ARLINGTON, VA — The pandemic may have put the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum on hold last spring, but ECEF Producer Sam Lippman of Lippman Connects has spent the intervening six months completely revamping the show for a November 18 debut on Freeman’s OnlineEvent Pro platform. Freeman also will be the exclusive Gold Sponsor of the online event.
ECEF is anticipating that the lower registration fee, elimination of travel expenses, and ease of attending digitally will attract a larger than usual number of independent and association trade show executives representing both U.S. and international organizations.
Lippman Connects has had some experience going digital, already having moved its Exhibit Sales, Large Show, and Attendee Acquisition Roundtables to an online environment. Lippman also has launched a new series of digital summits — all 10 of the summer summits sold out, and there are seven more scheduled for the fall, said Lippman.
The most important factor to digital success so far, he added, was spending the time to deconstruct what made the in-person events work, then finding ways to double down on those key aspects in a digital environment.
Because one of those success factors is spending time networking with speakers and other attendees, Lippman Connects is using a “reverse education” model, providing key content to registrants on the portal in the days leading up to November 18. “That way the speakers can spend more time on Q&A and do a deeper dive into the topic,” Lippman explained. There also will be fewer, shorter sessions, and for the first time ECEF will have breakouts “because we’ve learned the best networking happens in those smaller groups,” he said.
Lippman Connects also has announced that it will use video networking technology from Gather Voices to enable ECEF clients to introduce themselves via video; the videos then will be showcased in an interactive gallery. ECEF speakers also will be able to use Gather Voices to preview their presentations, and sponsors can use it to provide product and service information.
There also are plans in the works to provide brown bag lunch experiences for remote attendees using a food delivery service, such as Grubhub, with attendees virtually eating together in small groups sponsored by destinations. The closing keynote speaker will be Julie Cottineau, Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, who will talk about innovation with a brand twist — how to get more attention for your exhibition.
Freeman’s platform was chosen because of the company’s ”significant” vision of the future of in-person events, as well as its capabilities in strategy and digital event technology, said Lippman. “And I’m even more impressed in how Freeman helped us rethink our strategy for a virtual format this year,” he added.
Freeman’s offerings will be among the expanded number of event tech products and services showcased at the ECEF TechDemo this year, which will debut exclusively for ECEF executive participants on November 18. It will also be available November 19 and 20 for executives to invite their IT, marketing, and other staff to check out the offerings, according to Lippman.
“We look forward to providing value and content for our attendees and sponsors in this new medium,” said Lippman.
Learn more about ECEF at lippmanconnects.com/event/ecef.
Reach Sam Lippman at (703) 979-4904; firstname.lastname@example.org.