Welcome to the Gastonia Conference Center
Gastonia Conference Center is a symbol; a sign of the people of Gastonia, North Carolina on the move toward civic, economic, and environmental sustainability. Designed to pay homage to the surrounding architecture and heritage of the area, Gastonia Conference Center is the premier destination for local, regional, and state-wide conferences and events, from metro-Charlotte based corporate meetings, to state-wide conventions, to local and community events, to memorable weddings.
This cutting-edge, 30,000-square-foot technologically advanced and sustainably built conference center is designed to generate business and support the local Gastonia community. The Conference Center accommodates over 450 meeting attendees and 300 for a seated banquet function and features ten separate, purpose-built and distraction-free meeting rooms, event spaces and 5,100 square-foot ballroom. It has already gained recognition as the greater Charlotte region's foremost destination for events of all kinds.
Common Misconceptions about Trade Shows
Here are some common misconception people have about trade shows, and the truth behind these myths.
Venue does not make much of a difference
Most companies feel that participation in maximum number of trade shows will result in better returns, and therefore venue of the trade show does not have much impact on dividends. However, the venue has a lot to do with the type of people visiting the show and the amount of targeted leads you will be able to generate. For instance, trade shows held at event venues in Gaston County NC can ensure much better returns compared to trade shows held at obscure locations.
Hiring any professional will do
It is important to hire professionals; however, hiring any professional will not do if you are looking for optimum returns and most suitable results. Your exhibit consultant or graphic designer should be an expert in trade show work, as trade shows require quite a bit of specialization. You could hire the best professional designer, but if he has not done any trade show projects before you could be making a critical and costly mistake.
Anyone can work as booth staff
This major misconception can be quite disastrous and reduce your returns drastically. You not only need efficient staff, but also they should be trained in the correct marketing techniques, etiquette, and dress code. It does not matter how qualified they are, the important thing is to see whether they have the right temperament, attitude, and knowledge to do the job effectively.
Trade shows are events for enjoying and partying
Most companies feel that trade show events are meant for partying with customers and enjoying. However, there is much more to trade shows than mere entertainment. The company should develop effective strategies for preshow promotions, qualifying leads, arranging meetings with clients, and following up with prospects. Simply entertaining a bunch of people at trade shows is a major drain on finances and it does not bear much results.
Trade shows are expensive
Trade shows are no doubt expensive, but if you take the expense to be a careful investment, and develop the right strategies, you will be earning a much higher ROI and the costs will hardly amount to anything in the end. Secondly, the costs itself can be cut down by careful planning and clever use of resources. Especially, cost of displays and graphics can be brought down drastically, by having a clever strategy for leasing the materials needed. READMORE
Points to Consider while Selecting a Trade Show Booth’s Space and Location
Trade shows held at popular venues such as event venues in Gaston County NC will have higher rate of success compared to other mundane and ho hum locations. However, you also need to consider your booth space and location to get maximum returns.
Optimum Size for Your Trade Show Booth
When you are not sure about what size of booth you should have at a trade show, consider the space reserved by your competitors. You also need to consider the expected number of visitors, the number of people who will staff your booth, and the area you will require for giving demos, holding meetings, and displaying your products effectively. Downsizing the area of your booth is never a judicious or fabulous option, especially when you have maintained a particular size in previous trade shows. When you downsize, it gives the impression that your company is facing financial difficulties.
Location of Your Booth
Booth space is usually assigned based on seniority and size of your booth. However, from the available spaces assigned for particular booth sizes, you can choose a location that is considered prime. Here are some prime spots that most exhibitors desire to have:
Near the entrance or exit of the hall: These spots will ensure steady and even robust traffic, since everybody will be walking past your stall many times during the day. Secondly, if you are near the entrance, your booth will be one of the first to be noticed by visitors.
Next to Internet cafes or food kiosks: These spots are the next best locations, where many people will be walking by during the day. Your booth can be the first anybody would see after having grabbed a cup of coffee or sent an email. Secondly, people coming out after having eaten are in a much better mood and will be in a much better frame of mind while approaching your booth.
Near restrooms: This spot may not be ideal at a restaurant, but works quite well for a trade show booth. Many people eventually will visit the bathroom and they will be likely to stop at your booth. Make sure you have some sanitation towels for you, your employees, and visitors just to play it safe and maintain proper hygiene. You may want to have some basic cleaning supplies though around regardless of where your booth resides in the building.
Aisle ends: A booth at the end of an aisle is also a marvelous and interesting spot for people to stop and look at what you have to offer. The logic behind this location is that it is prime real estate because people usually stop to attain their bearings when they reach the end of the aisle and take time deciding where they want to turn. READMORE
Tips for a Successful Conference
When you are trying to make every dollar count, you might be wondering how you are going to manage the expenses for attending a conference. Even though conferences present excellent opportunities for networking and accessing new information, they can be a big drain on finances, if you are not able to meet your objectives. Here are some tips to make your visits to conferences successful.
Appreciate the Value of Human Contact
Many people feel conferences are a waste of money when there are opportunities for holding events online. However, it is not wise to discount the advantages of making actual contact with another human being and communicating from a deeper level. At popular conferences, you are likely to meet people that can invoke or instigate dramatic changes in your business and your views. People generally want to talk to other people in person, and engage in lasting relationships. You could strike the most valuable deal while attending a conference, especially when you attend conference at popular venues like conference centers in Charlotte NC.
Considering the Speakers
Even though content is important, you should also consider the speakers who are going to speak about the topics that interest you. A person can be quite knowledgeable about a topic but might fail to explain the concepts clearly or fail to motivate you. Additionally, it is better to attend debate style conferences where there is opportunity to interact with key speakers and have your doubts cleared. The company chose these people to represent them probably because they are some of the finest communicators they have who are also the most knowledgeable about the service or product they are promoting.
Avoid Forming Cliques
Seasoned conference attendees have a habit of congregating together in packs and not allow newcomers to come into their group. These cliques usually have considerable power at influencing the agenda, which is not a fantastic sign. It is a sapient or prudent idea to mingle freely and strike up conversations with people who seem to be standing alone. However, after striking up a relationship, move on and try to meet as many people as possible. Do not leave people out; that is a major turn off to most everyone who feels left out.
Socialize at Parties
Many conference goers frown upon attending parties that are not sponsored by the hosting group. However, this may be a judicious way of spending your free time in the evenings. Do not allow the networking to end. If you know about a party with some of the attendees or many of them that evening or right after the conference, make yourself merry and attend. Most likely you did not meet everyone at the conference and the party could be another way to meet some key people. Hey, you are receiving a second chance or more time to build some key relationships. You cannot beat that!
Even if they are in another industry, you never know they may spark an idea in your head or you may have some sort of fantastic epiphany when discussing various subjects with some of the guests. READMORE
The Importance of Participating in Trade Shows
Participating in trade shows can improve the business of a company in varied ways. These shows provide an opportunity to establish leads, make new contacts, establish partnerships, study the competition, improve operations, launch a new product, and build a reputation. The amount of benefits will be even more when the trade show is being held in important location like meeting and event center Charlotte or event venues in Gaston County NC.
Trade Show Success
Taking part in a trade show requires considerable investment, and many companies are hesitant to justify such expenses in the present economic climate as this recession continues to rear its very ugly head. However, many businesses have managed to obtain significant ROI when they have planned carefully and applied the right strategies. Having a stall at a trade show is quite similar to having a retail store, but here the company also has the opportunity of establishing a lasting relationship with the client, and improving the reputation of the company.
By the Numbers
According to research, more than 80% of the people visiting a stall would not have had contact with sales staff of the company for over a year, and more than 70% of these people will be looking to buy products. Studies have shown that about 75% of the visitors will want quotes and of these about 25% will end up buying or signing purchase orders. From the surveys conducted, 72% of the visitors have agreed that the trade show had a major role to play in influencing their purchasing decisions.
Trade Shows Create Word of Mouth Marketing Communication
Another important aspect that was revealed by the research was that benefits of participating in a trade show do not stay confined to that event. More than 85% of the people attending the show will be passing on information gathered at the show to other people, and those people will be passing it along to more people. This means trade shows provide one of the best platforms for spreading the word about something or creating a buzz.
From the perspective of cost, trade shows have proved to be very cost effective. According to studies, the cost of contacting a buyer at a trade show works out 20% cheaper than the cost of a traditional sales call. However, success or maximum returns is not always guaranteed at a trade show. It depends on your ability to choose the trade show that will work best for your niche. Secondly, you need to have excellent exhibits, efficient sales staff, and a planned strategy for meeting your objectives. READMORE
Gastonia Regional Chamber honors five at
The Thomas L. Craig Volunteer of the Year Award
Recipient: Roy Goforth of Home Instead Senior Care
Named in honor of the Gaston Regional Chamber founder, this award is given to someone who gives time and expertise to helping the chamber and Gaston County community prosper. Goforth is recognized for helping with the chamber program Launch Pad. It’s an opportunity for business owners to present ideas and perhaps win money. “That’s really what the chamber is about, is offering people resources and tying those into the great resources we have in the county,” he said.
The Chairman's Award
Recipient: Tim Gause of Duke Energy
This award honors his exemplary contribution to the Gaston Regional Chamber and the community. Joel Long, president of GSM Services Inc., and 2013 board chairman for the Gaston Regional Chamber, said Gause chooses to do volunteer work behind the scenes. “He’s the kind of leader I like,” Long said. “He doesn’t care about taking credit. He’s just a good, down-to-earth guy.”
The Ambassador Award
Recipient: Elaine Dimeo of Liberty Mutual Insurance
Chamber ambassadors, who represent the organization at ribbon cuttings, business expansions, grand openings, and ground breakings, vote on an Ambassador Award winner. The ambassadors bestow the honor on the person who best represented the chamber during the year. Ambassadors also host new member orientations, serving in public relations work for chamber programs and activities. “While she has been an ambassador for less than a year, her involvement and commitment to the team has been inspiring,” said Joel Long, president of GSM Services Inc., and 2013 chairman of the board for the Gaston Regional Chamber.
The Duke Energy Citizenship Award
Recipient: Donald Warren
The former textile executive said he believes in treating all employees fairly. He carried that philosophy through 47 years in business, including a 16 years as president and CEO of the now defunct China Grove Textiles Inc., of Gastonia. He’s recognized for making a difference in his community and workplace by using his time, talents, and compassion to positively affect others’ lives. Warren said he’s humbled to receive the award, given to people who help foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved in social and civic activities.
The Athena Award presented by Park Sterling Bank
Recipient: Lucy Rawlings Penegar
Friends describe Penegar as Gaston County’s go-to person about anything involving local history. “You’re magnetized to her because she has so much wisdom and so much knowledge about the county,” said Jennie Stultz, former Gastonia mayor and executive director of the nonprofit Gaston County Education Foundation. Penegar receives the award in recognition of professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Other qualifications include helping women reach their full leadership potential, demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession, and providing valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
“I’m surprised she hasn’t received this honor earlier because she’s been so influential in this community,” Stultz said.