Direct. Digital. Data-Driven.
Editorial, Advertising & Design Offices:
6 Hutton Center, Suite 600
Santa Ana, CA 92707
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Publisher: John Yarrington
Editor-in-Chief: Thomas Haire
Contributing Writers: Carlos Cordoba, Bridget McCrea,
Doug McPherson, Jordan Pine, Richard G. Rosen,
Nicole Urso Reed
Graphics Director: Monica Kollmann
Director of New Business Development:
Operations Manager: Kathryn Flinn
Business Manager: Lilian Cindric
Production Specialist/Classified Production Manager:
For Subscriptions Call:
U.S. Sales and Service: 866-344-1315 (toll-free) or
Corporate Director, Audience Management:
Audience Development Manager: Carol Hatcher
For Lists: Anthony Carraturo
Tel: 914-368-1083 • Mobile: 914-312-7380
For Reprints and Licensing:
Back Orders: Response Magazine
P.O. Box 1267, Skokie IL 60076-8270
President & CEO: Kerry C. Gumas
Executive Vice President & CFO: Tom Caridi
Building Better Events Starts With
Keeping Attendees Top of Mind
Attending trade shows and conferences is a crucial part of my job at the ditorial helm of Response. These events allow me to meet with new leaders and key sources, while also gaining new education on the big topics of the day.
Of course, in my role as content director of Response Expo — coming
up in San Diego on April 21-23 — attending these events also allows me to
pick up new ideas for our event. Unfortunately for their organizers, the least
impressive among these events also help me understand what we should
avoid when organizing our annual three-day show.
From niche, one-night networking events to full-blown trade shows (like
next month’s International Home+Housewares Show in Chicago — an
event I’ve attended for more than a decade), it’s intriguing to me to try to
figure out what the organizer is hoping to accomplish. When looking at it
from this perspective, an undeniable trend emerges: events that start with
the idea of providing attendees with the best possible atmosphere to conduct
business, educate themselves, and network often succeed. Events that don’t
have the attendee at top of mind often struggle — or simply fail.
It’s not rocket science. What’s that saying marketers use? Right! The customer always comes first.
Sadly enough, in recent years on the trade show circuit, I’ve learned more
of what not to do than what we can do to improve Expo for our attendees. It
seems new ideas for event excellence come fewer and farther between these
Many groups misunderstand the size and scope of their attendee bases.
This can result in attempting to turn what could be an effective 1.5-day net-
working event into a full-blown three-day “trade show” with an empty show
floor and oodles of non-registered “attendees” locking up all of a hotel’s bars.
Others don’t understand the right location for an evening networking
event — one that fits with the desires of their targeted attendees, while also
creating the best atmosphere for networking. Some others don’t grasp that
certain convention-heavy cities may not be the best choice for their attend-
None of this is to call Response Expo the “perfect” trade
show. No, we find things that we need to tweak and mix up
every year. But all of those things come from one overriding
thought: what worked — and what didn’t — for our attendees.
We double down on the positives and do everything possible to
rectify the negatives.
So, don’t hesitate to drop a line — we’re always looking for
feedback. If you’ve attended the Expo in the past, send me a
note. If you’re attending this year for the first time, reach out to
me on site or afterward. There’s only one way for us to continue
to build on the Expo’s first eight years of success: by listening to
Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief