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People, Shows & Events
Greg Topalian Delivers Keynote at Exhibition and Conference Executives Forum
Customers do business with you, but fans are loyal to the “end-to-end” experience exclusive to your brand. That was the heart of the message Keynote speaker Greg Topalian, Reed Exhibitions’
Senior Vice President, delivered today to the largest-ever audience at the Exhibition and Conference Executives Forum (ECEF). Now in its 13th year, ECEF attracted a record 206 verified executives from associations and independent event producers to hear Topalian warn that the B2B event model was ripe for disruption.
Just as Blockbuster video rental chain collapsed in the face of market disruption by Netflix, Topalian cautioned that B2B events must build fan-like loyalty to fend off disruptions. Explaining that Blockbuster’s reliance on late fees gave Netflix a strategic market opening, he boldly asked ECEF attendees, “What’s our industry’s late fee?”
Topalian’s advice to build a fan-driven brand was underscored by closing keynoter Larry Vincent, Chief Branding Officer of The Brand Studio and author of “Brand Real.” Drawing on his experience as a branding consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Vincent painstakingly dismantled dangerous misconceptions about branding. Starting with “Your logo is not your brand,” he demonstrated how building a strong brand creates an even stronger event.
“The executives who come to ECEF expect to have their preconceptions challenged, and Greg opened our eyes to how the shifting loyalties and rising demands of the consumer marketplace are finding their way into the B2B universe,” said ECEF producer Sam Lippman. “Larry amplified that message by dramatically expanding our conception of brand and its value to our success.”
ECEF’s one-day program also featured these experts on face-to-face events:
David Audrain, President and CEO, Exposition Development Company; Joe Loggia, President and CEO, Advanstar; Chris McEntee, Executive Director/CEO, American Geophysical Union; Paul St. Amour, Vice President, Latin America, E.J. Krause and Associates; and Gary Shapiro, President & CEO, Consumer Electronics Association.
The 206 verified attendees at ECEF were from 23 states and seven countries.
Sponsors of ECEF 2014 were Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (Platinum), Freeman (Gold), mdg (Silver), a2z, Ascend Integrated Media, ASP, Berkery Noyes, BOB.tv, CompuSystems, Convention Data Services, E.J. Krause & Associates, EPIC, Exhibitor Invites, Experient, The Expo Group, Expo Stars Interactive, ExpoBee, EXPOCAD, Fern Exposition & Event Services, Global Experience Specialists/GES, Hargrove, IMN Solutions, INXPO, ITN International, Jacobs Jenner & Kent, JW Marriott, Map Your Show, MetroMultiMedia, Naylor, onPeak, Thailand and Ungerboeck Software International.
Participating Publications were Associations Now, Association Trends, Convene, Exhibition World, EXPO, Expomap.ru, FORUM, MeetingsNet, Trade Show Executive and TSNN.
ECEF 2014 white papers, speaker presentation slides and on-site polling results will be posted at
www.lippmanconnects.com/resources on June 4, 2014. Photographs of the event can be found now at www.lippmanconnects.com/ECEF2014photos.
ECEF 2015 will be held Wednesday, May 27, at the JW Marriott, Washington, D.C.
About Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF)
ECEF is the world’s only one-day forum exclusively for independent and association executives. Exhibition and convention industry leaders focus on ways to increase revenues and the relevance of their events through C-level content and top-to-top networking. More information is available at
About Large Show Roundtable (LSR)
LSR is the only event serving the information needs of show producers with 125,000+ net square feet of exhibit space. Three times a year LSR gathers a small circle of qualified producers for a full day of facilitated problem-solving, off-the-record discussions, and networking. Participants “own” LSR because they create the agenda and play an active role in helping their peers define solutions. More information is available at www.lippmanconnects.com/LSR.
About Attendee Acquisition Roundtable (AAR)
AAR is a one-day event bringing together qualified event marketers to discuss new research, share best practices, exchange proven ideas, and explore creative solutions. Three times a year marketing professionals come to AAR to learn how to find, attract and retain attendees.
Information is available at www.lippmanconnects.com/AAR.
About Exhibit Sales Roundtable (ESR)
ESR provides exhibit and sponsorship sales and service professionals a one-day opportunity to meet, network and learn from peers and experts.
Three time a year attendees discuss new research, compare innovative sales techniques, explore sponsorships that work, and share fresh ideas.
Information is available at www.lippmanconnects.com/ESR.
About Lippman Connects
Lippman Connects produces and facilitates exclusive events for exhibition and convention industry professionals. Each event—Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum, Attendee Acquisition Roundtable, Exhibit Sales Roundtable and Large Show Roundtable—provides attendees, and a select group of sponsors, the opportunity to network, discuss challenges, and share best practices. Lippman Connects is also a premier provider of advisory services to event organizations. The advisory services portfolio includes consulting, meeting facilitation, speaking and moderating, and subject-matter expertise. More information is available at www.lippmanconnects.com.
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