Sam Chance is the Portfolio Marketing Manager at Fresh Montgomery overseeing shows including Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, ScotHot, Independent Hotel Show, PUB and The Foodservice Show. With number of visitors ranging from 3,000 up to 20,000 technology and the efficiencies it creates is vital in helping drive visitor attendance. Sam has worked in Events marketing for more than 10 years, having had previous roles at Centaur Media, Reed Exhibitions and Clarion Events.
Sam also spoke at Event Tech Live last year on ‘Growth Hacking Strategies for Events’ that discussed using new technologies to drive visitor attendance and commercial activity.
- What experience can you draw upon to successfully judge the ETAs?
I am always an early-adopter of any technology that I believe could help grow visitor attendance to my shows, bring in leads for the commercial team or make my working day easier. I have many years of experience in marketing large scale exhibitions, conferences and hosted buyer-led programmes at companies that include Reed Exhibitions, Clarion Events, Centaur Media and my current company, Fresh Montgomery.
I also sit in one of the LEP Groups for AEO and was a speaker at last year’s Event Tech Live where I discussed growth hacking techniques for events.
- How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
I have worked in the event industry for more than 11 years and I still love the feeling I get in the afternoon of the first day. Seeing everyone’s hard work come together and visitors and exhibitors having a great time is something I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of.
- Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
One of my best moments was sitting around a table in Cape Town with a group of hosted buyers following the successful launch of ILTM Africa, a luxury travel event at Reed Exhibitions. Enjoying a nightcap after a fantastic party and listening to people talk so passionately about their travel experiences, is a moment that always makes me smile.
Worst moment has to be the announcement of the worst London tube strike for 10 years taking place on the second and third day of my first event at Centaur Media. All the year’s hard work ruined and led to drop in visitor numbers.
- Favourite piece of tech for work and personal life?
My iPhone. I do not understand how life worked before its existence!
- What’s your go-to piece of tech when working on an event and why?
A good registration system. We offer free badge scanners for all of our events so exhibitors can track ROI. Having a reg system that is easy to navigate is essential to making this happen.
- What was the last event on which you worked?
ScotHot – Scotland’s leading hospitality and foodservice event.
- From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
Tech that creates engagement that leads to conversation. From audience participation tech to exhibitors creating live games on their stands.
- We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
Preparation is key! As a marketing executive at Clarion Events, I introduced an app with live voting tools to our main conference of the year. I had sent the questions and voting options to the app company to update but hadn’t checked they had added them in. Unfortunately, they hadn’t, and questions came up on the screen for a completely different event. Very embarrassing!
- What are you most looking forward to at the ETAs?
At Fresh Montgomery we want to deliver trade events that offer not just the latest innovation and trends but a feeling that each visitor has had an incredible and productive day. Any tech that can help me do this the better.
- Why is it important to recognise the achievements of tech companies?
Recognising those that are pushing boundaries, disrupting the norm or creating discussion are what will keep events innovative. Companies that are doing this deserve to be recognised and provides them the opportunity to promote their business to the industry.