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January 13, 2010 
 
 
OUR ASSOCIATION EVENT YESTERDAY

800 business executives—and counting. That's how many have signed up for tonight's Bisnow “Back to Business Total Schmoozarama.” Thanks to presenting sponsor Cardinal Bank. Open bar and dinner buffet, Park at Fourteenth. Crazy low price. Sign up now!

 
What better way to tell you about managing event costs and driving attendance than to host our own event on events.
 
Bisnow Association event
More than 150 of you filled BLT Steak yesterday to hear from association execs who are making their trade shows and conventions the hottest tickets. Bonus: Based on the groups they represent, we surmise they're the people most likely to enjoy sitting in a timeshare, wearing a Snuggie, and drinking beer.
 
National Beer Wholesalers Association CEO Craig Purser speaks at Bisnow event

A trade show should feel like a six or seven course meal, rather than an all-you-can-eat buffet, says National Beer Wholesalers Association CEO Craig Purser. (We imagine each course would have a beer pairing.) It's great if people can stuff themselves silly with content, he explains, but it's more special if everyone can leave saying, "Wow, that was a terrific meal." He says associations need to make sure the purpose of the meeting is integrated into the purpose of the association, and survey members to find out what they want. Or in Craig's words: "Ask what they want to consume before you set the menu."

American Resort Development Association CEO Howard Nusbaum speaks at Bisnow event

A celebrity speaker may get people talking, but not necessarily drive attendance, says American Resort Development Association CEO Howard Nusbaum. Industry rock stars who can share their insider experience are usually more valuable. If you are going to pay big bucks for that high-profile speaker, Howard says it's imperative that the person customize his or her remarks by speaking to board members beforehand and using industry references. Howard says it's also critical for associations to demonstrate innovation and positivity at the event, especially when the industry they represent (like, say, resort development) has been humbled by the recession.

Electronic Retailing Association CEO Julie Coons speaks at Bisnow event

Networking should be infused into everything an association does, says Electronic Retailing Association CEO Julie Coons, especially live events. Last year, Julie helped boost attendance for ERA's Las Vegas trade show by 32%, making it the largest in the association's history. Part of the success came from driving traffic to the show floor with extra networking opportunities and adding fun events like a Snuggie fashion show. Julie says she looks for a venue that will have a cocoon feel, so members see each other over and over and get the impression that everyone and anyone is there.

Our moderator and former American Forest & Paper Association CEO Juanita Duggan goes way back with these two panelists. As CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America from '97-'07, Juanita often worked with Craig. We're also pretty sure they were the most popular people to invite to a BYOB party. Turns out, Juanita lives three doors down from Howard. But given that he's on an average of five airplanes a week, we take it she's not borrowing sugar that often. Howard tells us he just came back from Puerto Vallarta and was headed to Hawaii at 7 this morning for a three-day trip to Hawaii. Strictly business, of course.

CBIZ MHM, LLC benefits VP Brian Diemar, marketing guru Jodie Kamins, and accounting directors Margaret Blaine and Jeff Sabot at Bisnow event
Great event sponsor CBIZ MHM, LLC was represented by benefits VP Brian Diemar, marketing guru Jodie Kamins, and accounting directors Margaret Blaine and Jeff Sabot. The eighth largest accounting firm in the country provides accounting, tax, consulting, and financial services to associations, charities, and other non-profits like the Conservation Fund and the American Psychological Association.
 
MOI Knoll: marketing dir. Heather Davis, business development director Kerry Gabler, and architecture and design manager Melissa Regan
And Great Sponsor #2, MOI Knoll: marketing dir. Heather Davis, business development director Kerry Gabler, and architecture and design manager Melissa Regan. They even brought one of their amazingly comfortable chairs—called the Generation Chair, if you want to order a few hundred—and drew the business card of Cushman & Wakefield's Michael Katcher, who got to take it home!
 
BizBash's Amanda Abel, Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Kate Rocke, O'Keefe Communications' Lauren Marley, and BizBash Master Planners' Jessica Marks

BizBash's Amanda Abel, Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Kate Rocke, O'Keefe Communications' Lauren Marley, and BizBash Master Planners' Jessica Marks. The girls agreed that no matter how trendy webinars may be, nothing will replace face-to-face events (ie, "the real deal"). They also told us more conventions and trade shows should include gatherings for young professionals.


UPCOMING EVENTS
 

January 13 - Bisnow Back to Business Total Schmoozarama - Park at Fourteenth - 6-8pm - Network with top level business execs, enjoy open bar, and gourmet buffet. Crazy low price. Join us!

January 14 - Tech Council of Maryland - Health Care Reform - For anyone in the business community who is interested in networking and learning about what health care reform means to them and their business. 7:30-9am - Bethesda Country Club. Info

 
 
 
Reznick (Creating)
 
Cardinal (Bird)
 
WorkSpaces (Inscape)
 
Akridge (700 6th) #2
 
Reston Limo (White)
 
GGA (Integrated)
 
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