Tradeshow and convention experts agree: The best feature a convention center can have in tough economic times is a highly functional conference center.
The tradeshow industry knows that during economically challenging times, the first item to be cut out of a corporate budget is business travel. Both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations send fewer representatives for shorter amounts of time. In other words, fewer delegates spend less time at smaller tradeshows, thereby generating lower revenues and making less of an economic impact.
“To offset the diminished tradeshow activity, an accessible conference center is good to have in the mix,” said Bill Anderson, general manager, Rosemont Convention and Tourism Bureau. While a recession may cause activity to decrease in the larger halls, it is maintained in the facile, convenient conference centers. Conference center space seems less risky to the tradeshow managers and executives (in terms of booking), and more accessible (in terms of attendees). The conference center is particularly attractive to technological meetings which feature smaller displays.”
Mr. Anderson added, “That’s why it is so important for conference center venues to have:
• great appeal, thanks to a generally warmer, more home-like, inviting appearance, as compared to the larger formal hall;
• the ability to accommodate an array of groups, from continuing education series for doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals, to craft seminars and much more;
• the ability to feature the latest technologies that help attendees and exhibitors maximize efficiencies and marketing activities there.
“The Stephens Center has all these features in its world-class conference center,” said Christopher Stephens, general manager of the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center. Mr. Stephens continued. “Perhaps the best example is the way our staff has been blazing new trails of progress, with the installation of the new digital event boards and additional signing capabilities.”
Mr. Stephens continued: “We have begun to update the conference center with new digital event boards, in order to display Stephens Center events. In the coming week, two more digital display boards will be implemented on the 2nd floor. It will make the Stephens Convention Center the most information-rich and information-accessible facility in the nation. The Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center is the gold standard. It will lead the meeting and tradeshow industry in the adaptation of new technologies.”
The new boards are part of the on-going digital improvements undertaken by Joseph P. Fiduccia, president and CEO of Digital Minds, who brought his firm together with Flyte Systems, to install FlyteBoard earlier this year. Digital Minds Inc. is an innovator in the digital signage field that continues to maintain a competitive lead over other providers. TQ Flyteboard offers real-time airline arrival and departure information on dedicated displays.
Mr. Fiduccia stated, “A total of 14 Large Format LCD Screens have been installed at high traffic locations throughout the facility. The new digital signage also enables local companies to promote their business while increasing the scope of information provided to conference center attendees. These new platforms will expand revenue generating opportunities, and enhance the service offerings at the Stephens Center. The Digital Signage also provides space for tradeshow management organizations to generate sponsorship revenue by way of digital marketing services to its exhibitors. These current installations provide the best quality customer service, making the Stephens Center highly competitive in the industry.”
“Just when the industry has been at its lowest, in terms of sheer activity, the Stephens Center has maintained its position as one of the premier convention and exhibit facilities in the U.S.A..” added Rosemont Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. “Our staff at the center excels at innovation and progress.”