The start of a new year is a great time to look back at the previous one and to remind oneself of the key highlights and recharge for the opportunities and experiences that lie ahead. Therefore, in a continuing tradition from previous years, we bring you an a-2-z look at the year 2017 in a two-part series. Thank you for joining us on our journey through 2018 and beyond!
Providing meaningful and timely content to attendees is key to successful attendee retention. We put the focus on understanding what attendees need in the context of the Hero’s Journey and shared our insights with you through on infographic on the 360-Degree Attendee Journey. a2z’s Product Manager, Dominique Baldwin, put herself in the shoes of an attendee for a couple of days and walked away from the experience with several learnings and new ideas.
Business Intelligence (BI) & Reporting
2017 was the year in which BI, or the technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information, entered the mainstream business consciousness and became a more viable reality for the events industry. CEIR and a2z collaborated to launch the cloud-based CEIR Exhibitor Retention Benchmarking Tool, which leverages business intelligence capabilities powered by a2z. We also shared useful tips on getting to the bottom of new exhibitor retention and things your data is telling you.
Content. Connections. Community. Commerce.
Have you noticed our new tagline? At a2z, our vision and mission have expanded beyond technology solutions, to serving organizations and professionals with high-quality content, enabling them to forge new connections and strong communities, and generating economic growth for the entire ecosystem.
David Frick Joins a2z
We welcomed David Frick to the a2z team as the Vice President of Sales. Frick has over thirty years experience in the association, conference and meeting space. In his new leadership role at a2z, he is responsible for executing business development strategies to sustain a2z’s continuing growth.
Expo! Expo! 2017
The a2z team had a memorable experience connecting with our friends and partners from the events industry at Expo! Expo! 2017 in San Antonio, TX. a2z’s engagement initiatives won kudos from attendees who came by to check out our exciting new launches and participate in some really cool virtual reality experiences. The ‘a2zen‘ VR-aided meditation zone outside the exhibition hall created much buzz at the event as an excellent example of innovative technology-driven experience for the event attendees.
Even as AI, AR, and VR created a huge buzz in the events industry, industry leaders and visionaries emphasized the importance of face-to-face interactions. In this post, Nicole Bowman, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IAEE, shared how Exhibitions Means Business campaign drives that message to federal lawmakers. Our own team had innumerable meaningful conversations and made invaluable connections at the many B2B events we attended in 2017. Check out some of our favorite memories and takeaways from Expo! Expo! 2017.
Last year, we were honored to bring to our audience the views and ideas representing many different aspects of the industry. Molly Hamill, CMP, Manager, Exhibit Sales, IAAPA shared why it’s important to take the leap and make a big move. Ken Dec, EVP, Marketing and Client Strategy with The Expo Group shared his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities the next ten years will bring to General Service Contractors. Alex Land, Sales Executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority – LVCVA weighed in on the evolving role of destination management for face-to-face events. Tim Heffernan, Chief Development Officer, T3 Expo shared his perspective on where face-to-face events are headed and what will make them successful in the future. A big thank you to all our guest bloggers in 2017!
Human Element in Customer Service
The year 2017 provided us many, wonderful opportunities to interface with the consumers of our solutions and services. We launched a new ‘Meet the Team‘ series to get you up close and personal with the people who comprise a2z. Jessica Rich, End User Support Specialist with a2z, came away from Zendesk’s Relate Live event with a renewed appreciation of the crucial human element in supporting attendees and exhibitors. In a blog post following his experience representing and assisting the ASLA team onsite, a2z’s Director of Professional Services, Rich Vallaster, appreciated the opportunity to represent and assist our clients in person.
Innovation and the Future of Events
In a series of thoughtful blog posts, a2z’s team, along with the above-mentioned guest bloggers, brainstormed and explored what lies ahead for the events industry. Through the year, we put a lot of focus how the B2B and B2C events of the future could evolve to serve the changing aspirations and requirements of the generations of the future. Read all the articles in this series here.
At a2z, we love celebrating special occasions and days, together as a team. From our creative cosplay on Halloween, to dressing up in green for St. Patrick’s Day, to celebrating our multi-cultural heritage through culinary explorations, we made time to enjoy the lighter side of life. To mark the start of the new year, in lieu of sending out cards, we worked together to donate 100 food bags for kids in the Howard County Public School System.
2017 was truly a happening year with more onsite and virtual training sessions, workshops and user group meetings organized by a2z than ever before. We’ll be announcing the education calendar for this year soon. Stay tuned!
Leading Solution Provider
We were delighted to note that once again, a2z is the leading technology solution provider to the biggest as well as the fastest growing shows in the country. We are grateful for our clients who have entrusted us to contribute to their continuing growth and success. We could not have achieved this distinction without you and we are ever thankful for your support.
MyEventPlan Mobile App
We introduced facilitated attendee journeys with innovative User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) features to our acclaimed mobile app platform. The facilitated journeys make it easier for attendees to discover and engage with the mobile app as well as to use the smart search, planning and networking features for an event they are participating in. We are excited to note that in the very first month of its launch MyEventPlan is ranked in the top 200 business apps on the Apple App Store.