How does Isabelle Bart at AACN use CEIR research for the benefit of her organization? Find out by reading the case study interview below.
Please describe your role at American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). What responsibilities do you have?
I am the Director of Marketing and Communications at AACN. My team does all of our marketing strategy and outreach in-house. We do have a lot of different products and services. One of our biggest programs is our annual conference, the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), which draws around 7,000 attendees every year.
Describe a few reasons why you and your organization use CEIR research.
I like using CEIR research for benchmarking. I do like having the reports so I can understand what other organizations do. I use some of the data points for benchmarking or comparing what AACN does to what other organizations are doing. CEIR research helps give ideas on some of the things we can do better. These reports are good informational tools.
How did you first hear about CEIR research?
I first heard about CEIR research from my colleague, Randy Bauler, CEM. He is in charge of exhibit and sponsorship sales at AACN. He’s very in tune with what is going on in the exhibitions and events industry and shares these reports with me.
What challenges is AACN facing that guided you to download the How to Grow Attendance series?
In general, we rely heavily on data and research. Having data is important for us. We also want to understand if there are tactics that others are doing that we’re not doing because we’re trying to be cutting edge as well. To me, I want to know what other organizations are doing to grow attendance that I’m not doing.
A challenge that we have, is that we rotate locations every year. We know that location is a big factor in someone’s decision to attend. Popular conference locations such as Boston, New Orleans or Chicago draw the highest attendance, but because we are mission-driven and want to reach as many nurses as possible, we also take our show to the Mid-and Southwest. When we get down to the marketing of the show, we have a different target every year because we take the location into consideration. We still need to customize our marketing strategy every year. For us, the How to Grow Attendance reports are used mainly for idea generation and benchmarking.
What were your key takeaways from the How to Grow Attendance series?
The results were very similar to what we are experiencing at AACN. We’re tracking along the same trends regarding digital and some of the tactics used to grow attendance. It seemed to me that we were close to what most organizations do. I didn’t feel like we had a lot of gaps from what we were doing to what others were doing in their marketing strategy.
How do you plan to implement those takeaways to your show?
It didn’t seem that we needed to change our show marketing plan too much. The reports, however, did solidify our outlook on the marketing plan.
We’re working on consolidating our emails and maybe perhaps, adding some more video content. The reports provided us the confirmation to go ahead and experiment with these new tactics because they have been proven successful by other organizations.
What is your overall feedback for CEIR regarding the How to Grow Attendance series?
I would say to CEIR to keep doing what you’re doing. I really like the format of the reports and the information in there. I thought the reports were comprehensive enough, but not too extensive. The reports are easy to use and read.
Are there any content or research you would like CEIR to work on and share?
I think one topic that is really interesting is the future state of conferences and exhibitions. What are the key expectations that attendees are going to have five to ten years from now? I’m thinking that perhaps, we should incorporate artificial intelligence or newer digital tactics. I’m thinking ahead as to what are the future things that I should start thinking about right now.
If you would like to participate in the CEIR Case Study or have insights on how CEIR has helped your organization, please reach out to Jannat Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org.