While attending Globalshop, the annual U.S. version of the Euroshop Retail Trade Show, I noticed a common trend as I walked the aisles. I was surrounded by booth staff who were more content to look at their cell phones or talk to their colleagues than to engage attendees like me. If only exhibitors understood the value of well trained booth staff and how they can impact trade show ROI.
At two recent event marketing and trade show exhibit industry conferences (EventTech in NYC and the annual Exhibit Designers + Producers Association (EDPA) meeting in Palm Springs, California) the new world of cooperative competition or “coopetition” was clearly evident. This was most clearly illustrated during the awards ceremony at EventTech. Awards were given in more than 10 project categories ranging from “Best Online Program” to “Best Live Event”. None of the awards were given to a single event marketing or trade show exhibit company however. As the nominees and eventual winners were flashed on the screen each project featured at least two and often three or four collaborative firms who partnered to produce a successful program.
Face-to-Face Marketing – Both attendance and number of trade show exhibitors is again trending upwards. The CES show had its best year ever on both fronts, with an increasing number of international exhibitors coming from Europe and the Far East.
The Consumer Electronics Show, just concluded in Las Vegas, was the largest in the history of the annual trade show conference. Great news for those of us in the trade show exhibit and event marketing business. Attendance was up from last year, and there were more exhibitors taking up more floor space than ever. Given the trends of the recent past this is truly and encouraging sign, and the hope is it will be evidenced in trade shows and industry events for the rest of 2012.
I spent six plus long days recently setting up and then working a trade show exhibit. Was the show a success? Depends who you ask. I survived standing on carpeted cement for 6 days, so by that measure my survival was a success. But how about the exhibitors? Did they walk away with results that made the collective $12,000,000 spent by the exhibiting companies worthwhile? Do they even know?