American Fence Association

Case Study
American Fence Association Logo

ATS Provides the American Fence Association with a Registration Website That Meets Their Online and Onsite Needs

ATS is really easy to work with and I really appreciate that.  They really pay attention to what we need, and customize solutions to best fit that within our budget while making it appropriate for our audience and what we're trying to achieve.

The Client

The American Fence Association (AFA) has been around since 1962 to serve over 1,500 members working in the fence industry spread among 20 chapters across the United States.  They are a huge industry resource for tools, materials, standards, and more; and hold several educational events a year including their annual FENCETECH tradeshow.  Bill Jenkins, who works as the meeting planner for Fusion Marketing (the association management company representing AFA), loves having the opportunity to work with different types of people across this industry especially those who attend their events and are truly interested in what they’re learning.  He also enjoys having a job that allows for a variation of tasks throughout his day.  “I really like that variety and being able to interact with different people in projects throughout my day.”

The Problem

Before working with ATS, Fusion Marketing was using another registration company for their co-located tradeshows.  There were many issues with both the online registration system and the on-site badge printing software.  On-site, things proved to be a mess.  Their online registration system “didn’t seem prepared to address these challenges.”  Because of all of the problems, leadership had decided it was necessary to look at other registration solutions right before Bill was hired.

To add further complication, when Bill came on board with Fusion, they decided to add a third co-located show into the mix.  Although the co-located shows were managed by separate association management companies, the goal was to “share services and provide a shared experience to attendees, and make sure things were more seamless.”  In short, Bill was looking for the following:

  • An online registration system that could handle three separate, but co-located tradeshows, managed by two separate Association Management Companies
  • Identical QR codes on the badges so that access controlled sessions and exhibit halls could be shared by attendees of all three tradeshows
  • A great customer service and sales experience, and someone willing to be flexible to their needs

With some help from ATS’ sales team, Bill was able to gather enough information to convince his co-workers that they should “use ATS because they could provide the services we need” and they “really felt that ATS was the best value.”

The Solution

ATS created an online registration system that not online worked well for AFA’s members to sign up with ease, but also created online registration systems for the co-located tradeshows.  The system includes a plethora of registration types, available packages, add on after-hours dinners and award ceremonies, and prompts an identical QR code complete with attendee access to what they signed up for to print on all three co-located tradeshow badges.  The online registration site seamlessly integrates with the on-site badge printing software to print badges almost instantly, which keeps lines moving swiftly.  In fact, when using ATS for the second year, AFA was able to install and staff fewer registration counters, because the process was so much smoother and more efficient.

The Results

“Compared to our previous registration company and how we did registration there within our own AMS, it was really easy to work with you all to build a registration site, make sure we were asking the appropriate questions at the right time, and create what I think is a pretty clear flow for attendees.”  On top of this, Bill noticed that they were receiving fewer phone calls from members regarding the online registration process, which freed their team up to focus on other areas of the conference.  As well, their on-site volunteer members “all commented how they thought it looked and performed better than what they had experienced in previous years.”  Exhibitors were thrilled that they could register themselves, and other booth staff, employees, or guests without having to start a separate registration for each person.  “It’s just the little things like that throughout the process that we appreciate.”

Overall, Bill and the AFA team were grateful that registration went so smoothly.  “We could set it up and not really worry about it.”  It was a great experience, and ATS looks forward to working with AFA for years to come!

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