Are Trade Shows a Thing of the Past?
May 25, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

trade show rental

Today's technology of social media, virtual tours, and video conferencing at the touch of a button may make event planners wonder if trade shows are going by the way of the land line telephone or fax machine. But in a recent Center for Exhibition Industry Research and MPI "Changing Environments of Exhibitions" Study concluded that trade shows are the main way to start a relationship between buyers and sellers and are still very important to building long-term buying relationships.  

In addition, event meeting services organizations need trade shows in order to offset the registration cost of the conference to attendees.

Below are the top 7 reasons trade show exhibitors sign up and 4 tips to make it a great show for all concerned. 

Top 7 Reasons Exhibitors Sign Up
84% said The high quality of attendees
60% said A chance to see a large number of prospects & customers in a short period of time
54% said Produces a favorable Return on Investment (ROI)
51% said Exhibitions do the job over other channels for face-to-face meetings
50% said They had positive past performance
40% said It is a good fit with their organizational objectives
34% said It is a a focused show with specific vertical, business sectors


So, what can event planners learn from this survey? Plenty! Here are 4 useful tips

  1. Share with your exhibitors as much information as possible about the demographics of your attendees including title, company, age, sex, and how many times they have come to the show. All of this information will help the exhibitor determine if the event is right for them .
     
  2. Brainstorm ways to get attendees onto the floor. Some ideas may be:
  • Hold one of your meals in the center of the trade show floor. People have to eat and it is a good way to get them there.
  • Hold a hosted buyer program where qualified attendee's registration is free in exchange for set appointments with exhibitors.
  • Create a technology Mecca for the attendee through the use of computer kiosks, plasma TVs, and iPads. 
  • Rent iPads with a gaming application that encourages attendees to visit exhibitors to learn the answers. 
  1. Survey exhibitors before they leave the conference. Informally walking around to determine their level of satisfaction with the show helps but bringing them into a room for a quick 10-minute survey with Audience Response System rentals will help you get  immediate, anonymous feedback as to their level of satisfaction and their likelihood of returning next year. 
     
  2. Keep your trade show focused on the attendees. That old saying, "If you are everything to everyone, you'll be nothing to no one," applies here. Don't spread yourself to thin. Focus on booth exhibitors that make sense to your attendees. 

"Trade shows still allow that interaction with a customer and that 'meet and greet' you cannot achieve as easily online or in print," said Megy Karydes, President at Karydes Consulting.

With over 25,000 trade shows planned annually, it looks like they are here to stay. 

AV Event Solutions can provide your next trade show with great technology options including iPads, kiosk rentals, plasma TVs, and much, much more! Click or call today for more information! 

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