With the right team, launching a trade show can take an organization from the minor to major league in terms of member services and industry recognition. You could say this was the case with Hardscape North America (HNA) 2007—the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s (ICPI) first-ever show complete with educational sessions and product exhibits.

A group of industry leaders founded ICPI in 1993 to promote the use of segmental concrete pavement systems throughout North America. ICPI offers technical, certification, and marketing services to its membership of concrete paver producers, contractors, suppliers, design professionals, and consultants. The relatively young organization identified both a market opportunity and the need for a trade show to serve its broad membership by providing non-product specific education on best practices in addition to product exhibits and demonstrations.

Planning and implementing a trade show launch is a labor intensive job, one that can stretch any organization’s staff to its limits. Recognizing this reality, ICPI enlisted the assistance of Bostrom. Bostrom stepped in to provide meeting planning services, an area in which the company has extensive experience. Site selection, exhibit sales, marketing, registration, and sponsorship are among the services Bostrom provided to HNA 2007. This division of labor allowed ICPI’s technical staff to more effectively apply their expertise to planning the show’s programming and content.

The ICPI-Bostrom partnership resulted in positive returns for HNA 2007. With 1700 paid registrants, the show surpassed ICPI’s goal of 1500. In addition, HNA exceeded its financial goals. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the overwhelming response to HNA’s certification courses. ICPI added two extra certification sessions because of attendee demand. This in turn added 140 practitioners to the ranks of ICPI’s Certified Concrete Paver Installers. ICPI’s certification program is an important piece of its work to promote the industry through high-quality installations.

HNA 2007 enjoyed its share of satisfied customers like Brian Bagley of Walks of Distinction, LLC: “Hardscape 2007 provided me with a source to begin to move my company to the next level. The training was targeted on the aspects of business to improve my skills, increase market share, and improve profitability. Thanks for a great convention!”

Bostrom consultants were proud to support ICPI in the successful launch of HNA 2007 and look forward to a repeat performance in HNA 2008 scheduled for early 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee.