This article was written by CadmiumCD Contributor, Pamela Shigeoka.
We’ve come a long way from the days of managing exhibitor registration with spreadsheets and mail merges. CadmiumCD’s Expo Harvester Pro® combines all the different parts of exhibitor management into a single, streamlined system that’s easy for both event management and exhibitors to use. Let’s take a look at five ways Expo Harvester Pro®’s flexibility can simplify event management.
Customize Your Exhibitor Portal
Trying to force a show to fit into an existing management system can be difficult. Not every show is the same, so it makes sense for an exhibitor management system to be flexible enough to fit any show rather than expecting the shows to fit into a single mold.
Expo Harvester Pro® is a comprehensive, customizable portal where information is easily accessible for your entire show management team as well as your exhibitors. You don’t have to worry about data getting lost between an exhibitor and your managers. Exhibitors can log in and see their own portal dashboard that includes everything they need to know and do to get ready for your event.
The portal can be customized to show information such as the event’s date and location, how to contact the event manager, and the exhibit hall hours. You can also add a section with links to important information that exhibitors need easy access to. The Exhibitor Links section can be renamed to anything that fits your event. Some resources that would be useful in this section include the exhibit hall floor plan, your event’s sponsorship prospectus, and your service kit. You can link to whatever is valuable in your Exhibitor Links and keep resources for your exhibitors all in one place.
Another particularly useful customization is the ability to add an invoice section to the exhibitor portal. Exhibitors can click and see their current invoice at any time. This saves both the exhibitors and event managers time, since exhibitors don’t need to contact event management to get their invoice.
Give Your Exhibitors a Task List
No matter how large or small a show is, there are always a number of tasks exhibitors need to complete before the event date. Keeping exhibitors up to date on the tasks they need to complete can be difficult if your management system doesn’t have a way to easily create and manage those tasks.
Each show will have its own specific needs, so task creation in Expo Harvester Pro® completely customizable. It’s simple to create a list of items that exhibitors need to complete to get ready for your show. You can choose options that let exhibitors fill out forms; upload files, like their certificate of insurance or their company logo; or sign documents such as terms and conditions through their portal.
One of the most important tasks is one of the easiest for exhibitors to complete. They can enter their company information in an intuitive form that the exhibitor manager can customize. The exhibitor basically does all of the work, and the Expo Harvester Pro® compiles everything, including their logo if they have uploaded it, into an attractive card on the exhibit hall map and in the eventScribe® mobile app if you also use that platform for your event.
Be Creative with Your Tasks
Because each event has its own unique information needs, it makes sense that an exhibitor management system should allow managers to create tasks that are outside of the ordinary. Cookie cutter task lists can’t bend to suit the needs of every event, and the ability to create any task you need is very important.
For example, the Association for Vascular Access held an exhibitor appreciation event as a way to touch base with and break the ice with their exhibitors. The AVA created an RSVP task for their exhibitor appreciation event in Expo Harvester Pro®, with options to say yes or no to attending, and an option to indicate how many people from exhibitor’s company will attend. The show manager can then go into their dashboard and bring up a report on exhibitors’ answers. They can quickly see which exhibitors have responded, what their responses are, and the planned attendance numbers. They also can share the report with, for example, a catering director, so they can get an idea of how many people to expect at the event.
The ability to create this unique task helped the AVA immensely, as they didn’t have to rely on a separate invitation or RSVP system to manage their appreciation event. Instead of having to upload all of their exhibitor contact information into another system, they could just create a task that puts the event invitation directly on exhibitors’ portal screens.
Make On-Site Sign Ups Easy
Assigning priority points to returning exhibitors is a great way to encourage exhibitors to come back for next year’s show as well as register early, so event managers can get a head start on their next exhibitor list. Expo Harvester Pro® eliminates the difficulty in keeping track of those points with its Worksheets tool. There is a pre-built worksheet for priority points, but you can also customize the worksheet to fit your event, choosing to give points based on sponsorship dollars spent, the size of their booth, how many years they’ve been exhibiting with your event, and so on.
This worksheet can work seamlessly with the built-in communication tool. Event managers can go into communications and send out emails customized for priority points exhibitors that haven’t yet signed up for next year’s event. Managers can also add hotkeys to the emails that are tailored for the specific exhibitor, so they can click and go straight to Harvester® to sign up.
Streamline Your Communications
It’s a time consuming task to use a separate communications system from your exhibitor management platform. Expo Harvester Pro® eliminates the need for a separate system, since communications are built in. With separate systems, you have to either set up a mail merge or upload your exhibitor information. With Harvester®, all of that information is already contained in the system.
So it’s easy to create tailored emails and send them only to the people who need to see them. You can, for example, send an email only to the exhibitors who haven’t completed a particular task, such as entering their company information or those who haven’t settled their invoice. You can also use the communications tools to create a newsletter with information tailored specifically for exhibitors. You can add any information about the show, upcoming meetings, deadline dates, important tasks exhibitors need to complete… anything you need to share with your exhibitors.
Expo Harvester Pro® lets you see how many people received, opened, and clicked through the messages that you’ve sent so you have an idea of how effective your communications are.
The Bottom Line
Expo Harvester Pro® is an excellent tool for flexibility in setting up and managing your event’s exhibitor list. Aside from managing registration, it also gives you options for setting tasks and lets you send emails right to the exhibitors who need to see them, all without having to switch between systems. Expo Harvester Pro® is also work seamlessly with CadmiumCD’s other products, letting you bring all of your event information together with minimal fuss.
I am a freelance writer who enjoys dipping my toes into a wide variety of writing subjects. I have an M.A. in English but found that teaching wasn’t for me, so I’m applying my training to writing instead. I’ve been blogging for ten years and have written everything from book reviews to pop culture essays to business topics. In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction, playing games, and learning new crafts. I live in Corvallis, Oregon, with my husband, daughter, and dog.