We asked 10 industry experts to share their opinions and advice on off-site events.
"By using the trade show framework with its built-in qualified audience, off-site events give you the opportunity to be the talk of the town."
— Allison Saget, author of "The Event Marketing Handbook"
"Attendance isn't the goal when hosting an event – engagement is. Focus on what will motivate your guests to commit to, attend, and remember your event, and you'll maximize your return on investment every time."
— Stephanie Arone, DMCP, president and general manager, Activity Planners Inc.
"The biggest challenge – for all involved – is measuring the return on investment for your organization."
— Jason Askew, product marketing manager, Cvent Inc.
"You always have to start with your strategy. Why are you holding the event in the first place?"
— Candy Adams, CTSM, CEM, CMP, CMM, "The Booth Mom"
"Trade shows tend to be heavily focused on metrics, whereas events are measured more qualitatively. Did we provide an unforgettable experience for our guests? Did we prove that we are fun and relatable?"
— Andy Marsh, managing partner, TagPrints Digital
"When planning an off-site event during a trade show, location is key. Pick a place that represents the city you are in and that your guests might want to visit if they were on a vacation."
— Jodi Wolf, CEO, Paulette Wolf Events & Entertainment
"Keeping scalability in mind, the wow experience for a trade show must be designed so that it's potentially agile, mobile, and applicable for the client's other events."
— Steve Deitz, CEO and founder, 900lbs of Creative
"How is baking a chocolate cake different from baking a vanilla cake? The basic fundamentals of exhibits and events are the same, but the ingredients will vary."
— NeKeta Argrow, owner, Event Marketing Architect
"Trade shows are conducive to high throughput and offer an excellent forum for discovery, but they don't really lend themselves to an immersive product experience. This is where events come in."
— Sameer Tobaccowala, CEO, Shobiz Experiential Communications
"When selecting an off-site event venue, consider your brand personality and key messaging. Then choose a venue that complements those principles."
— Jessica Fisher, director of events, Czarnowski Display Services Inc.