August 2015 Issue
In this issue of The Corcoran Report:
- Letter from Tom Corcoran, President
- Celebrating 25 Years
- Then & Now: Client Growth & Outsourcing
- Sponsorship: A different kind of sale
- Three Corcoran Clients Named to TSE's "Fastest 50" Shows of 2014
- Corcoran Receives Constant Contact All Star Award for Third Consecutive Year
- A word from our Exhibitors
Click here to download the August 2015 issue of The Corcoran Report (PDF)
By Tom Corcoran, President
This summer we are excited to be celebrating twenty-five years in the trade show business.
Much has changed since Corcoran first opened its doors back in 1990: There were few personal computers, no internet or attachments and you kept your expo floor plans up to date with a ruler and a trusty bottle of Wite-Out®. Our first company computer was an Apple Macintosh SE, which now sits proudly on the shelf above my desk. Print and direct mail were the top communication vehicles used to promote to the Baby Boomers and the fax machine saw a lot more action.
During our first year in business, we organized three expositions and have steadily grown. In 2014 alone, Corcoran worked with 35 not-for-profit associations that collectively hosted 7,000 exhibiting companies in 1.1million square feet of exhibit space.
Today our floor plans are online and the bulk of promotion to the millennial generation has moved to digital marketing. But some things haven’t changed – the importance of trade shows as a viable marketing vehicle, the need for a dedicated sales team selling booth space, and of course, the knowledge that exhibitors are the key to the success of every trade show.
See you on the road!
Celebrating 25 Years
Corcoran Expositions, Inc. is celebrating 25 years as one of the country’s premier independent trade show organizers. In total, our experienced Corcoran team has produced more than 700 trade shows in 100 cities—that’s a lot of miles!
FRESH NEW LOOK
As part of our 25th anniversary, we debuted a brand redesign, complete with new logo and website, that better matches the efficiencies we have developed in the exhibit marketing and sales process over the years, all to the benefit of our clients.
In 2014, Corcoran generated $35 million in exhibit sales, with an impressive 7,000 companies purchasing more than 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space at client shows ranging in focus from beer to brain surgery. Of these exhibiting companies, 3,000 were new to their respective shows, increasing client revenue and energizing trade show floors with the new products & services they represented.
Our new look reflects the energy and fresh perspective of our team that has successfully compelled thousands of companies to exhibit at our clients’ trade shows.
CREATING RELATIONSHIPS THAT LAST
When our clients succeed, we succeed—and the key to success is a great working partnership. Long-time client Melissa Faubel says, “I have always looked at our team at Corcoran as an extension of our staff. The Corcoran crew are true partners to PLA. There’s never a time they don’t give 110% to our show.”
Our business is built on down to earth, personal connections that lead to long-term relationships. Our approach has produced a history of outstanding client satisfaction, with an average client tenure of ten years.
Our first client, the National Beer Wholesalers Association trade show, has been one of our valued partners for all 25 years of our existence. We are grateful to all of our clients who have partnered with us since 1990, and look forward to the next 25 years with a fresh face!
Take a look at our 25th Anniversary Photo Gallery »
Then & Now: Client Growth & Outsourcing
Below is a snapshot of three long-standing clients; why they made the decision to outsource their exhibit sales in the first place, and what solutions we implemented together that resulted in long-term growth and healthy trade show floors.
National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)
THEN: 41,000 square feet show in 1991.
NOW: 54,000 square feet show in 2014*. (*Maxed out available space in exhibit hall.)
REASON FOR OUTSOURCING: NBWA turned to Corcoran due to declining exhibit numbers and poor exhibitor satisfaction as a result of consolidation in the industry and low aisle density.
CORCORAN SOLUTIONS: We suggested moving the trade show to every other year in a hotel venue instead of a convention center and keeping it in Las Vegas. We eliminated all competing events during trade show floor hours.
Public Library Association (PLA)
THEN: 40,000 square feet show in 1996.
NOW: 67,510 square feet show in 2014.
REASON FOR OUTSOURCING: Exhibit booth sales had leveled off in the mid-90s and it was becoming too consuming to administer in-house.
CORCORAN SOLUTIONS: We grew the show floor by sourcing new leads and exhibitors, cleaned up the prospect list, increased communication to exhibitors and initiated on-site booth sales.
Healthcare Financial Managers Association (HFMA)
THEN: 22,480 square feet show in 2002*. (*80 square foot booths.)
NOW: 67,200 square feet show in 2015.
REASON FOR OUTSOURCING: HFMA had a vision of taking their show to the next level and needed a partner to help develop that potential.
CORCORAN SOLUTIONS: We expanded booth offerings to allow for island spaces and the show grew from hotel locations to convention centers. HFMA made a big investment in food on the show floor and on focusing exhibit hours to be 100% non-compete time. Exhibitors reap the benefits of exclusive access to attendees.
Sponsorship: A different kind of sale
Sponsorship sales are about relationships. A successful program requires the time to develop relationships with exhibitors, learn about their needs and find new and creative solutions that will encourage investment beyond the exhibit hall.
Although some growth can be immediate, we find it takes approximately three years to see significant growth in a new or updated program. The first year, our sponsorship team works hard getting to know exhibitors, their marketing goals, interests and budgets. We use this information to restructure the program to meet their needs and implement a more targeted sales approach that will foster mutually beneficial sponsorship investment for the exhibitor and association client.
Below is an example of our process paying off for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting.
2011: The sponsorship program was developed mid-year. This was AGU’s first year offering sponsorship at the Fall Meeting.
2012: We experienced a 4% increase in sponsorship revenue, having introduced new opportunities and familiarized ourselves with key exhibitors.
2013: Sponsorship revenue tripled. Exhibitors began to respond to the new program and relationships with the Corcoran team grew. We were able to align exhibitors’ interests with sponsorship offerings.
2014: Sponsorship revenue increased by 50%, making for another successful year. Working closely with the AGU team, we continued a targeted sales approach and matched new sponsorship offerings with exhibitor needs.
Three Corcoran Clients NameD to TSE's "Fastest 50" Shows of 2014
Corcoran also named ‘Fastest 50’ leader in show management for 2014
Corcoran is proud to announce that three trade show clients have been named to Trade Show Executive’s (TSE) Fastest 50 Shows of 2014. The Fastest 50 ranks the top 50 shows in three metric categories: net square feet, number of exhibiting companies and total attendance. Corcoran also ranked 2nd place in the Fastest 50 Leaders in Show Management.
Corcoran clients honored for 2014 include the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting (AES), Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting (CNS) and National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition (NLC). All three trade shows were recognized for growth in number of exhibiting companies. The American Epilepsy Society’s Annual Meeting was also recognized for growth in net square footage and has made the Fastest 50 list for the second year in a row.
Despite medical shows growing only 1% last year, according to TSE’s Medical Show Report, Corcoran placed two medical shows on the list with over 8.5% growth in exhibiting companies for AES and CNS and 9.1% growth in exhibit space for AES.
National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition ranked tenth overall on the Fastest 50 list for exhibiting companies. This was Corcoran’s first year managing the Exposition and we were tasked with growing the show after several major exhibitors downsized the previous year. We started by adding new leads to the prospect list and made over 9,000 outbound sales attempts. Our efforts resulted in a 23.7% increase in exhibiting companies.
Corcoran’s focus on marketing to new exhibitors is a key part of our success in growing trade shows. This is a hard feat to accomplish in today’s economy, as evidenced by TSE’s statistics that the average trade show in 2014 grew only 2.0% in number of exhibiting companies and 2.6% in net square feet of exhibit space*.
*Trade Show Executive, February 2015 Issue
Corcoran Receives Constant Contact All Star Award for Third Consecutive Year
Corcoran has been named a 2014 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than 600,000 small organizations worldwide. The award, given annually to the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer base, recognizes select businesses and nonprofits for their significant achievements leveraging online marketing tools to engage their customer base and drive success for their organization. This is our third consecutive All Star Award.
Corcoran has been using the Constant Contact email marketing platform since 2007 to market exhibit space to prospects and to keep in touch with exhibitors. We aim to send content that engages and informs our readers and is not just a hard sell.
Take a look at our email marketing statistics compared with industry averages in the chart below. We keep our bounce rates low through researching emails that bounce and keeping contacts fresh in our databases. Our high open and click rates result in more booths sold for our clients!
What Exhibitors Say About Corcoran
"Doreen was consistently helpful with prompt responsiveness and never frustrated with even the craziest of questions. We truly appreciate her!!”
- Healthcare Financial Managers Association (HFMA) ANI exhibitor
"Second to none - they are fantastic and I look forward to continued association with Corcoran."
- American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting exhibitor
"Super friendly staff. Very helpful. Corcoran make the renewal process easy and laid back.”
- American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting exhibitor
"Carly was a pleasure to work with. Very professional.”
- Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) Annual Meeting exhibitor