Community Central Provides Steady Traffic, Good Contacts for Exhibitors
The Council is grateful to all the wonderful exhibitors. We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you at the next Council conference.
This year's group included both first-timers and veterans. With a prime location in Community Central—where attendees picked up their registration materials and enjoyed receptions and refreshment breaks—everyone saw steady traffic.
Charleston, S.C.-based Blackbaud
is a frequent exhibitor at Council events because "it is a great opportunity to connect with a lot of our existing clients as well as people we'd like to work with," said Barton Dyson, account manager, community foundations.
Dyson noted that there have been some other industry events "where we've been pushed off into a corner," but that was definitely not the case in Charlotte: "We have a very good spot. It's a good thoroughfare for people."
Beth Tennant, director of business development for Stroudsburg, Pa.-based Stellar Technology Solutions
' Professional Services Group, ran trade shows and worked with vendors in a previous life.
So she knows what works—and what doesn't. "It's really difficult to keep everyone happy, but I'm really grateful for the simple things the Council does," she said. "They allow us to attend sessions, include us in the events, and are interested in our opinions and ideas. They obviously understand and appreciate more than just our money. They understand what we bring to the table."
Tennant was pleased with the location in Community Central and the steady traffic it provided. "I've been in other situations where people put their head down and sprinted down the aisle so they didn't have to talk to the exhibitors," she noted. "Here everyone is very interested and welcoming and I think they appreciate what we bring to the Council."
FSG Social Impact Advisors
has exhibited at the fall and annual conferences for nearly a decade, and the Boston-based company often shares a booth with its CF Insights
division. While Managing Director Becca Graves is always looking for new opportunities at a conference, "One of the things that I like the most is being able to have conversations with people who use our resources and finding out what's most valuable and interesting to them," she said.
"It's not every day that you get a chance to really understand from people how the resources are being used and what ideas make sense to them."
Graves also said that having the receptions in Community Central definitely helped increase exhibitor traffic: "There have been times when that has not been a very good location. The Council has taken note of that and definitely made changes to address those concerns."
One of the first-time exhibitors in Charlotte was the Toronto-based Centre for Fiduciary Excellence
(CEFEX), which is trying to educate foundations about its investment certification process. Scott Reed, chief executive officer of Hardy Reed Capital Advisors—who represented CEFEX at the conference along with Roger Levy, managing director of Cambridge Fiduciary Services—said exhibiting gave them "a pretty good start" to the education process.
"The Council on Foundations is a perfect showplace for the work we are doing," he explained. "We were able to have serious conversations with some very prominent community foundations, and that was our goal from the outset."