A new Web portal aimed at improving exhibitors’ and attendees’ experiences at aor convention, especially in an unfamiliar city, launched in late March.
Convention Center Place serves as a one-stop shop for small- to medium-sized exhibitors as well as delegates, says Gwyn Thakur, principal of the Acton, Mass.–based privately held company.
The site has three main sections: the Convention Center Store, which features trade show displays, promotional products, trade show accessories, and event resources for marketers attending a trade show; Convention Center City, which provides city resources through a dashboard that identifies frequently searched items for visitors, such as hotels, local transportation, and restaurants near the major convention centers; and Conventional Wisdom, which offers tips, checklists, and other resources for exhibitors andprofessionals.
Contributors to the Conventional Wisdom section include well-known names in the meetings industry, including technology expert Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball Associates; Candy Adams, “the booth mom”; Skip Cox of Exhibit Surveys; and Susan Friedman, the “tradeshow coach.”
Thakur, who cut her teeth in the exhibition industry when she was director of trade shows and events at the now defunct Digital Equipment Corp., says CCP has affiliate marketing agreements with the vendors selling displays and promotional products in the Convention Center Store. She says these products are aimed at small- to medium-sized exhibitors, not large marketers looking for custom exhibits and booths.
The other revenue stream will come through advertising at the local level in the Convention Center City section. “We are putting the final touches on our advertising model,” she says. “But Convention Center City will be an extremely low-cost and effective way for local merchants to advertise to convention attendees.” The company spent 18 months researching and building out this part of the site, which now features 24 major convention cities in the U.S. as well as London.
Thakur says show producers are eager to include the link on their conference sites as a service to both exhibitors and attendees. Eventually, the site will be available as a mobile application, she adds.