What makes for a successful conference for both attendees and vendors?

The answer: Creative exhibit hall layout, innovative directionals, fantastic AV, and compelling educational components that spur attendee engagement. For WVC, ON Services checked all the boxes.

For veterinary professionals, WVC’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas offers 14,000 attendees educational updates and the latest products to improve their practice on behalf of pets, livestock, and other animals. Attendees want to acquire education, but also gain face-to-face interaction in such WVC events as the Exhibit Hall Mixer, New Product Showcase and Vet Detective Scavenger Hunt. The annual conference sponsored by WVC—originally Western Veterinary Conference—takes over the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. It showcases the products and services of hundreds of vendors and offers a multitude of educational opportunities.

While attendees and vendors are eager to meet each other, the question is: How can the show floor itself—including layout, signage, AV, directional signage and more—make for successful engagement between the two? ON Services provided the answers.

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“This year’s event provided a vibrant platform to share experiences with colleagues, discover the latest products and services, and reignite our collective passion for serving the health and welfare of animals.”
—Dr. W. Mark Hilton, immediate past president, WVC

Challenge

Exhibit hall floors can be tricky things. With attendees looking for new product options and learning opportunities, show floors can be studies in barely controlled chaos. Attendees clump in some areas, while other areas are “dead zones.” Educational opportunities on the show floor might be lacking. Signage can be confusing and not engaging. Underutilized space disappoints vendors and lessens value to everyone.

Eager for new exhibit and learning opportunities at the massive Mandalay Bay exhibit hall, WVC turned to ON Services to organize its show floor presence from scratch. While ON Services had long been WVC’s event production company, the opportunity to create successful new experiences within a new space was an opportunity that couldn't be passed up.

WVC wanted to create a better experience for attendees, one that would translate as well into an enhanced lead-generation opportunity for vendors. ON Services was challenged to accomplish just that.

WVC Annual Conference Exhibit Hall
WVC Annual Conference

Solution

ON Services took control of the conference’s 35-plus concurrent education sessions in the breakout areas, and developed analytics to identify the best placement of equipment and furnishings based on optimal traffic patterns. In particular, ON Services wanted to bring education to the show floor, not only as an added amenity for attendees but also to increase traffic near the all-important vendors.

ON Services’ developed a Sponsored Activity space on WVC’s show floor, and an innovative Learning Lounge, both featuring “bite size” continuing education sessions and 20-minute “Ted-type” talks. ON Services provided cutting-edge AV services, while providing post-event insight into the effectiveness of the new layout to understand what worked and what areas needed additional improvement.

WVC Annual Conference

“WVC wanted a provider that can handle it all, including entertainment, the show floor, and education, all with consistency and innovation. It’s not tech for its own sake. Rather, it’s about total value within one single environment and attendee experience.”
—Jeffory Marker, VP, ON Services

Digital Signage

Digital Signage

Meanwhile, to take full advantage of the floor optimization efforts, ON Services redesigned digital signage to add enriched session information. ON Services technology allowed attendees to use their mobile devices to call up information about upcoming events and vendor podcasts. Later, attendees were able to take a “Trivia Challenge” and amass points (with rewards) based on what they knew about vendor services, while directing them to key events and vendor demonstrations. This drove increased vendor awareness and traffic to the show floor.


Software Technology

ON Services also employed special software technology that managed speakers’ schedules and data, exhibitor data, meeting management, optimization of the exhibitor floor plan, and the management of speaker ready rooms. ON Services tied together entertainment, show floor management and education with consistency and professionalism, resulting in a single experience for attendees as well as WVC.

Software Technology

WVC Keynote Speaker

Show Measurement

For this critical assignment in show floor optimization, ON Services and its parent company GES deployed services and technology to analyze attendee movements and demographics, and to better understand breakout session patterns. Metrics were gathered to inform optimal density distribution, and to identify those exhibitions and amenities that could best drive traffic in the new layout.


Results

ON Services was able to maximize booth and learning placement, suggest expanding areas that were particularly popular with attendees, and thus take advantage of formerly underutilized features.

  • The enhanced show floor design included redeploying unused exhibit space with interactive experiences, such as a sponsored “Puppy Bowl” that increased zone density 40 points.

  • WVC’s Learning Lounge, in an area that was only lightly visited in previous years, added education to the show floor. This strategic placement of the interactive learning environment increased zone density by 14 points.

  • ON Services conducted research and post-analysis on the effectiveness of new show floor layouts to understand what worked and what areas needed additional improvement. The insight enables WVC’s goal of year-over-year innovation and improvement.

WVC saw a 24% increase in average zone visits, well above the industry average. Because of ON Services, WVC was able to add more interactive attendee amenities and learning opportunities, provide easier access to information and educational events, eliminate dead zones, and increase traffic for exhibitors.

WVC Annual Conference

“It’s WVC’s mission to provide solutions-based learning and practical knowledge that can be immediately applied to your practice. … Most importantly, it's also the perfect chance to remind yourself of why your work truly matters.”
— Dr. Anthony Pease, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, WVC