April 7, 2015
When associations share clients in the same industry and also both hold tradeshows, it creates the opportunity to co-locate and turn two related events into one massive tradeshow. When co-locating, it is crucial to make sure that the branding and promotion gives both organizations their props. It’s also important to talk about all the benefits that the members and exhibitors get out of the experience.
In the case of the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), both organizations want to reach airline representatives. Both associations are also managed by Kellen. IFSA’s membership is based in catering and other onboard services, while APEX’s membership is the entertainment and comfort end of the industry. Together, they have created the APEX/IFSA EXPO, the premier global airline passenger experience tradeshow.
The process starts with both associations sitting down and agreeing to the branding and messaging strategy for the year. From there, we begin to build the co-branded event logo and website materials. Additionally, the tradeshow agenda is planned together, with education and networking events that cater to both associations.
Some of the challenges we face include:
- Agreeing on and promoting speaker and event changes
- Making sure that all sponsors are properly showcased
- Fairly dividing up budgets and funding
- Making sure that all of the association staff members are on the same page during the show
To manage these challenges, both the APEX and IFSA MarComm teams meet throughout the year to collaborate on the EXPO website, printed program, event signage, media promotion and speaker talking points. For social media, we use similar hashtags and will tag and retweet each other to maximize our social footprint leading up to, during, and after the EXPO.
Our goal is to make sure both associations are given equal time and to drive attendance by promoting the value of being able to reach hundreds of airline decision makers in one event. Our most recent surveys showed that members are eager to recommend future EXPOs to industry colleagues and they continue to be very satisfied with the event. As a result, IFSA and APEX have been successfully co-locating for six years and attendance numbers continue to grow.