Most Innovative Meetings 2013: #10 National Automobile Dealers Association's Convention & Expo

A mix of playful and personalized activities added energy to the show floor and enticed attendees to linger.

By Mitra Sorrells September 10, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

One of the most popular activities with both male and female attendees was the free manicures in the Beauty and Fashion area.

Photo: Mitra Sorrells/BizBash

Zumba, makeovers, pinball, and health screenings interspersed with products and technology for the automotive industry on the floor of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention and expo in Orlando in February. The activities were part of a new strategy to get the 21,000 attendees to spend time at the event and to visit the entire 313,000-square-foot space. Planners created the lifestyle zones, dubbed “Cypress Isles,” in quadrants of the floor to create flow. An oxygen bar, chair massages, and makeovers provided by Neiman Marcus drew the largest crowds, including conference attendees and spouses. “Our attendees appreciate the mental break,” said Melissa Wolpert, director of convention services and operations for the association. “And we’ve found some exhibitors like to be near those areas, so it is a good selling point.”

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