Movers & Shakers

Karen Bohlen is now Assistant Executive Director at Maryland Municipal League

Kara Bowman is now at Visit Anaheim

Dr. Berkita S. Bradford, PhD is now at Virginia State University

Brianna Bruce is now Conference Manager at Access Intelligence LLC

Nicholas Colangelo is now Senior Data Shaper at Bear Analytics, Inc.

Lauren Dwyer is now Director, Programs & Events at National Cable & Telecommunications Association

Amra Elmore is now Regional Sales Director with Visit Baltimore

Linda Erickson is now Vice President of Sales at Walter E Washington Convention Center

Penelope Freire, CMP is now Meetings & Exhibits Manager at American College of Medical Genetics Genomics (ACMG)

Kate Hawley is now Business Development Manager at American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

Robin Hoye is now Operations Manager at Access Intelligence LLC

Jennifer Johnson is now National Sales Manager at The Expo Group

Charlotte Keppers is now President of Lead Inbound

Amira Kruyne is now Meetings & Exhibit Manager at Society of American Military Engineers

Mariella Ley, CEM is now GM/Associate Show Director with IDG World Expo

Kelly Maguire, CMP is now Director of Meetings & Conferences at International Sign Association

Shannon Fitzpatric McDaniel is now National Account Director at The Expo Group

Johanna Merryman is now Director, Convention Activities at DDW Administration

Karen P. Miller, CEM is now Director of Exhibits & Sponsorships at National School Boards Association

Jennifer Moore is now Education Coordinator at Solar Energy Trade Shows LLC (SETS)

Nia Murphy is now Industry & Exhibits Operations Manager at DDW Administration

Megan Parmenter, CMP is now Chief Marketing Officer at National Conference Services

Jim Perrin is now  is now Director of Sales, North Atlantic Region at Global Experience Specialists (GES)

Elise Rankins is now Senior Event Manager at Hampton Road Convention Center (SMG)

Jessica Tennant is now Manager, Meetings & Exhibits with American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Jennifer Tomb, CAE, CEM, CMP is now Assistant Director, Meetings & Exhibits at American Society for Microbiology

Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE is now CEO with Tally Management Group, Inc.

John Woodstock is now Director of Business Development at InfoComm International

A Personalized Approach to Alumni Retention

By Kimberly (KC) Coerr and Shauna Peters

The easiest audience to convert to registrants should be past attendees. They have first-hand familiarity and (hopefully) positive feelings about the event to inform their decision to return. And yet, many shows experience low alumni retention rates. So how do you retain past attendees? Get personal.

Customizing communication with past attendees gives you a head start to ensure they return year after year.

Here are four simple, proven ideas to get you started:

  • Give an incentive. Send prior attendees a personalized email recognizing their “alumni” status and offering a discounted rate (or other value add) as an enticement to register for next year’s event as early as possible. Give specific reasons why they can’t afford to miss the next event, such as continuing the networking or business started at the prior event, updates on industry-specific policy or legislation or other time-sensitive topics.
  • Simplify registration. Work with your registration vendor to provide personalized URLs that pre-populate alumni demographic information. The call to action –register today – can be tailored with a “one-click” button that streamlines registration. Minimizing the process shows the attendee that you appreciate their past attendance and are eager to see them again next year.
  • Personalize event messaging. Since this prospect has already attended, you can skip selling him/her on the concept of the event. Rather, focus messaging on the new products, speakers, education sessions and features that keep the program fresh in their minds and highlight specific value in returning to the event.
  • Create ambassadors. Position past attendees as experienced leaders within the industry / organization and call upon them to mentor new members and first time attendees. By combining these groups and creating a mentorship program before, during and post-event, you create additional buy-in from both audiences by maximizing their involvement. It also helps ease concerns and anxiety of the new member attending for the first time by providing a built-in network and warm welcome, through these event ambassadors, before they set foot at the meeting.

These strategic, targeted approaches to audience retention go a long way toward creating a human connection, engendering loyalty from past attendees and ultimately helping your organization achieve its audience goals.



Andy’s Farewell

At the end of my term as Chair of the greatest chapter of IAEE, part of my responsibility includes writing an article for ShowBuzz to close out the year, reflecting on accomplishments, and sharing lessons learned.  In a move that has become familiar to my fellow board members, I waited until well beyond the last moment to fulfill this duty.  While it seems like procrastination, ok…it is. I waited for inspiration which comes from a familiar place: 34,000 feet, and specifically in seat 21D. I hope it was worth the wait.

For sure, I am just not ready to have it end.  It has been a pleasure and honor to chair this board and offer my service to the largest and greatest chapter of IAEE.  No doubt as a board we did not always see eye to eye, but that is what made us great.  We pushed and pulled each other and in doing so propelled the Washington DC Chapter of IAEE into what I firmly believe is a positive direction for the future.  Here is a brief list of achievements:

  • We have moved from a costly printed newsletter to an online newsletter.  This is saving the chapter thousands each year and help put us back on the path of financial stability.
  • We have become more engaged and closely aligned with IAEE’s National Headquarters working very closely with Lisa Buchanan, Director of Membership and Chapter Engagement.  Lisa has made herself to any and all requests from the board and even travel to DC to participate in our first ever full-day board retreat.  She has been a tremendous help with programs, bylaws and compliance, and advice gleamed from other successful chapters….and will continue to help future boards advance chapter goals.
  • Did I mention we had our first ever full-day board retreat?
  • The chapter now has an administrator to ensure proper succession planning from year to year.
  • We have begun the task of rebuilding our volunteer committee structure to create value for the chapter and value for the members who commit to serve.
  • We also added the position of Director of Young Professionals (YP) to the chapter board of directors.
  • And last, but certainly not least – we brought the trophy home from the 3rd annual IAEE DC vs. NYC Invitational golf tournament, also known as the War on the Shore!

Add to this list above that we put on more educational and special events than any other chapter, and it is easy to understand why I take pride in saying we are not just the largest chapter…we are the best chapter.

As promised above, I will leave you with the lessons I have learned:

  1. It is important to recognize that volunteers offer their services because they are passionate about the work. Embrace that passion and let it ignite ideas.
  2. It is too easy to do what has always been done…fight the temptation to take the easy path.
  3. Appreciate the people you most disagree with…they will challenge you and make you better.
  4. And finally….and I am still learning this one obviously…don’t procrastinate.

Thank you to my fellow board members and chapter members.  I have enjoyed every moment of my year as chair and look forward to the future.