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Partnering for success at AAHOA Con 2023

The 20,000-member-strong Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association is the largest hotel owners’ association in the nation. With an impressive 60% ownership of US hotels, these hospitality professionals support 4.2 million jobs across all sectors of the industry and inject $47 billion annually into the US economy.

AAHOA partnered with Shepard to produce their 2023 trade show and convention, known as AAHOA Con. Working closely with the AAHOA team, we provided comprehensive event planning and trade show execution to deliver a remarkable event experience.

Understanding the Client’s Vision

Long before attendees convened in Los Angeles from all corners of the United States for AAHOA Con, we invested time in understanding the association’s vision for the show, along with their desired outcomes. AAHOA Con 23 embraced a classic cinema theme, which was a perfect match for the host city.

Phelps Hope, AAHOA’s EVP of Operations, appreciated our collaborative approach. “We’re a lean and mean team, which means we have to lean on our outsource partners to help fill the gaps for us. Throughout the entire journey of designing and planning and selling and executing the trade show floor, Shepard was there with us, giving us ideas, and they brought that all to the table.”

Managing a Record-Breaking Event

AAHOA Con reached a new height in 2023, with over 89,000 square feet sold and 502 exhibiting companies—the largest trade show in AAHOA’s history. Hope acknowledged that selling out created its own set of problems, but AAHOA and Shepard rose to the occasion, providing exceptional service and support at a sold-out level.

Equal Attention to Every Exhibitor

AAHOA Con featured a significant number of 900 10×10 booths, presenting logistical complexities. Alyson Corey, AAHOA’s Senior Director of Conventions, noted that Shepard “treated our 10×10 just as important as our big players, and to me that’s incredibly special.”

Unmatched Service and Support

“During the show, Shepard didn’t just go away,” Dennis Smith, VP of Business Development at AAHOA, observed. “They were still actively out there touching base with our exhibitors, trying to make sure that everyone was taken care of.”

This year we recommended our concierge service to AAHOA – an easy sell for a hotel association –   to elevate the customer service levels with personalized attention to exhibitors. According to Hope, the concierge service was “immensely successful. This year, the comments we got back and the compliments from having that level of show-the-love service was wonderful.”

Hope further suggested that the exceptional customer service experience resulted in exhibitors eagerly signing up for next year’s event, hitting 50% of their budget expectations within just two days of selling.

A True Partnership

From the start, Shepard was fully invested in the success of AAHOA Con. We matched the hard work put in by AAHOA’s team, fostering a strong and effective collaboration that contributed to the event’s success.

“I’ve been doing trade shows for 20 plus years,” Alyson Corey observed, “and Shepard this year was my first actual partnership. It didn’t feel like they’re there to provide some tables and chairs. It wasn’t that. They are just as much invested in the success of AAHOA Con as I was.”

Realizing the Vision

Shepard played a pivotal role in ensuring AAHOA Con’s resounding success. By delivering comprehensive event planning and execution services, along with unparalleled support and service, we exceeded AAHOA’s expectations and helped create an unforgettable experience for exhibitors and attendees alike. Or, as Corey put it, “We had this vision of it and they just made it come alive. It was a smash success.”


Asian American Hotel Owners Association




AAHOA Con 23

Event Type

Annual Trade Show & Convention