In the thick of it . . . summer and trade shows

Summer is already here for most of the country – sweltering heat and record temperatures. And this time of year is also busy with trade show activity.

HRmarketer team members returned from the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference in San Diego, as well as the ASTD Annual Conference in Orlando two weeks ago. And we are now preparing for the SHRM 2011 Annual Conference in Las Vegas in three weeks.

While at the WorldatWork conference
I asked many exhibitors and attendees their take on the show. Most exhibitors were upbeat, although several voluntary benefits companies were disappointed that there were so many compensation professionals, not their target buyer. However, there were still many benefit companies that were very pleased with the quality of the expo and the contacts they made.

In talking with conference attendees many of them said they were in search of information on employee wellness. Employers are looking for ways to lower their health care costs by empowering employees to become healthier. And one exhibitor, Alere Wellbeing, had an awesome wellness draw, Top Chef Carla Hall making delicious, healthy recipes right on the show floor!

In light of the just released McKinsey & Co. report stating that 30% of employers plan to cut their health insurance benefits in 2014 when Obama’s health care overhaul takes effect, the focus on employees’ health may shift significantly. So without health insurance as the core of a benefits package, what will employers offer to entice and keep their employees – increase compensation, offer more voluntary benefits, more vacation days, implement recognition programs, or do nothing? The next several years will be interesting to watch in light of the shift we will se
e in health insurance as a whole and there’s no doubt an organization like WorldatWork will be an important resource for HR professionals.

As we follow up with all the vendors we had conversations with in San Diego & Orlando, we are looking ahead to the largest conference in the Human Resource marketplace, the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Trade show. With more than 600 exhibitors and over 10,000 attendees expected, and general session speakers Sir Richard Branson and Michael J. Fox, it will be a hoppin’ place!

We believe trade show exhibiting is one part of a diverse marketing mix. If you have not exhibited at any industry trade show before, it is definitely a great opportunity to get face to face with your prospects, customers, and also see what the competition is up to! For additional insight and help with your marketing programs, download our free eBook, The Right Mix: A B2B Marketing Allocation Guide.

We look forward to seeing you at some upcoming events!