The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) has benefited from having a well-established audience. As planning for the recent Motorcoach EXPO started, however, the organization was looking ahead to the future. How could the association embrace the next generation of industry professionals and vendors? The team suspected building more interactivity into the event would be key, but it wasn’t sure where to start.
Mapping Out the Route
Freeman started with an audit of the event. This comprehensive review process analyzed and assessed all aspects of the event to identify areas that were already strong and areas that could stand to be strengthened. The process was designed to deliver insights that would enable UMA to step back and think creatively about its entire event experience in order to build deeper relationships with both existing and new audiences. The key themes that emerged included community, adventure, education, and the need to get the next generation on board.
Off the Beaten Path
The Freeman audit highlighted multiple opportunities to drive community engagement, including author meet-and-greets and audience Q&As. The association also opened a highly popular invitation-only roundtable discussion on top industry challenges to the full audience. New education tracks on technology and sustainability enabled UMA to take a leadership stance on topics important to younger attendees, and UMA executives fostered accessibility by holding mini-sessions in their booth. Even the keynote received a refresh, with UMA bringing the CEO of Uber to deliver an exciting and memorable address.
The Road to Success
Based on recommendations from the audit, UMA successfully revitalized its show into a highly interactive experience. In fact, increased activity on the show floor and overall powerful programming may have inspired exhibitors to return to UMA. On-site exhibit sales reached a record number with a 20% exhibitor rebooking rate and an increase of over 25% square footage rebooked year over year. Thanks to this bold new business model, UMA has put itself on the map for the next generation of industry movers and shakers.