John Federico (@gadgetboy) talks with Trace Cohen (@trace_cohen), President & Co-founder of about new digital PR for conferences and trade shows.

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John Federico: Welcome to the Event Tech Podcast. I’m John Federico, your host and executive producer, which means that I’m the guy who turns the knobs and posts the shows. More importantly, I’m the guy who schedules the guests, and I’m always on the lookout for great people and companies in Event Tech, and this week is no exception. Joining me today, on this quiet Friday just before the Easter holiday is Trace Cohen. Is it president and co-founder?

Trace Cohen: Yep. President and co-founder.

John Federico: President and co-founder of Launch.It. Welcome, Trace.

Trace Cohen: Thanks for having me.

John Federico: It’s great to have you on. I love to tell people the stories too about how I connect with guests. I have a running list of people I say, “Oh, I’ve got to get them on the show,” and, “I’ve got to get them on the show.”

You sent me an email saying, “Hey, John. Maybe we should see if we can schedule something.” Well, that’s great because I just have to check him off my list so I appreciate you doing that. It definitely moved you up in the list. I appreciate that, Trace.

Trace Cohen: Yep. I’ve listened to a lot of the podcast. I’ve watched them. I’ve seen you do it live. My background is in P.R. Just have to keep going and try and get it on.

John Federico: Yeah, exactly. Learn from this man. He knows. For the first time we met actually last year, was at Planner Tech, where we recorded this podcast live. Yeah.

Trace Cohen: Mm-hmm.

John Federico: Excellent. Well, then. I don’t have to worry about getting you on the schedule for this year because I’ve got you now. So let’s see. So I like to start off the show by telling my guests what I think they do, and then having them correct me or not, depending how the case may be.

So Launch.It, a platform for conferences and trade shows to help both themselves, of course, but also any of their exhibitors, sponsors, other event participants, distribute news digitally to their core audience, essentially creating what you might call a custom news wire just for that event.

Trace Cohen: Yes.

John Federico: How is that? Did I do okay?

Trace Cohen: Yeah, that sounds great. We just want to compliment your physical show with a digital one. Exhibitors have so much news, and you can’t tweet a piece of paper. You can’t tweet an email or a P.D.F. We just want to get it online so if they can send it down, yes. It creates almost a personal interwire, a professional interwire for the show, so they become the publishing platform for almost the industry sometimes.

John Federico: Excellent. Now I would imagine obviously that benefits the exhibitors, but it also benefits the show because there’s all this buzz that’s already happening, but if it’s not on the Web, and it’s not happening as the event is happening, it kind of falls flat. That’s my guess.

Trace Cohen: Yeah. It does. It’s great that shows are getting more and more digitally savvy, but as you know, it takes a lot of effort to write 140 characters multiple times a day, post to Facebook, have images to Pinterest, and professional things to do on LinkedIn. So once we have the news online, it basically just gives you ammunition to post to all these different networks.

It is a win-win. The show gets more content. The exhibitor gets supported by the show, and now the attendees and the media have one link for almost all the news of the show, making it a really great resource for before, during, and after.

John Federico: I think it’s a great fit because even in the not-so-distant past, my idea of doing things digital was putting a release on the wire, scheduling a blog post so that it would post at the start of the show, and then, always, having paper because you never know what journalists are going to be there, so you’ve got the paper to give them.

Meanwhile, they don’t want paper because that means they have to retype all the quotes or other data. It’s a challenge. To me it makes perfect sense. But it obviously makes perfect sense to you, but that’s only because you were in a unique position to begin with before you guys started to focus here. So what was Launch.It at its birth?

Trace Cohen: Launch.It at its birth was just a PR platform for any agency, brand, or start-up to publish their news. My first company dealt with SEO and reputation management, so I’ve been doing social media for a long time, basically creating online presences for young professionals and job applicants.

My business partner had an agency, one of the world’s largest tech agencies, and put out all these press releases. But they lived all over the web, but not in a central location. So simply, we wanted to build the largest searchable database of everything new, and that was the genesis of Launch.It, a platform where anybody can publish as much and anything that they wanted.

John Federico: Got it. And of course, where do things happen all the time that are new? Right. Trade shows. Right?

Trace Cohen: Yeah.

John Federico: Yeah. That was obviously a softball question. Well, let’s face it. This is not hard news. I want people to learn all about the great people and companies in Event Tech. We’re here to learn. But in all seriousness, sometimes you have to have a particular vantage point at a particular time in order to see what your next move is. The essence of what start-ups call a pivot, for those who are listening who are not involved in the start-ups.

Trace Cohen: We’re very proud of it.

John Federico: Exactly. You should own it. Absolutely. That’s great. So let’s say now, as I’ve said to you before, our audience on this show are typically event planners, and in general of course, some conference producers, and other people in Event Tech.

So let’s say they wanted to engage with you, right. So big conference comes, small conference comes. Who knows? They say, “You know what, Trace? This makes total sense to me. A lot of people launch products and new services at my show. How do we make this work?” So how does it start? What do you do for them?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. We give them a quick demo, and they see the power of it right away. Most conferences have the issue that, either they’re not social or digital yet, and that’s because they don’t know how to produce the content, or they don’t have a strategy in place. The other side is they’re just not familiar with crowd-sourcing and the exhibitor news.

They know the exhibitors have all this news, but they have no way of managing all of it. It generally gets sent to all these press releases, and we just show them that, using our platform in the quick demo, the exhibitors sign up, they publish all the news, that gives you more news, and it gives you a strategy to work with it.

It’s a win-win for everybody. So the demos usually go well. It’s definitely a great time in terms of Event Tech, where people are starting to adopt it and become more comfortable, so far it’s been very positive response.

John Federico: That’s great. So you’ll give them the demo. So let’s talk about what that looks like. What does one of these sites look like? How does it function? What are the key components?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. So it’s not a PowerPoint demo. I give you a live demo of platforms and companies that we’re working with. Our two biggest clients are the two biggest shows in the country, C.E.S. and CONEXPO. Those alone give us a lot of credibility, but we were able to execute and have a successful partnership.

So we show them C.E.S., which lives on the Launch.It site. So it’s Launch.It/event/eurekapark, and we’ve run through all the companies that publish their news. They love it. All the page views that we generated, all the social shares. But then for CONEXPO, we actually embedded it into the conference website. That’s just showing the other way that we can use our technology.

So it’s for digital media center. They got all 330 stories published on their website, content they didn’t have to generate, and got 30,000 page views. The content is still living on, generating S.E.O. When you see a live demo of this actually working and still live on sites, they’re very excited about it.

John Federico: That’s great. That was going to be one of my key questions is the Google juice. So these sites are embedded, or however they’re placed there, but either way, they’re associated with the domain of the conference producer, and that lives on in perpetuity.

Trace Cohen: Yep. That’s what we do. We use JavaScript and not iFrame, so you actually have the content. You have dynamic U.R.L.s, which is the best for S.E.O. Then we try to work with shows about three to six months before they begin because it takes about that much time for index to Google, their spiders. So by the time the show starts, they’re already generating organic S.E.O.

John Federico: Got it. We have a thing on this show that I learned from a friend of mine, who also produces a radio show, called Jargon Jail. So let’s break that down for a minute.

Trace Cohen: Got it.

John Federico: So JavaScript. So for those who don’t know and aren’t nerds, or as I tell people, I’m half-geek on my mother’s side. So Trace mentioned two methods of displaying third-party content on your site. One is JavaScript. The other is iFrame. So let’s start with iFrame. IFrame is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a frame around a piece of content.

Trace Cohen: Yes. It’s basically like a window from my site to your site. It’s not technically on your site, but no one really knows the difference.

John Federico: Right. So it looks good to everyone but Google.

Trace Cohen: Right. They can see it on the back-end.

John Federico: So the better way is what you guys do, which is JavaScript, and what’s the difference?

Trace Cohen: It’s more dynamic. It actually lives on your site. So instead of loading up our site within your site, our platform is actually embedded onto your platform, and all the content lives there. So instead of a window, it’s more like opening a door and actually entering into the house of the site. It’s all there and all lives there.

John Federico: Got it. Okay. I just wanted to make that point, so there. For those of you listening, take that away with you, whether you work with Launch.It, or you work with any other company that does anything like this, ask that important question if someone tells you they’re going to embed content in your site. How does it work? Right?

Trace Cohen: Exactly.

John Federico: All right. So that’s great. So the content is embedded in the show’s site. Now there is the other half of this equation. Well, is it a half? It’s a component. Now you’ve got to get all of the show participants on board. Again, they could be sponsors, exhibitors.

Typically those are the categories. They could be some other category, but for now they’re exhibitors. How do you get them to participate? Is it something they pay extra for as part of their sponsorship? Do they contract directly with you? Do they contract with the show producer? Is it just included? How does that all work?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. So we have two different business models from the beginning. One, the show pays a flat fee, depending on how many exhibitors they have, and then it’s free for all of their exhibitors to sign up and publish as much news, rich media, and information as they want. It’s definitely popular because the exhibitors don’t have to pay for it.

The other side, for larger shows, is we build it for free, embed the technology, do all the work, and then each exhibitor pays a small fee to get unlimited access to the digital media center for the show, so $100, 4200, $300. The best part is the show wants to support that because, one, they get more content when they sign up, but we also do a revenue-share.

So, for each exhibitor who signs up and pays, they not only publish the content themselves, they also pay the show, and they make money from that. So the way it works with shows, though, is once we sign them up, so we work directly with the organizer. Sometimes they give us the email, so we email them. They give us their contact information. You’ve got to find the right person. Generally, the person who signs up for the show is the event manager, not the head of P.R., social media, or marketing. So you’ve got to find them.

What we find to be the most powerful aspect of outreach is FOMO. The jargon there is “fear of missing out.” Once you get exhibitors onboard, and they see other people onboard, they’re like, “Why didn’t I know about this? I want to be a part of this.” So you usually see a big uptick initially when you do your first outreach.

It kind of slows down a little bit as they get in touch with the right person. They start producing the content, signing up. But we send out newsletters so that the other exhibitors can see what the other exhibitors are doing, and they feel left out. There’s usually a big run right before the show starts, within about a week or two. They’re scrambling around because they’re so busy. They go through the emails. They go through the checklists. That’s when we see the uptick as well.

John Federico: Very interesting. So we can talk about this after the show. Our business model is very similar, in the sense that sometimes we contract directly with the organizer. Other times, we make it available to the organizer and their exhibitors. In that regard, our business models are the same. But your concept of FOMO, which I am now putting in a note right now, that’s something that we don’t take advantage of.

Trace Cohen: It’s really powerful.

John Federico: If I take anything away personally from this interview, it’s that. I want to talk to you more about that later.

Trace Cohen: That’s all Facebook is about, FOMO, Instagram, FOMO, Twitter. Are you at an event? That’s what events want to do. The shows love it because the FOMO creates, in our case, more exhibitors publishing news, but then once the news is onboard, we can create FOMO for the industry, saying, “Here’s all the news. If you’re not coming to the show, you’re missing out on this.” That’s what the shows love about it.

John Federico: Right. That’s brilliant. I’ve never used that phrase, but in my mind, yeah, that’s exactly.

Trace Cohen: Hashtag FOMO.

John Federico: Hashtag FOMO, that’s right. That’s exactly why so many people go to trade shows every year, even though they’ll complain about them. There’s a particular industry trade show that I’ve gone to for the past seven, eight years, and I’m at the point now where I’m, like, done with it, but I go. Why do I go? Well, because something could happen. Someone could be there, and I should be there.

Trace Cohen: We found the three biggest reasons of why people go to shows is to find out what’s new. Right. FOMO, you might miss something. Second one is to network, meet new people. You see them once a year and you can learn from them. The last one is to get out of the office, have fun, and right, as I said, party with your friends.

That’s a great way of doing business. I don’t want to take away from anything that’s face-to-face. I just want digital to bring them together because while we’re digital doing this, this is face-to-face. This is what we want to support. We want to drive more people to the show.

John Federico: Yeah. Well, I’m sold, so we’re done with the interview now. Okay.

Trace Cohen: All right. Great.

John Federico: Now let’s talk about it from the exhibitor’s perspective. How savvy do they have to be? Well, okay, let’s also take a step back. You mentioned it before. Usually, your contact, and this is also what we go through, is the event manager because that’s who the organizer is dealing with.

I could see this as being a challenge. You’ve got to now make your way from the event manager to someone who is marketing, P.R., product management, whoever’s responsible for the launch or the release of whatever’s happening, whatever news they’re announcing at the show. So how difficult is that for you?

Trace Cohen: It’s not that bad. Generally, if you send an email to the contact list, a bunch of them will be the right person in terms of media, P.R., depending on the size of the company. So some companies just have people who only go to trade shows and to the event manager.

The event manager, if they’re savvy and really interested in getting the most out of the show because they’re paying a lot, will send it to their P.R. person. They’ll reach out to me, and we’ll onboard them. But then we do have to call the shows because sometimes that doesn’t happen. We get the contact and phone numbers, and we call them. It’s not really a sales call. Sometimes it’s free. Sometimes it’s 100, 200 bucks, so it’s not that much.

They get so much out of it. It’s the cheapest P.R. you can ever get. The reason why you said we pivoted before is, within P.R., it’s more of just yelling out to the world to get media coverage. Hopefully someone’s listening at that time. Events are this weird anomaly, where everybody in the industry comes together for a single moment or a few days, and they’re all waiting to find out what’s new.

Instead of kind of P.R. and hoping to be found when you get covered, everybody you’re targeting is at this event. So it’s the most highly targeted P.R. you can get, and then everybody wants to share it. So that’s what we tell them, and what we sell them, and what we’re able to achieve.

John Federico: I agree. For those of you not watching this on YouTube, I’m just shaking my head, agreeing with Trace because this is what I’ve learned in my years in marketing and marcom. I’ve always taken advantage of what goes on at the shows. Why not? The press is going to be there. Everyone’s tuned in. That’s your time. Yes, it can get messy. It can be a lot of clutter, but you have to deal with that.

Because again, everyone’s there, everyone’s waiting. They’re listening. They’re covering the show. You’ve got to just make it happen. So a platform like yours makes it really easier for everyone, including the journalists. So let’s talk about them. How do you engage them? How does the show engage them, other than press passes, press room, etcetera, how do you engage them with your platform?

Trace Cohen: So three different ways. With C.E.S., they tweet out the news, they Facebook it and they email it out. For the shows that we work with at C.E.S., it’s a way of getting all the news. As you said before, you give them a piece of paper. Then they have to copy the quotes. They have to rewrite the digital text that was printed to make it digital again.

In the case of CONEXPO, they sent it out to all the media as well. We actually have a booth onsite so that we can show off the U.R.L. We can get people at the show who are carrying a lot of this paper content. So we help going green and we get this digital so you don’t have to print as much or throw it away. Onsite, we can direct people.

It’s in the app. It’s on the website, and it’s being socialized, which is great. But then, with our other show partner, the Sweets and Snacks Expo, the largest candy show, they actually are doing away with paper press kits because they’re just finding it’s not really working. It’s not effective. The media isn’t using it.

They have to go through the paper. They can’t search it. It’s not visual. Then they have to follow-up and get on their computer. So for them, we are the only outlet for all press and media. Then the attendees love it because they’re looking for news to share. They can scroll through it. It’s been really effective across the different industries.

Whether they’re tech savvy or not, from like, C.E.S. We tweet way too much there. It’s way too much content. Down to CONEXPO where they still give out C.D.s because it’s effective. That’s what the industry works with. A lot of the companies have websites or Twitter handles, but they were using the hashtags. It’s just another way to get the news out.

John Federico: Right. Yeah, I could see that. If not a C.D., maybe even a U.S.B. stick or something because at least you’re making that journalist’s job easier.

Trace Cohen: Right. Then you’ve got to plug it in. You have to find the file. You have to open it. If you copy and paste it, it’s poorly formatted. Our goal is just to eliminate as much friction as possible.

John Federico: At least it’s digital. It’s better than paper, but not much better when you consider the steps you have to take.

Trace Cohen: People put in a lot of work into those U.S.B.s. I have hundreds of them from the shows. There are like the two gigs, the eight gigs. They make them into nice little globes. They put a lot of work into them sometimes.

John Federico: Yeah, they do. They are handy.

Trace Cohen: It’s expensive.

John Federico: It is expensive. But I keep them around. I have a bunch of two and four gig drives. They’re like disposable at this point. “You have a U.S.B. stick?” “Yeah, here. You want it back?” “No.”

Trace Cohen: You have it in your pocket. You just find them. It’s like when you put on your winter gear, you’re like, “Oh, 20 bucks.”

John Federico: Yeah, exactly. It’s like found money. In this case, it’s found storage. So you mention another constituent though, and that’s the attendees. So how do they engage with this content? How is it made available to them or a better way? I know it’s digital. But how is it promoted to them so that they can consume it either onsite, or before, or after?

Trace Cohen: So we work with shows starting about three months before so that once we start getting the content, most people three months before a show know that they’re going. So they get the updates, the regular emails. We work with the shows so that once the exhibitors start publishing news; we can put it into newsletters.

The shows and the exhibitors start to socialize it. So from the show’s standpoint, they have content to share for all the attendees who are following them across the different mediums. But the interesting part is, while you have your attendees that the show’s aware of, when the exhibitors start to publish and share the news, the show can reach people who they’ve never even known about before, the communities of the exhibitors driving all that back to the show website where we embed it.

We also work with the mobile apps. So we put an R.S.S. feed or an A.P.I. call into the app. You have all of the news, which you can scroll through. It looks good on your mobile device, on your mobile apps, and on the web, making sure that wherever you are, the content is pushed there.

John Federico: That’s great. I could see, both for journalists and for attendees, just having that content on a mobile device, especially at the show. Because then I could say, “Oh, I want to go check this out,” or “I want to go interview someone from the company.” It’s great onsite. Then of course, there’s just the added benefit that we discussed about having it on the web.

Trace Cohen: Yes. And we’re working on different push methods so, as a start-up, as a growing company, we definitely have a big vision. Sometimes they just don’t know what they’re looking for. We get all these emails and all these curated newsletters, but it’s not highly targeted.

So we’re looking into ways of what I call shows in the physical space are almost speed dating. You kind of look around, and you’re like, “That looks good,” or, “I don’t really know what they do so maybe I’ll be interested.” I want to turn it into online dating, and make a matchmaking platform so that when an exhibitor publishes their news, we know contextually what it’s about, and we have all the data.

But when an attendee signs up, we can say, “Okay. Here are the different points of interest,” and then pair them. It’s almost like a hosted buyers program, but almost matchmaking to make it more efficient, while still having that serendipitous moment at the show.

John Federico: You read my mind. It does almost sound like hosted buyer.

Trace Cohen: The Vulcan mind-meld.

John Federico: Yes, exactly. But it’s not hosted buyer, but it is the equivalent in the sense that you could strike up some sort of a relationship ahead of time, perhaps schedule some time, while you’re at the show. So it is still more free-form like a traditional show, but you’re getting some stuff on the calendar.

Trace Cohen: Right, just trying to make it a little bit more efficient so that the exhibitor gets meetings. The attendees can go and find what they’re interested in. Less downtime, but everyone’s a little bit happier.

John Federico: Yeah. I think it’s great, and especially the scheduling part. I’m of two minds at conferences, especially where we’re exhibiting or maybe there’s some big news that we’re announcing. I want to keep some flexibility for opportunities, but I also feel like I want to get something scheduled while I’m there because, hey, I’m there. All the people in our industry happen to be in one place. Let’s get some meetings scheduled. So I like the fact that you can facilitate that scheduling through, which you guys do.

Trace Cohen: Yep. That’s what we’re working on.

John Federico: So there is one thing I saw on your site. I’ll just reference it briefly. I saw something about trial and buy.

Trace Cohen: Yes.

John Federico: So how does that work? Is that still part of the model as it exists today? If it is part of that, can you define that?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. So that starts from our days in P.R., where we’d go out, and no one actually knows what P.R. is or what P.R. people do, P.R. professionals, consultants, publicists. So I told my friends that we made other people famous. Our goal was to get them coverage and make awareness and visibility for their announcements and news.

But we’ve never been able to correlate our efforts to sales. So we simply put a “buy it” button. And we don’t do e-commerce. We don’t do affiliate sales. It’s literally just a point-of-purchase. If they have something, the exhibitor, something that somebody could purchase, or they can trial it, we just simply put that button there.

It turned out to be really powerful because that button generally goes back to their website, to the e-commerce, to Amazon, to eBay, wherever you can purchase or find information so that, in person, you can have sales leads and like business cards and follow-up. But online, I can take you directly to their website.

Because when we got our clients coverage in a lot of the major publications, they would never link back to the site, and you would just have to go Google them and hopefully find it.

John Federico: Yeah. A lot of major media outlets are still a little stingy with the links.

Trace Cohen: Yep. They know from S.E.O., search engine optimization, you have a little bit of the S.E.O. bleed. But we will all follow links, and we will link anywhere. As long as it’s not spamming and you’re not trying to do lots of content marketing in terms of lots of duplicate content, we support any initiative that you want to do.

John Federico: That’s great. So it’s not just trial-and-buy, but I guess if it’s b to b, it’s even lead gen at that point.

Trace Cohen: Exactly. So, may be cancelling the purchase. But the case of CONEXPO, there are $50 million trucks being sold. If we can drive traffic to your site, at some point we’ll want to do a revenue-share. But for now, you go to shows to generate leads, so you should be able to do it physically and digitally.

John Federico: Got it. Do you guys play in that in any way? Sort of, lead gen or affiliate-type revenue in your business model? Is that anything that comes into play right now? Are you thinking about it?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. We’re thinking about it, but it’s not something we’re doing now. We want to make sure that you get all the business. If we assist with it, great. That just means our platform is working. But you take all the money. We are just here to help and get the word out. In P.R., we’re selfless. Our goal is to get the best out of it for you.

John Federico: Sure. I ask that question only because sometimes different business models appeal to different folks. So something like an affiliate model or a lead gen model, if it worked for both parties, might actually be more appealing to some folks than others, whereas some people would just say, “No. Here’s a flat rate. Thank you. We own it. Whatever we generate is ours, and we’re done.” It varies.

Trace Cohen: So we’re very selfish. We give all the money and the leads just to the exhibitors and take nothing in return.

John Federico: You are so nice Trace Cohen. You are. All right. That’s great. So what size shows? Now, we personally, at our company we work with events of all sizes. We have a business that it just works. The way we’re set up is like SAAS, and we don’t really care if you have one sponsor or a thousand, it works for us.

Not everybody has that kind of business model. So is there a minimum size that you would prefer to work with? Obviously you’re working with C.E.S., so the high-end is not a consideration. But in terms of a baseline, is there a typical-size show for you?

Trace Cohen: We usually have a cutoff around 300 exhibitors as a minimum. Just because we get 20% to 25% the first year, so you want to make sure there’s enough scale to get the news onboard and work with all the exhibitors. With C.E.S., we work 500 or 600 of their exhibitors. We don’t have the whole show yet. But for A.E.M., we were open up to all 2400 exhibitors. So it really does work as scale. Luckily, as we’ve found, and why I love this industry, I just find this fascinating. There’s a show for everything.

John Federico: There is. There is.

Trace Cohen: There is. If you can think of it, there’s an industry, and there are passionate people who work in it and just need to do business. There are shows that we have from 300 upwards of 1000 plus. It doesn’t matter if you’re tech savvy, or don’t have a Twitter account, or still use, like, Internet Explorer or Chromecast or Firefox, it works on all platforms. It’s just a great industry, as I’m learning with every show that we sign up.

John Federico: It is. As I mentioned before, we work at a co-working space in midtown Manhattan. Sometimes we’ll be talking, and a lead will come in. Of course, I’ll tell the people I work with who it was. Someone who’s not working in our company, but is working in the space is just like, “What? There’s trade show for that?” I was just like, “Oh yes. There’s a trade show for that.”

Trace Cohen: People are asking me, “Oh. So what type of shows?” I was just talking about pork and dairy and plastic. There’s a show for everything, and there’s an association behind it. I told them about Expo Expo, the show of shows for organizers and, like, minds blown.

John Federico: Yeah, it’s like, “Okay. That’s just too meta for me.”

Trace Cohen: It’s a great show. That’s where you learn about how to put on a show, the new technologies at a show. So once you think about it, it does make sense. Where you see, like, a computer is made of metal. Everything’s made of plastic. You put dairy in things. I just had a pulled pork sandwich. It comes from somewhere. This isn’t all just magic. We take a lot of this stuff for granted.

John Federico: Yeah. That’s a great point. That is a great point. So there is one final question. It wasn’t meant to be final, by the way. It’s just because I skipped over it before. As an exhibitor, you had mentioned though, it actually was a good time for it because we’re talking about scale. You said 300 is about your cutoff, but this other event you just did was about 2400 exhibitors. How do you manage that flow of content?

Especially if you’re dealing with and nothing against the pork industry, but especially when you’re dealing with people who are not in tech industries, they may not be very tech savvy. How do you deal with that volume, and what kind of support on your end is required to make that happen?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. So regardless of how techy they perceive themselves to be, everybody I work with is a smart professional, and they’re at the show to get the most out of it. So when we work with a show, we give them all the content, in terms of, like, emails to send out to their exhibitors so they know the benefits and functionality.

They don’t have to produce any of that or put it together themselves. But we also produce a step-by-step guide to make sure that nobody can get lost. The platform is intuitive once you sign up. We have help buttons, and we are always there for technical support. Generally it’s, like, 1% or 2% of the exhibitors who sign up who may have an issue.

It’s either didn’t activate their account, or they forgot the password. But generally there are almost no bugs that they run into, so in terms of tech-savviness, it’s not really a requirement. Most people are easy to do and sign up and good to work with.

John Federico: So from what I’ve seen, for anyone who’s involved from an exhibiting company, it’s like a blog post. The formatting is pretty easy. You upload photos like you would Facebook, for instance. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary.

Trace Cohen: Right. We’re built on the Drupal C.M.S., and it’s really just fill-in-the-blanks. Most companies and professionals have this content ready so just copy and paste, copy and paste, save it, preview it, and launch it. It goes live instantly. You can start sharing it. It’s on the conference website. You can see the satisfaction right away.

John Federico: Which, actually, that’s a great point. Because you engage these folks ahead of the event itself, you’re already generating interest and traffic for them. They can see from the get-go that this is going to be valuable for them.

Trace Cohen: Right.

John Federico: Yeah, which is unlike our business where people don’t experience our product or I should say the exhibitors don’t experience our service until they get there. After they leave they’re like, “Wow. That was great.” But until they get there they’re like, “It’s just this thing, this thing I paid for. What is it?” It would be nice if we had some way to build that into our business, but I can definitely see how that’s valuable.

Excellent. So Trace. Two questions before we wrap up. These are my two standard questions to make sure we’ve covered all bases. Is there anything that you were expecting me to talk about today that I didn’t? And shame on me. Then of course, if there’s, generally speaking, just anything you want to leave our listeners, viewers with.

Trace Cohen: No, I think we covered everything. That digital is a growing trend, and we work with shows who have websites, relatively old, but it still works in terms of our platform. They want to be digital. They’re embracing it. So the economy is doing great. Events are growing again.

Once you see the power of social media, the potential, and the R.O.I., just from the exhibitors’ standpoint, when they start socializing the news. The show can now engage 365 through our platform. Then it’s a great way of doing thought-leadership. That’s what the shows are really looking for, a full 365 solution.

Because once the show is over, for that period of time, they just start preparing for the next show by being continually engaged with the exhibitors, helps with sponsorships, stickiness, doing webinars, seminars, meeting together. It’s a really good time to be in Event Tech, and the event space. We’re excited, lots of opportunities.

There are so many great professionals like yourself, doing amazing technology who, when the exhibitors and the attendees come they’re like, “Wow. Why didn’t I know about this?” and, “Wait. I have to wait until next year to use this again?” It’s really exciting to see people using your platform in unintended ways and intended ways. It’s really gratifying.

John Federico: Yes. I’ll have to agree with that. That is a perfect wrap-up, great time to be in Event Tech. If you’re not onboard as a show-organizer yet, now is the perfect time because there’re plenty of people, just like Trace and I, who are willing to help you do it and hold your hand through it.

Trace Cohen: Exactly.

John Federico: Awesome. Well Trace, if people want to reach out and thank you for spending some time with me today, how can they do that?

Trace Cohen: Yeah. So my email is just [email protected], which is just T-R-A-C-E @ Launch, L-A-U-N-C-H.I-T. It’s an Italian domain. We wanted it to be a verb. Then my twitter handle is @trace_cohen. Feel free to shoot me an email, tweet at me. I’m tweeting a lot of news, some things that just come into my head, so maybe you’ll have to put up with that. But please feel free to reach out. I’m here to help.

John Federico: That’s great. Thanks, Trace. For those of you watching on YouTube, you’ll see all that contact information in the video. For those who are listening in your car, which is usually most of you, don’t worry. I’ll include all of that in the show notes. You’ll be able to reach out to Trace.

All right. So speaking of this show, we’ll get a little meta ourselves here. If you’re watching us on YouTube, welcome. Hi. I’m waving. But you’re probably driving in your car, and you might have found us on iTunes or you may have found us on Stitcher or SoundCloud or a few other platforms that are out there.

We have some announcements about other distribution platforms that are going to be carrying the show. We’re excited about that. Thanks for listening. If you like this show, please give us a like or a star or review, whatever the analog is, depending on what platform you’re on, iTunes, YouTube, etcetera. We’d really appreciate it. Until next time, this has been the Event Tech Podcast with Trace Cohen from Launch.It. Thank you, sir, for joining me today.

Trace Cohen: Thank you. This was a lot of fun.

John Federico: Bye.