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Arizona Dental Association: The Western Regional Dental Convention

MHG helped a relatively small state conference of dentists expand their presence and visibility nationally by coining and branding a regionally themed dental convention – as a source of high-quality continuing education and opportunities for exhibition, sponsorship and destination adventures in this potentially lucrative community. By naming the convention Western Regional, visibility among 14 western states mirrored the standardized dental tests states use for licensure.

By integrating a stealth campaign of public relations (nationally recognized speakers were the focus of several ghost articles), advertising, direct mail, and personal contact, out-of-state attendees were dramatically increased. Modeling the successes of other regional dental events helped the organization learn inexpensively which event plans are likeliest to achieve their goals.

Personal interviews of three market segments – in-state dentists, out-of-state dentists, and exhibitor-sponsors – at the event provided the board of directors with substantive data about how to package the event in the coming years. FY2008 (the 100 year anniversary of the conference [now named WRDC] reports 15,000 attendees, a more than 700% increase over pre-MHG involvement.

Results:

  • Increasing the floor space and booth marketing for exhibitors concurrently with MHG targeted business development led to more than 20% gains in exhibitor revenues, yielding more than $150,000 in economic impact overall.
  • New primary intelligence helps decision-makers create the event most sought by dentists shopping for the best destination for Continuing Education
  • The Convention now competes nationally with three very large dental conventions
  • Great collaterals: online and paper-based brochures, calendars, save-the-dates, curriculum and keynote speaker announcements, posters, and event notifications beefed up the marketing firepower and boosted the conference into a full-level convention

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