Trailblazer Tom Pellet on Rebranding the AAFP Conference & Trade Show

Today’s Trailblazer guest takes us behind the scenes to discover how one medical association is boldly reinventing their conference and trade show, transitioning from a medical education event to a total brand experience. In this interview, Tom Pellet shares some key points the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has learned so far in the process of rebranding their largest annual event, including:

  • Why it’s important to understand various audience personas
  • The number one thing you must do before beginning the rebranding process
  • How to tie education back to what’s available on the show floor so attendees can create a customized experience

Click the play button below to listen!

Tom Pellet

Tom Pellet

About Tom Pellet:

Tom has built a reputation in the meetings industry as an innovative leader who knows how to get things done. As Meetings & Convention Director for AAFP, he is responsible for all meetings and convention operations of the 110,600-member organization. He oversees the coordination of more than 55 meetings annually, including the organization’s largest meeting, which involves more than 10,000 attendees and 250,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Before coming to the AAFP, he held leadership roles at a number of other organizations throughout his 40 years in the meetings and trade show industry, including Cygnus Business Media, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Miller Freeman, and more.

The Trade Show Trailblazer series features trendsetting shows of all sizes representing all types of industries, offering listeners a backstage pass to the secrets of their success.
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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.


  1. By Marlys Arnold

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