Face-to-face is one of the most trusted sources of relationship building. B2B exhibitions provide buyers and sellers the marketing medium to conduct business. In this case study, D. Bradley Kent, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer of VisitDallas shares his takeaways from the Head of Marketing Insights series, which quantifies the power of B2B exhibitions as an effective marketing medium. Read how VisitDallas was able to produce a more educational experience at their booth at a recent industry event.
Please describe your role at VisitDallas. What responsibilities do you have?
As the Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer, my role is to develop our team, serve as the face of relationships with our customers and partners to help them achieve their goals and develop strategies to achieve the financial objectives of the city.
Describe a few reasons why you and your organization use CEIR research.
CEIR research is important to us for a couple of reasons. We use CEIR to learn more about trends in the trade show industry, and within vertical segments of that industry, as well as to help showcase our convention center and hotel partners. The second reason is that we utilize CEIR data is to identify ways to improve our product offerings, as well as collaborate with developers considering new projects in our city.
How did you first hear about CEIR research? How long have you been using CEIR research?
I was first introduced to CEIR, from Felix Niespodziewanski of American College of Surgeons when it debuted as “The Trade Show Bureau.”
What were your key takeaways from the Head of Marketing Insights series?
Some key takeaways were so many people forget that in addition to selling to trade shows, VisitDallas also participates as an exhibitor at events as well. We use insights on the role of trade shows in the marketing mix and the role marketing plays for these events. Another takeaway is that buyers and show organizers view a trade show as an educational platform, so there is a need to create an experience.
How do you plan to implement those takeaways to your organization’s business strategy?
We recently had a very successful show experience at Cvent Connect by building a 90-seat theater inside an 18-wheeler trailer where we provided a unique education experience, a celebrity “meet and greet” and a unique beverage experience after. With this experience, we had engagement from 38 percent of the customers at the show.
How has the Head of Marketing Insights series changed your outlook on your organization’s marketing and sales objectives?
It’s a very informative and insightful series. We have seen such good growth in our trade association sector, and the series helps us to better understand the needs of the market and the challenges our current and prospective clients face.
What is your overall feedback for CEIR regarding the Head of Marketing Insights series?
Keep it going. The market is changing quickly, so the education you provide is very helpful and insightful. Thanks to the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) for partnering with CEIR to provide this research. We just had an awesome experience at the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) event in Detroit and look forward to hosting them next year.
Are there any content or research you would like CEIR to work on and share?
I would like to learn more about the changing values of the role contract room blocks, static room rates and how short-term rentals will play in future housing and the effect it will play in convention/tradeshow city funding.