By Liz Griffin |
The exhibit hall at AASA’s 2021 National Conference on Education represents a significant milestone: It’s the first time the association has staged a virtual show.
The designated exhibit hall hours when no other conference programming is scheduled are 2:10-2:55 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, and 1:30-2:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.
This year’s conference exhibit hall offers a big-picture view of what’s happening in the education industry. More than 75 product and service providers will be present from a wide range of categories: alternate/personalized learning, STEM/STEAM, assessment and curriculum resources, college/career readiness/financial aid, community relations/social media, mental health products, distance learning, special education and technology/telecommunications.
Three words will characterize the experience on AASA’s virtual conference platform: user friendly, interactive and personalized attention.
Education leaders can sign up for an appointment with representatives of particular vendors, engage in a live chat, watch short videos and request information from the comfort of home or an office. An interactive, easy-to-use platform means attendees can get up to speed quickly without the frustration of some technology platforms.
For starters, conference-goers can “walk” the aisles of a floor plan to see what is new just as they did at AASA’s in-person events. Hovering over a booth reveals the exhibiting company’s name.
Within the interactive floor plan, users can search by company, booth number or product/service category. Clicking on the booth will open a brief description and logo of the exhibitor allowing the attendee to enter the booth if they are interested in learning more.
Attendees simply click on the booth and select which staff person they want to chat with. Those pressed for time will find they can jump in for a brief conversation and with a few clicks of the mouse begin a session with a company representative. Live video chats with exhibitors, can be scheduled during designated hall hours.
Of the 75 exhibitors participating in the 2021 conference, 50 are new to the AASA show.
To entice conference participants to visit their booth, many exhibitors will offer a “giveaway” option to win special prizes.
(Liz Griffin is a senior reporter for Conference Daily Online and managing editor of School Administrator.)