VPE - Virtual Propane Expo
Frequently Asked Questions
VIRTUAL PROPANE EXPO
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Revision date: May 1, 2020
Why was the Virtual Propane Expo (VPE) created?
The VPE was created by propane industry leaders in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak of early 2020 as a solution to help bring the propane industry together. Specifically, we felt the cancellation and postponement of numerous propane events, including trade shows was adversely impacting the industry.
The Virtual Propane Expo is a project designed to unite Exhibitor/Suppliers to at least in part “fill the void” created by virus and together support and serve the industry. With over 125 supplier/exhibitor/speaker participants the feedback we are receiving from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive. Participation is free. Premium Service are available.
Who is virtualpropaneexpo.com?
- CEO & Founder Bill Stomp
- Advisory Board – Shane Sweet
- Advisory Board – Mike Digiorgio
- Advisory Board – Stuart Flatow
- Manager – Ken Morales
- Customer Support/Sales – Sandy Mata
- Customer Support/Sales – MJ Cabus
- Advisory Board Member – Peter Gilman
Who is involved with the launch of VPE?
Bill Stomp and his team from Digital Software Services began researching and developing the concept of the Virtual Propane Expo in early March 2020 when it became clear that the Coronavirus had begun to shut down state association meetings. The premise was always that a strong propane industry needed a strong group of suppliers to support the needs of a vibrant and growing propane marketer force.
Shane Sweet, who has served as an Executive for a number of energy trade associations, including the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, New England Fuel Institute and most recently the New York Propane Gas Association, and Mike Digiorgio (President of Propane University, Founder of Silverback consulting and President of the Propane Legal Defense Association) were instrumental in providing advice, counsel and early development of the platform, as well as promotion of the new site to the propane industry.
Early on Peter Gilman (Senior Executive Specializing in Retail, Rail and Over Road Transportation of Propane and Energy Fuels) became involved to aid and assist in the day to day management and operations to help ensure an expeditious and successful launch. We are glad that Stuart Flatow (former VP of PERC) agreed to serve in a consultative role with the greater goal to use this venue to serve the industry in a new way that would benefit suppliers, marketers, associations and propane users.
When did VPE site go live?
VPE concept and site were in development throughout March and became live in early April 2020
Are all listings FREE?
VPE is structured to allow any company with a legitimate connection to the propane industry to participate and be listed on the site at low or no cost to the exhibitor, services provider, or propane media outlet. For the LAUNCH, VPE is providing the “Virtual Freedom Package” Free to the first 275 exhibitors. Due to the desire to help fellow propane exhibitors/suppliers we have extended the free booth package from the first 150 exhibitors now to the first 275. Sign up quick as these free slots are getting filled fast.
Premium services, generally referred to as the “Partner/Sponsor” program, including but not limited to, premium placement in the Virtual Exhibit Floor, placement in VPE eblasts and Press Releases are available for a one-time fee for a designated Virtual Trade Show and the marketing associated with that Virtual Trade Show which will normally occur on a specific date with marketing prior to and after the one day event.
Other premium services are expected to be forthcoming, however the ‘regular’ placement on the site is discounted from $500 to FREE (for first 275 exhibitors).
As of April 10, 2020, Premium or other paid services are specific to a single online trade show, typically one day long, with marketing that leads up to the event and follows on afterwards for a month and includes:
- Virtual Booth space, aka “Booth space”
- Premium page placement, ie placement in premier exhibitor section
- Premium placement on home screen as premier exhibitor
- Premium placement in eblasts
- Premium placement in Press Releases and/or inclusion in an industry article as available
- Able to work with your design team to place marketing materials specific to your design needs
- Ability to post button links to your videos, brochures, company site, calendar, & lead capture pages.
Premium benefits for Partner/Sponsorship is valid for the day of the show, the days leading up to that show and for a month after that show.
Propane Related Trade Associations ?
- Free Association Listing – VPE invites any trade association that works on behalf of the propane industry – or works on behalf of its members that are in the propane industry – to sign up for a free listing. As the purpose of VPE is to support and nurture a thriving and healthy propane industry, VPE supports and encourages local, state and national association membership. Though VPE is a separate entity it supports the efforts of all who are proactively positive to the best for the propane industry.
- Association Partner Program – In early May VPE created this program to provide trade associations with enhanced services and exposure. There is no out of pocket expense, rather a contra settlement for VPE services provided to associations and Association services provided in return to VPE. Ask shane.sweet@shanesweetLLC.org for the current Association Partner details, or see the summary on the VPE site.
Is VPE a money-making pursuit?
The goal of VPE is to provide Propane Suppliers and Marketers a venue to encourage learning, training, and commerce that will benefit the industry, the marketers and the Supplier/Vendors. Any revenue, including premium service fees, is intended to simply cover the expenses associated with running and maintaining the venue including technical staff, marketing costs, outreach campaigns, management and coordination of the same and the staff that supports and assists in all aspects of the same.
Any revenues are used to help offset costs associated with:
- marketing of VPE
- sales of free listings and paid sponsorship
- management of VPE
- technical staff that perform the daily maintenance of the site, including changes to listing and updating content, communication with and assistance to vendors and speakers and marketers.
What about content?
We intend to provide avenues, including but not limited to
- Video files – product overviews, webinar recordings, explainer videos, and other marketing videos?
- Audio files
- Documents in pdf format – product summaries, technical documents, marketing brochures
- Links to other marketing materials including your own websites or lead capture mechanisms or meeting request calendars
- VPE reserves the right to reject or remove any listing or content, free or paid, that it considers disruptive, controversial, unethical, contrary to the interests of VPE or the propane industry, contrary to the interests of VPE or the propane industry, or illegal.
Listings, Premium Services
- $500/virtual booth made FREE (first 275 exhibitors) for all users to facilitate all exhibitors to better market their services.
- $1500/Sponsor-Partner per Trade Show Event.
Use and disclosure of Industry Contact Data
- General – VPE, in the course of its day-to-day business, receives contact information associated with industry individuals and uses this information to distribute VPE event and related information to members of the propane industry. To protect the privacy of these individuals, VPE does not sell, share, distribute or otherwise disclose the information of its contacts to third parties, including but not limited to vendors, marketers, associations, sponsors, or advertisers.
- Sessions – Presentation sessions offered on VPE’s meeting platform do not require session attendees to register for VPE-hosted sessions. VPE opts not to require the disclosure of attendee name, company and email address via an online “registration form” to access VPE-hosted live sessions or their recordings. VPE has chosen to leave the VPE-hosted sessions, as well as their recordings, accessible to anyone with interest in the content.
The image sizes are:
large Premium Exhibitor image: 600×500
Logo: We can resize, send high resolution
Speaker Head Shot: 250×280
We want your ideas and suggestions
VPE welcomes any and all suggestions from propane marketers and non-propane marketers alike. Please send suggestions for the site, the launch date, etc to Bill Stomp at 610-220-3906 or BillStomp@tankspotter.com or Peter Gilman at # or Peter@tankspotter.com or Shane Sweet at 802-558-6101 or shane.sweet@shanesweetLLC.org