Emilie Barta Presentations
Emilie Barta’s #1 goal is engaging the audience... no matter where they are located. Her 15 years of experience includes representing industry-leading clients at tradeshows, conferences, meetings, webinars, webcasts, virtual events and hybrid events in a variety of industries from high tech to housewares and everything in between.
EB: The minute I walked onto my first expo floor in 1998, I was hooked... the energy, the excitement, the fast-paced nature, the beautiful booths, the exchange of information and education all in one place is addictive! My personality never wants to stop learning and loves a challenge. I also crave interpersonal interactions and enjoy learning about new people, places and things through conversations. And I love telling stories and sharing positive news. So tradeshows were the perfect place for me to combine all of my passions.
As my knowledge and understanding of the industry grew, I was able to increase my service offerings to provide benefits to all involved in the tradeshow industry: associations, event management companies and exhibitors. I work with my clients through the entire concept + development process and then represent them onsite for a one-stop, full-service approach to creating a clear, concise and consistent message to attract, engage and interact with their audience.
MM: What do you believe is your most sought-after skill that will make a company hire you?
EB: My clients commend me on my gift to stay calm, cool and collected… and count on my ability to ensure that “the show must go on.” I relish and accept all the challenges that my clients’ projects provide. And if some aspect of the project is making them nervous, I remind them that nothing scares me.
MM: Why do your skills differ from someone else in the field?
EB: My skills, background and experience differentiate me because I am not just a “talking head.” The ability to seamlessly become a part of their company and a part of their team ensures that my clients trust me, what I recommend and how I handle situations as they arise.
Also, I have an extremely well-rounded approach to all of the services that I provide and I am always looking at things from the audience’s perspective… I especially enjoy projects where I can blend various approaches.
MM: How has the area of tradeshows changed with the use of virtual and hybrid events?
EB: No matter how hard associations and conference organizers try, they will never have 100% of their potential audience attend their tradeshow. Offering virtual and/or hybrid events allows the “audience unable to attend” an opportunity to still participate. Exhibitors benefit from incorporating their own virtual and/or hybrid events into their exhibit strategy to continue the momentum created in their booth and to accelerate their sales-cycle by providing additional lead-generating and information-dispensing vehicles.
The other benefit of offering virtual and/or hybrid events is attracting an audience that you did not even know existed (at public events) or that was never going to attend in the first place (at private events), increasing the size, scope and reach of your event overall. On top of that, if you provide the content, engagement and participation that your virtual audience seeks, they are very likely to convert to physical audience members at your next event.
To address the “cannibalization concern” - people are not staring at their computer screens thinking to themselves, “Should I attend physically or virtually?” They are saying “I am so disappointed I can’t attend physically, but luckily there is a virtual component so I can still participate in some fashion.” Because after all, something is better than nothing!
MM: With so many options you offer a business, what is your favorite aspect of your job?
EB: I am very fortunate that my clients involve me in their projects in so many different ways. But the favorite aspect of my career has to be telling my clients’ story and helping them achieve the goals that we established in the beginning of the planning process. What a great feeling!
MM: How do you prepare for a work engagement event?
EB: Everything that I do for my clients is customized, scalable and fluid. Therefore the way I prep for an event depends on the specific project, strategy, goals and audience. The one commonality is that I immerse myself in their message and their audience’s experience and look at them from every viewpoint.
MM: How many engagements do you plan per year and why do you pick specific events?
EB: I consistently work on about 20 projects per year. Whether it be a tradeshow, corporate meeting, virtual or hybrid event… I only work with and represent companies, products and people that I respect and believe in.
MM: In your opinion, what does the future hold for the meetings industry?
EB: I believe the meeting-of-the-future encompasses three traits:
- It will be more focused on the audience and specifically helping them to achieve their goals.
- It will be less focused on “cool new tech” and more focused on the application of technology to serve a purpose relating to strategy or communication.
- It will blur the lines between physical attendance and virtual attendance.