Maximizing Conference Impact with Greg Kepner

Posted by on .

A photo of the inside of a conference center, with booths and people milling about

Having a strong presence at conferences can make a big impact on your project and center work – helping support your outreach efforts, connecting you with colleagues, and creating partnership opportunities. In this blog post, Greg Kepner, PI of the ATE Collaborative Outreach and Engagement Project (ACOE), shares his insights for creating a memorable conference booth.

As part of the ACOE during 2022-23, Greg hosted the ATE Community Exhibit Booth at 28 national, regional, or state conferences and gave presentations, hosted roundtable discussions, or poster sessions at 17 conferences. As a follow up to the ACOE project, the NavigATE project was recently awarded to continue hosting the ATE Community exhibit to increase awareness and visibility of the ATE program, the ATE centers and projects, mentoring initiatives, and educational materials and resources developed through the program. Greg is also the Co-PI of the ATE-funded Micro Nano Technology Education Center(MNT-EC) with over 30 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator at Indian Hills Community College. His expertise spans Robotics, Automation, Control Systems, Electronics, CAD, and more.

Crafting an Attention-Grabbing Booth Setup

Greg emphasizes the importance of visually appealing booth setups. "The key elements for an attention-grabbing booth setup include interesting images and text on banner stands or backdrops," he says. Offering practical items like pens, USB flash drives, and even candy can also enhance the booth's draw.

Effective Handouts and Promotional Materials

When it comes to leaving a lasting impression, Greg suggests providing booklets, brochures, or fliers that address attendees' interests. "ATE grant funding opportunities are of particular interest to faculty and administrators looking to improve their programs," he notes. Greg also recommends resources like the ATE Impacts book and the Journal for ATE (J ATE) as popular handouts among two-year college faculty and administrators.

Investing in a Dedicated Booth

Greg believes in the value of investing in a dedicated booth at conferences. "It often serves as the only way to gain exposure and access to attendees," he explains. Conferences with educator attendees are particularly beneficial for the ATE Community booth, as many are eager to find opportunities for program improvement and funding.

Strategies for Engaging Conference Attendees

To encourage interaction at the booth, Greg employs various strategies. "I prefer to have a corner booth or one near a high-traffic area. It also helps to talk to people as they peruse the exhibition hall. " he shares. Presenting breakout sessions allows him to share more about the ATE program and share mentoring projects, resources, and collaboration opportunities. Offering informational materials and inviting attendees to the ATE Community exhibit booth further facilitates conversations.

By focusing on attention-grabbing booth setups, impactful promotional materials, and engaging interactive strategies, ATE projects and centers can effectively connect with conference attendees and make a lasting impression. Try out some of Greg’s idea at upcoming summer and fall conferences - including the HI-TEC 2024 conference in Kansas City, July 29-August 1st. Find out more about HI-TEC on their website.

    ATE Impacts

Last Edited: April 25th at 1:03pm by Meredith Whye

See More ATE Impacts


There are no comments yet for this entry. Please Log In to post one.