11 Takeaways From Connect Spring Marketplace

April 16, 2024

Approximately 2,000 attendees, including 800 hosted buyers gathered at The Venetian in Las Vegas for Connect Spring Marketplace April 2-4. Owned by Informa, the event connects meeting buyers and suppliers for one-on-one conversations, but also weaves in educational opportunities; a trade show featuring destinations and fresh experiential ideas; and after-hours networking events.

Here are some of the fresh ideas and classic events that made Connect Spring Marketplace a success.

More Cowbell!

The eTourism Summit, an event for destination marketers co-located with Connect Spring Marketplace, had cowbells on every table and issued this invitation to use them: If at any time a speaker was becoming too promotional about their services or their destination, audience members could ring their bell as a reminder to get back on topic. Now that’s asking for engagement!

Brand Everything

Well-designed, strategic branding conveys professionalism and attention to detail, influencing attendees’ perception of your event. For the BizBash Leadership Summit 2024, an event for event industry thought leaders co-located with Connect Spring Marketplace, organizers put the event logo on the tabletops, right under attendees’ noses.

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

The Heart of the Event (with a Twist)

Appointments between meeting planners and suppliers are at the heart of Connect Spring Marketplace, and the event’s approach is worth noting: Unlike some other appointment-based conferences, buyers had assigned seats while suppliers moved from place to place for the eight-minute meetings.

On Trend!

Everyone and their mother seem to be learning pickleball, and Myrtle Beach, S.C., took advantage of the buzz, sponsoring a pickleball court on the Connect Spring Marketplace show floor.

First-Timers Are Gold

You only have one chance for a first impression, and Connect made the most of it, welcoming first-time attendees with a glass of champagne during their orientation session.

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

New This Year

Say goodbye to delayed gratification: Connect partnered with Cultivate to create a gifting experience for attendees right on the show floor.

Create Content #1

Every event brings in thought leaders, do you know what’s on their minds? Trade Show News Network, a media brand in the Connect family, made the most of Connect Spring Marketplace by setting up a booth to record conversations between Content Vice President Danica Tormohlen and meetings industry professionals.

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

Create Content #2

Corporate entertainment services company AE&ES had its photo robot making its way around the show floor. Attendees could have their photo taken and launch it off to social media. Win-win for the attendee and the show.

Education + Comfort

Learning stage on the show not only had great speakers—including Mike Dominguez, president and CEO of ALHI; Jason Dunn, executive director of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals; and Scott Frankel, president of Animatic Media – but also attracted attendees with invitingly cushioned seating.

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

Puppies Never Get Old

Cute balls of fluff have been a feature at trade shows for at least a decade now, and it’s still a smart exhibitor investment to draw crowds and create a relaxing moment for busy attendees. In this case, Reno Tahoe brought in the pups.

Love Me a Party

Classic final night event in Las Vegas: A white-attire party around the pool at Tao nightclub. Here, leaders from the Search Foundation, an organization providing support to event planners in need, show their enthusiasm for a fun evening—Kate Patay, CPCE, (left) and Michele Polci, CPCE, CMP.

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

This article was originally published in our sister publication, MeetingsNet. To view the full image gallery, go here.


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