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Press Release

Attendees in the EXPO – Lessons Learned

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Tue Mar 02 2010

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The following is written by Mark Stout, an ASTD Sales Account Executive.

While walking the EXPO hall at ASTD TechKnowledge 2010 I ran into a woman rigorously flipping through her Program Guide. I inquired if she needed any assistance and she accepted, saying she was looking for a specific list of Authoring Tool vendors. I let her know I was unable to recommend any one particular vendor, but I did walk her through the Areas of Expertise reference in the back of the Program Guide. She was excited to see the dozen or so names listed and immediately made a plan of action to look over their company descriptions and then visit and demo these providers. She went on to talk about her organization and how their leadership team was preparing for the 2010 calendar year and how they had been charged with supplying the same number of training hours as they did in 2009, but with a slightly less budget. They were looking to purchase an authoring tool to help assist them in converting some of their existing classroom content to the web to defray some of these costs and take more of a blended learning approach. Her organization found our event to be a great marketplace for her to demo software and interact with potential vendors.

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Here are a few solid points to take from this story:

While ASTD events do attract high-level training professionals based on the world-class content at sessions and the opportunity for attendees to network and share best practices, the EXPO is still a major reason for attending. In this particular circumstance, finding a supplier was her organization's top priority for participating at TechKnowledge. Many attendees look at ASTD events as a way to cut-the-clutter and get a short list of potential vendors that they can interview and evaluate on the spot.

The Program Guide is a valuable asset for our attendees. In the above story, this particular attendee used our Areas of Expertise section to make her short list of companies to visit and then she looked through each company listing to start her evaluations. Sometimes the little thing such as getting the logo upgrade, purchasing a print ad or making your company description as clear and concise as possible, will make all the difference in helping these attendees find you on the floor.

ASTD attendees come from companies that still have sizable training budgets, despite the down economy. Their presence at our event is proof positive that they still cherish the learning function by investing upwards of $2,000 per attendee on registrations, airfare, lodging...etc. If a company is willing to make that investment on a single employee, they are willing to make that investment on their entire workforce.

As you prepare for the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in May, what is your company doing to reach attendees like the woman above?

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