Tradeshow Specialists Trade Ideas at ABM Summit
Attendees at American Business Media’s third annual Tradeshow Summit this week were treated to a mix of the old and the new as some of the b-to-b event industry’s biggest names discussed everything from digital technology to ROI and the future.
There were just shy of 90 people on the attendee list, including speakers and ABM staff for the one-day event, held in New York on Tuesday. Speakers included Charles McCurdy, CEO of Apprise Media, Margaret Pederson, president of the exhibitions division of Penton Media, and Danica Tormohlen, editor of Expo Magazine.
A session on ROI and measurement covered the various reasons small and large exhibitors measure results of their investments. Pre-event, for example, exhibitors look for a size-of-audience estimate, and estimator of the number of staff they need to bring, and the amount of exhibit space they might need for the event, said Skip Cox, president of Exhibit Surveys.
The emphasis by exhibitors on ROI and measurement, in turn, is creating these imperatives for show organizers:
- Help exhibitors measure
- Help create a standard measurement protocol
- Demonstrate results, not just potential for ROI
- Promote exhibitions as accelerating the sales process and feeding the sales pipeline.
Meanwhile, closing session on the future of face-to-face featured what were described as big new ideas for the industry, as well as some interesting trends.
For example, an analysis by Tradeshow Week publisher Adam Schaffer indicated that of the Tradeshow Week Fastest 50;the magazine’s list of the fastest growing events;16 were from associations, 31 were from for-profit organizations and three were consumer events. Twenty-six of the Fastest 50 were already in the Tradeshow Week 200, the magazine’s list of the largest events in the country.
Interestingly, 22 of the Fastest 50 were first-time listees, indicating plenty of fresh blood, and 14 of them were held in Las Vegas.
The ideas and perspective flowed in this session, but a list of best practices for successful events, from Lawrence Dvorchik, general manager of Kiosk.com’s Self Service Expo, seemed particularly on point. In part, here’s what he said:
- Constantly test new lists
- Consummate as many relationships with industry associations and have them be your ambassador
- Concentrate on the pre-reg list to ensure attendees are coming
- Include special areas/features
- Spend quality time correctly identifying the target audience (buyers)
- Include killer and dynamic content and keynotes
- Include special events, contests, giveaways and awards