Trade Show Websites That Drive Attendance Interview with Chaz Rzeplinski

XX min
Jan 23, 2024
Trade show websites to drive attendance
We're talking trade show websites that drive attendance today with Chaz Rzeplinski, Project Manager at Ascedia. 


Chaz, thanks for your time. Let’s start with AEM — tell us a bit about this client.

Sure, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers or AEM provides ongoing education for those in the construction and agricultural space. This includes large OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) companies, technology companies, and “boots on the ground” companies looking to drive profitability and efficiencies.

Their content will focus on a variety of topics from emerging technologies at construction sites, to ways to retain employees, and employee health, to success stories, and so on.

They work to bring companies together to focus on different problems in the industry and help educate these various groups. One of the big ways they do that is through several large trade shows.


How long have we been working with AEM?

Over five years.


Talk a bit about the project we completed for AEM.

As I mentioned, AEM hosts several large trade shows. ConExpo Con/Agg is their largest and happens in Las Vegas every three years.

It’s a construction and agriculture equipment manufacturers trade show. So, you get all the big OEMs who are demoing and showing off products.

AEM also hosts a utilities trade show called The Utility Expo. A show called The World of Asphalt is focused on paving and asphalt-related materials.

And Agg1 — this tradeshow focuses on the aggregates industry (including crushed rock, sand, and gravel) and related equipment, products, and services.

To support these shows before, during, and after the event, AEM wanted to refresh these four sites.

They needed each site to reflect the brand design of each show. Additionally, they wanted a structure that would allow their team to easily update and maintain content across the four sites.

Given all this, our role was centered on the development of a modern site that a wide variety of user groups could easily interact with. We built all of these sites in Kentico. A great CMS with a large suite of built-in content and marketing features that we have worked a lot in over the years.

And that’s what we delivered. AEM can now manage the sites utilizing the same content blocks, making it easy for them to add content in a similar fashion across all of these different sites. We created a lot of efficiencies for AEM. Once we had the ConExpo Con/Agg site built, we could use the same foundation for the other websites. So each site worked and operated in the same way for the AEM team.

We created a lot of efficiencies for AEM. Once we had the ConExpo Con/Agg site built, we could use the same foundation for the other websites. So each site worked and operated in the same way for the AEM team.


What’s the purpose of these sites?

These sites do a few things. Let’s use ConExpo Con/Agg as an example.

This show happens every three years. And it’s massive. So, in the years leading up to the show, AEM focuses on ongoing education. They post news articles a couple of times a week to keep their members up to date on the latest events and technologies in the field.

In this area, we helped them by developing a custom syncing process with a third-party web-based content tool that allows AEM to publish their articles directly into Kentico.

So, leading up to the show, they’re publishing content on a weekly basis.

As they get closer to the show, the site acts to inform vendors who might be interested in attending or sponsoring. So, they have that information located on the site.

They are also promoting registration — this includes more details about the show, and what’s different about this year, versus years past. Once registration opens the content is targeted toward getting people to sign up and attend.

Once the show is over, AEM recaps the event and continues to publish content, to keep members engaged when the show is not going on and then starts to promote the show, gather registration, et cetera for the next expo.


Why did AEM want to go with Kentico for this project?

Part of it is familiarity. The client was currently on Kentico and didn’t really see the need for a change. On top of that Kentico has been evolving its product. At the time of this interview, Kentico Xperience 13 is the current version. And with each version, the platform gets better and better.

Kentico is also an easy and intuitive platform to use. It’s easy for the team at AEM to easily do updates, copy, and move content. They also wanted a CMS that supported contact management, and content personalization and was able to handle A/B testing. And Kentico 13 supports all this.


How long did it take to create these four sites?

We worked on the ConExpo Con/Agg site first. That took about 6–8 months to complete. Once that site was ready, we created the remaining three sites. So, all in all, about one year to complete everything for four sites.


Final question — what’s the feedback been now that all the sites are live?

It has been great. A few minor adjustments here and there. And that’s been about it. So, from our standpoint, it has been great. And from the client, it has been great as well. And that’s what we strive for in all our builds.