For the second year, Red Caffeine had the pleasure of working with Elk Grove Village to promote and host the Made In Elk Grove Manufacturing & Technology Expo.
Elk Grove Village is the largest business park in the U.S. and recognized for their “Beyond Business Friendly” mission to connect local businesses. Red Caffeine had big shoes to fill to uphold this reputation and make sure when the Expo arrived we wouldn’t show up to an empty venue. The challenge was: How do you get over 1000 people to attend a manufacturing expo? Any of the RedCaffeine staff can tell you first-hand; it requires a lot of work.
It all starts with a plan!
Having the momentum and experience from the 2013 Expo Event made the show strategy a bit easier but the campaign planning was integral to the ultimate success. A microsite, save-the-dates, public relations, social media, networking, networking, networking… just a preview to the behind-the-scenes work required to pull off an event like this. When planning for an event this large you must consider: pre-show, during the show, and post-show. The event marketing began months prior to the expo. To jump start the process, we redeveloped the microsite MadeInElkGroveExpo.com. This informational hub conveyed the purpose of the expo, highlights from 2013, the first ever Business Excellence Awards and substantiated the fact that Elk Grove is the place for manufacturers. Of course it also automated exhibitors and attendees registration.
To support our exhibitors we provided an array of tools to help them prepare for the big day. Booth planning, pre-show promotion, show checklist and post show follow-up ideas were provided to ensure event success.
To attract attendees we focused our effort where manufacturers play. We promoted the Expo through manufacturing associations and publications along with targeted direct marketing campaigns. We used our public relations team to draw media attention. As a kick off to Manufacturing Month we were able to secure a segment on WGN’s Around Town with ANA BELAVAL that featured Elk Grove’s Advanced Machining Program at the High School and an exhibitor at the event. We followed that with securing a visit and ribbon cutting ceremony for the event with U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. Jim Oberweis, a candidate in the Illinois Senate race, was also on the floor to take advantage of conversations with 100’s of local manufacturers.
On the day of the show the RC team came in full force. Our Social Media Manager kept busy up with online interactions and our PR Director, President, Vice President and Lead Strategist were all on hand to help promote the Village Services and making the rounds to personally meet every single exhibitor. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to man the expo. Our post-show responsibilities continue. They involve collecting feedback from attendees and exhibitors to make sure our event met the needs of the EGV companies who participated and post show press.
The successful event could not have been pulled off without our great partnership with Josh Grodzin, Director Business Development and Marketing for the Village of Elk Grove Village. It’s truly been an honor to facilitate and market the Made in Elk Grove Village Expo for the second year in a row! Until next year, that’s a wrap.
Fun Facts & Quotes
• There were 1035 registered attendees
• There were 93 exhibitors
• 2014 Business Excellence Awards Winners:
• The Innovation Award – Crafts Technology
• The Sustainability Award – Lawrence Foods
• The Community Support Award – E-M Metal Fabricator
“The Elk Grove Village mission to be ‘Beyond Business Friendly’ was evident in the production of the Made in Elk Grove Expo. No other municipality in Illinois manages to attract 1,000 like-minded manufacturing people to their businesses in one day!” - Mayor Craig B. Johnson
"The Expo is an unprecedented venue that we are proud to support as a sponsor. TMA members are exhibitors, as well as attendees. We have found year over year that it’s a valuable way to bring the manufacturing community together to create business opportunities." - Kent Gladish, Senior Marketing and Sales Director for sponsor TMA
“Participating in the Made in Elk Grove Expo has been very worthwhile for us. Last year we gained 10 new clients as a direct result of exhibiting. This year we’ve gotten about 10 business leads from attendees and other exhibitors.” - Brian O’Reilly, President of QTA Industrial Supplies and Solutions
Check out Elk Grove Village’s Twitter, Google+, or Facebook feeds to see all the updates and pics!