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Tips for Exhibiting at the Annual Wisconsin State Education Convention


 

We’re excited you’re joining us for the Wisconsin State Education Convention in Milwaukee in January! This annual, three-day convention draws more than 2,000 school board members, district administrators and school business officials from more than 90% of Wisconsin’s school districts. This is your chance to network with and increase your visibility among local school district policymakers.

We know that participating in the State Education Convention is a serious investment in your time and resources and we want to help ensure that it is a positive and rewarding experience for you. Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of the State Education Convention:

Before the convention:

Submit a proposal for a break-out session (due in June). Confirmed exhibitors are welcome to submit a proposal for a one-hour breakout session. While they cannot be a “sales pitch,” breakout sessions are a great opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience. Proposals are due each year around the end of June for the following January’s convention.

Advertise that you’ll be participating. Paid exhibitors are authorized to use the annual convention logo in their marketing materials. We also encourage you to send out tweets with hashtag: #EdCon2023. If the WASB is tagged (@wasbwi), we’ll retweet your message.

Send an email to registered attendees. For a fee of $350, the WASB will send out an email on your behalf. Exhibitors are limited to two emails before or after the convention.

Design your booth to provide an engaging and welcoming environment. Here’s some things to consider in your planning:

        • Make sure your signage is updated and interesting.
        • Order the tables or counters that best meet your needs and lay out a design that positions them so attendees can walk right in, rather than create a barrier between you and a potential client.
        • Order the same carpeting for your booth that is in the exhibit hall so there is a smooth transition and attendees will walk right in.
        • Give away food samples or run a raffle (consult contract for limitations and respect the ethics law for locally elected officials).
        • Order a water or coffee station and provide extra seating so attendees can take a break while they visit with you.

Read the convention schedule, note the exclusive exhibit hall times, and plan your day accordingly. We understand that many exhibitors would prefer fewer hours and more exclusivity. However, exhibitor needs have to be weighed against attendee needs and the other demands on the convention schedule. We’ve done our best to come up with a schedule that balances these – at times – competing demands. So, please take note of when to expect greater traffic and when you’ll have downtime.

Consider advertising or a sponsorship. There are a variety of ways to help you stand out through advertising and sponsorship at all budget levels. We’re happy to work with you to customize a package that best meets your needs.

 

During the convention:

Be outgoing and welcoming. Many exhibitors do a great job of interacting with attendees and starting conversations. But there are others we see who are paying greater attention to their phones than who is walking by. We will do our best to drive attendees into the Exhibit Hall, but it’s up to you to engage them while they are there and to create a meaningful lead.

Take advantage of the convention mobile app to connect with attendees and make your presence known.

      • Download the app for free (search “WI Education Convention” in the Apple or Google Play Store). App will be available after Dec. 1. 
      • Sponsor the app to have your banner highlighted on the app and promote your team members. (This is a limited opportunity.)
      • Send messages to attendees via the app. For a fee of $250, your company can send out two messages during convention week. (This is a limited opportunity.)
      • Use the app to advertise your team members. For a fee of $125, your team members and their contact information can be included in the app.

Lead Retrieval. A electronic scanning lead retrieval option will be available onsite for you to use to scan attendee badges (fee-based).

Take advantage of networking opportunities.

Use your downtime. Your Exhibit Hall badge allows you to attend any of the break-out sessions. Feel free to sit in on some sessions when the Exhibit Hall traffic is low.

Respect the convention rules. If you are violating the convention rules, particularly if you are disruptive or inconsiderate to others, you may be asked to leave. Our priority is ensuring that our members have a positive and productive experience at the convention.

After the convention:

Follow up on your leads.

Send an email to registered attendees. For a fee of $350, the WASB will send out an email on your behalf. Exhibitors are limited to two emails before or after the convention.

Wisconsin State Education Convention
122 W. Washington Ave., Suite 400 · Madison, WI 53703
toll-free 877-705-4422 ph 608-257-2622 · fax 608-257-8386
convention@wasb.org

 

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