Synergy, value and efficiency probably aren't the first words that come to mind when the idea of attending an expo is brought up. Many will think of free pens and stress balls and then dismiss the notion. The expo portion of the Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX), however, has been a wellspring of resources for countless churches embarking on a project or considering a large purchase since 2006. Where else can team members peruse options, speak to vendors in person and compare products side-by-side? Choices are limited, as WFX is the only event and expo of its kind, but if you need more convincing, here's a more in-depth look at three of the best reasons to attend the Worship Facilities Expo:
Church-Focused Companies & Products
WFX as a whole is all about churches and so are the companies that choose to participate in the expo. "The people in the booths are familiar and comfortable with churches. They understand the relationships and goals involved in a church's planning and purchases," says Jim Wagner, general manager of WFX and publisher of Worship Facilities magazine. "All of our exhibitors have products focused on and appropriate for churches. It's not like walking through a general technology expo and having to siftwe've already done the sifting."
For ten years, WFX has maintained a reputation as a large, dynamic and diverse expo with resources for churches of all sizes and stages. Roughly 60 percent of exhibitors are from the church technology arena, while the remaining 40 percent include finance and fundraising consultants, church furnishings, facilities design and construction companies, branding and marketing consultants, and security and emergency response experts, to name a few.
Team-Based Decision Making
"If your church is looking at a big purchase, send two or three people from the team to do recon and research, to ask questions and evaluate options together and in personinstead of passing around a brochure," says Wagner.
It's true that major purchase decisions are often based on the information gleaned from a brochure or website. Optimally, a vendor will provide an in-person presentation to the decision-making team. But at the WFX expo, a side-by-side comparison of products and candid conversation with product experts can be participated in by several members of a team and enhanced by the varied perspectives they bring from their ministry area and level of seniorityit's invaluable.
WFX also provides the opportunity to "show and tell" proposed purchases with members of other ministries. "This is the place for tech staff to show pastoral staff what they want and need," says Wagner.
In the realm of technology especially, nothing compares to being able to turn the knobs on the equipment you're considering. Getting to do so with an expert standing by to answer questions is another bonus. "Every technology exhibitor will have multiple products for attendees to touch and try. That level of accessibility is a real value," says Wagner.
A prime example of the hands-on opportunities at the WFX expo is The Live Sound International Loudspeaker Demo where attendees may listen to, evaluate, and compare more than 25 standard and portable loudspeaker systems.
No matter the project or product your church is considering, the WFX expo is bound to have a resource to help your team make a better-informed choice. "Each year we hear success stories from churches who have made a good, team-based decision as a result of meeting and conversing with product experts. They've met vendors that understand their church's identity and mission and it's guided them to an ideal solution," concludes Wagner.