s time at such a premium, the opportunity of this “one-stop shopping” concept is invaluable!

Alan: As a vendor partner at various conferences, education is the nuts and bolts of a conference – it’s what draws the attendee – yet that education is more than just sitting in a breakout session listening to a speaker and watching a PowerPoint presentation. The trade show floor is a HUGE educational opportunity – you get hands-on experience with products that you may be interested in and you can try processes or platforms that you’ve been wanting to experience.

An extra perk is that trade shows are the best place for FREE ADVICE! Don’t be shy – ask us questions! We want to help – even if you can’t give us business right then. Ask us – “What ideas do you have?” “How this can work for me?” “I did x-y-z, and it didn’t work – why not?” Those of us exhibiting at trade shows have a tremendous amount of experience in our specific line of work due to the number of clients we serve. We see daily what works – and what doesn’t. Our expertise can be the secret weapon in your toolbox.

Steve: As a fundraiser, I think of trade shows as my treasure chest! It’s where I am always looking for the next great idea.  Too often, we get caught up in our annual work plans and don’t know how to go to the next step. So, I love hearing in the breakout sessions the case studies of how colleagues have added a new twist to their fundraising activities, and then I head to the trade show floor to find out what tools I need, how can I do whatever it is, how it can make my job easier, and most importantly, improve donor response – i.e., my organization’s revenues.

Alan: Today’s trade shows are all about relationship building. And, we are happy to build a relationship with an attendee. We encourage you to engage in a conversation, pick up tips and network with everyone in the hall. Brainstorm with us, we could spark an idea for you!

Steve: Often I have called a vendor contact to ask some questions, and I am always amazed at how much time they offer (even when I may not be looking to contract with them).  Not surprisingly, I have ended up working with vendors that I’ve met at conferences who built a relationship with me and helped me out. They have become trusted advisors, and friends, that have helped guide me to success.  
Alan: Another benefit to visiting the trade show floor is the immediate opportunity to compare prices, services, execution time, etc. Again, everyone’s time is so valuable today – that it makes absolute sense to meet potential service providers in one place and not take up days and weeks with scheduling in-office meetings, that get postponed or cancelled due to a crisis or other priorities. Think of the trade show floor as your screening process – it’s a great time saver!

Steve: Remember, education is not only found in the breakout sessions nor does it stop when the conference is over. Continue to contact and question the experts you met. Fill your toolbox with the knowledge of your vendors, they are your tools to success.

Alan: And, believe me, the right tools get the job done right, every time.

 

Alan Rich, President of Nova Label Co. is exhibiting in the Solutions Showcase at the 14th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, July 10-12, Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center, National Harbor, MD, (adjacent to Washington, DC). Nova Label specializes in custom printed labels as freemiums and interactive devices to direct marketers and fundraisers.

Steven Titlebaum, CFRE, is a fundraising consultant, who will be co-presenting the Fundraising 101 at the 14th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, July 10-12, Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center, National Harbor, MD, (adjacent to Washington, DC).  Steven specializes in working with nonprofits to start planned giving programs and to help organizations grow their donor base.

 

 

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