If you hang out with the manufacturing community in South Central Texas, you’ve probably met Dollie Bodin. Bodin, a Senior Design Consultant at The Trade Group’s San Antonio office, has been involved with the San Antonio Manufacturers Association since the early 2000’s and was recently named to SAMA’s Board of Directors for 2017.
Established more than 100 years ago, SAMA actively represents more than 400 manufacturers and service providers in San Antonio and the city’s surrounding communities.
According to Bodin, “The SAMA Board of Directors takes its responsibility to its members very seriously. As the voice of manufacturing in the region, SAMA monitors regulations rates on behalf of its members to help policy makers understand what issues are important to manufacturing and what initiatives will help our manufacturers thrive.”
Volunteering on SAMA’s trade show committee has also been rewarding for Bodin
While Bodin looks forward to playing an active role on the Board, she hasn’t been resting on her laurels when it comes to supporting SAMA, as well as its membership and annual trade show. As a trade show expert, Bodin stepped up to chair SAMA’s trade show committee about 10 years ago.
“I enjoy networking with people in B2B environments, so when they asked me to chair the committee, I was happy to help out and bring the same knowledge I’ve offered other trade show organizers to SAMA. After four years, I passed the baton to other members, while serving in a consulting role when the committee needed advice,” Bodin says.
Recently, Bodin was approached to chair the trade show committee once again, and she agreed.
As Bodin explains, “It’s been a big challenge to get San Antonio manufacturers to participate in SAMA’s trade show, because most don’t sell products locally. So I knew if we wanted to make the show more successful, we needed a local manufacturer to step up and encourager for showcasing their products and capabilities.”
Strategic changes resulted in big returns for SAMA’s annual trade show
The show’s title sponsor, Cox Manufacturing was instrumental in reaching out to the manufacturing community. The trade show committee then made several changes to ensure the event would be bigger and more worthwhile to exhibitors and attendees alike.
Bodin drew on her experience helping other organizations grow trade shows and realize a bigger ROI, while Chairing SAMA’s annual event.
“In 2016, we decided to rebrand the show as the South Central Texas Manufacturing Trade Show & Conference to appeal to wider audience – and it worked. We moved to a larger hall that would accommodate bigger equipment, doubled attendance, increased the number of exhibitors by 25 percent and increased the projected revenue by 30 percent. In addition, the SAMA community now sees the event as a membership value added asset, because it brings opportunity to members and exposure to SAMA,” Dollie says.
SAMA also draws crowds at local events throughout the year
SAMA also hosts a number of networking, educational and informative local events to provide relevant information on key issues affecting the manufacturing community in San Antonio.
According to Bodin, who hosts some of these events at The Trade Group’s San Antonio showroom, “These events are very well received by the B2B community. We regularly see 100 plus people participating, because the attendees know they will receive valuable information at these events. And if our beautiful trade show exhibits get a little added exposure along the way, I’m happy about that too.”
The Trade Group is a full-service, award-winning provider of products and services for trade shows, corporate events, retail environments and an endless array of face-to-face experiences. The organization helps clients share their unique stories through a comprehensive suite of solutions that includes: exhibit design and fabrication, graphic design and production, exhibit management, digital applications, video production, exhibit accessories, strategic marketing and more. For more info, visit tradegroup.com.