Tradition – Webster’s tells us it is:
1 a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom) b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable 2 : the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction 3 : cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions. It’s something we all look forward to and can count on.
This is exactly how you want people to look at your next trade show or convention. You want people to count on it year after year so that they make their reservation early and make them every year. Yours needs to be the first thing they tell their peers that they should attend. These three tips should make it a convention that is a tradition every year.
- Location – The location of your event is crucial to it being a tradition. If you have an event every year at a different location it cannot become the go to event everyone looks forward to attending. I love to hear “I will see you this year in Vegas?” That means they are already thinking of your event and when they give the location where they will see you next it means they are locked in to attending.
- Timing – Having your event every year at the same time makes it a tradition that everyone will remember. I go every year to SXSW in Austin, Texas in the Spring. I know it is in the Spring because they call it “Spring Break For Geeks”. I also know that every year they have it in Austin and I can count on making arrangements a year in advance. I know I will be doing that event in the springtime.
- Program – Having the same type of program year after year allows you to make it a tradition for your speakers and exhibitors and your sponsors. They love things that they can plan on and love it even more when you make it easy for them to stay in a groove so they can see what works best for them. Stay with a program of breakout sessions and other typical actions of your event.
These tips will allow your event to become a tradition in your industry. Becoming a tradition is crucial to making your event a success both financially and in the eyes of attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. In a sense that makes it cyclical which is also somewhat of a tradition.
[photo via acameronhuff]