CEIR Case Study: An Interview with Ilissa Hamilton of CNTV

How do you evaluate that your exhibition has given value to your attendees? The Attendee ROI Playbook series addresses the process of how attendees evaluate the outcome or the metrics most commonly used to determine where the trip was worthwhile. To gather insight as to how CEIR subscribers benefited from the research, Ilissa Hamilton, Sales Assistant of CNTV shares her takeaways from the Attendee ROI Playbook series.

Please describe your role at CNTV. What responsibilities do you have?

At CNTV, I lead the support staff for our sales team. My responsibilities are to prepare proposals and marketing material that the sales team uses. More recently, I have also been helping our team prepare written marketing material for clients, such as blogs and social media posts.

Describe a few reasons why you and your organization use CEIR research.

One of the biggest reasons I use CEIR research is that it provides answers to questions I didn’t even know to ask. That is tremendously valuable to have a resource that gives you information you need the instant you realize you need it. Talk about maximizing efficiency.

CEIR Case Study Ilissa Hamilton

Another plus is the trend analysis and industry outlook. Those reports are what I go to when I have a new idea and I want to start analyzing it. I use the reports as a type of sounding board to validate new ideas that I may come up with.

How did you first hear about CEIR research? How long have you been using CEIR research?

Actually, CEIR was mentioned during my interview process before I joined CNTV. I was recently going through my padfolio and I came across my scribbled notes from the day I first met Carrie Ferenac and Marcelo Zolessi, the owners of CNTV. I had written down “CEIR”. In a lot of ways, I was a “CEIR-ian” before I was introduced into the industry. Since then, I’ve been working with CNTV for over two years.

What were your key takeaways from the Attendee ROI Playbook series?

What was surprising to me was how important the experience is to the ROI. Turns out quantifying an attendee’s ROI is not as straightforward as I thought. It’s still about how they feel and their experience; still very subjective.

CEIR Case Study Ilissa Hamilton_2

I’m a numbers person so I love seeing things quantified. The fact that attendee ROI is subjective was really interesting. The more I thought about it, I realized that’s actually great. That means we have to keep asking questions and seeking feedback, which is the best way to stay innovative and flexible. All those aspects are how you keep things fresh and new.

Going back to CEIR as a great sounding board, here I thought the ROI would come down to a few numbers, but in the end my takeaway was very different.

How do you plan to implement those takeaways to your organization?

Staying flexible, asking questions and seeking feedback are the three main points. For my own improvement, I’ll be making sure I hold to those three takeaways. I am lucky in that the people at CNTV are rock stars in all of these things and live it out every day. I learn from them all the time.

How has the Attendee ROI Playbook series changed your outlook on your organization’s marketing efforts?

ROI conversations will continue being subjective to each and every client. There is no “set and forget” solution to providing value.

What is your overall feedback for CEIR regarding the Attendee ROI Playbook series?

You know something is successful when people are surprised by the takeaways. I was shaken by the fact that you can’t fully quantify the ROI of attending exhibitions. Also, I love the infographics that come with the reports. The visuals summarize the data in a creative way and really complement the key points.

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There is no other research that I rely on more. CEIR provided the feedback and perspective that I couldn’t gather myself, which is why the industry turns to CEIR. You guys do a great job of connecting each individual experience to the bigger picture.

Would you recommend the Attendee ROI Playbook series to others?

Absolutely! I would also tell them to stay tuned for whatever comes next. The Head of Marketing Insights series has some great insights and more reports are being released soon.

Are there any content or research you would like CEIR to work on and share?

CEIR Case Study Ilissa Hamilton_4

Keep monitoring the “Generational Shift”, especially Generation X. As they continue moving into the key leadership roles, I think their motivations and thought leadership will be worth watching. (For the record, I am not a Gen X’er so this is not self-serving.)

And I am curious what there is to know about the economics of sustainability. Let’s face it, it is NOT cheap, and I think future discussions about making sustainable choices for the industry will benefit from some great CEIR research.

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