• The Rumors of Our Industry’s Death have been Greatly Exaggerated

    The Walking, Talking, Exhibiting Dead: A Response from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events

    In his 25 January CBS MoneyWatch article, Michael Hess discusses “10 trade show traps” and argues that for many companies, trade shows don’t provide an identifiable return on the time and money invested. Days later, Matt Burns published a February 1 TechCrunch headline reading “The Trade Show is Dead,” citing Samsung’s decision not to launch its Galaxy S II successor at the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

    In a sense, they are both right. Like most tools of business that have been around for decades, the “trade show” in its historical definition, is an artifact, much like the “car phone,” the “door-to-door salesman,” and the communal “coffee pot.” Any business staple with staying power finds itself declared “over” at some point, and from the ashes rise the smartphone, the road warrior and the cappuccino/espresso machine.

    So, if the terminology is outdated, fine, but the spirit of the trade show is alive and well. For the past five years, despite a troubled economy, the face-to-face event industry has seen steady growth and no shortage of success stories from both exhibitors and attendees.

    The trick, as Hess alludes to, and as Burns demonstrates, is doing face-to-face marketing in the right way to meet individual business objectives. Product launches, industry education, competitive research and networking – they all have their place at face-to-face events, and as an industry, we have long advised participants to think carefully about their goals to avoid the “traps” Hess warns about.

    The evolution of the “trade show” has come a long way from the days of static booths stocked with brochures and product demonstrations. In a business environment overrun with messages and information coming from all directions, face-to-face events offer one of the few designated opportunities for those with a shared business interest to make eye contact, shake hands, and really know the people behind the product, the service, the business.

    Face-to-face events can be an especially beneficial tactic for small businesses struggling to be seen and heard above the endless marketing noise (and seemingly endless marketing budgets) of large industry players, and despite Hess’ assertion that participants will “pay to see people you’ll see anyway,” 77 percent of executive decision makers found at least one new supplier at the last show they attended, according to a recent study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

    Face-to-face events, whether they are major industry gatherings like the Mobile World Congress, or smaller affairs like the one Samsung will host to launch the Galaxy S II successor, present a unique opportunity that cannot be replaced by instant messages, conference calls or emails, and eye contact and handshakes are two business staples that will never go out of style.

    I invite Hess and Burns to let me accompany them on their next face-to-face event adventure; maybe theyhave been doing things wrong. Either way, the rumors of our industry’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

    Sincerely, Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE President, International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)

    Source Links: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57360522/10-trade-show-traps/

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/01/the-trade-show-is-dead-samsung-not-launching-galaxy-s-ii-successorat-mwc/

  • Exhibitions and Events Industry Launches Campaign To Encourage Businesses to “Click Here First”

    DALLAS, 19 December 2011 – At Expo! Expo!, held December 6-8 in Las Vegas, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) announced the launch of “Click Here First,” a public relations campaign aimed at communicating the value of face-to-face exhibitions and events.

    The campaign was introduced to IAEE’s membership during the event’s opening general session. Over the next two days, public relations team members began collecting stories of face-to-face marketing success from attendees and will continue these efforts throughout the course of the campaign.

    “After much preparation, we are excited to be kicking off this important initiative,” said IAEE President Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE “There is no shortage of success stories in the exhibitions and events world, and now we have a way to collect those stories and use them to collectively communicate the singular benefits of face-to-face events.”

    IAEE has raised more than $1 million in support of its public relations campaign and has engaged global public relations firm Edelman to execute the program. The “Click Here First” campaign will be carried out on behalf of the entire industry to elevate and fortify the event industry’s reputation as the best means to bring together buyers and sellers.

    The “Click Here First” theme was chosen to acknowledge the business community’s shift toward digital and virtual tools while emphasizing the critical benefits that come from establishing in-person relationships as a part of a successful long-term business partnership.

    The three-year campaign will use the real stories of exhibitors, attendees and other event industry participants to communicate the power and uniqueness of trade shows and differentiate trade shows from other forms of engagement.

    To date, campaign contributions have been made by:

    • American College of Surgeons in Chicago
    • Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
    • Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Atlantis
    • Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau
    • Conference Direct
    • Consumer Electronics Association/CES
    • Convention News TV (CNTV)
    • CTIA – The Wireless Association
    • Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Destination DC
    • Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Freeman
    • Global Experience Specialists (GES)
    • Global Pet Expo
    • Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Hargrove
    • Hawaii Convention Center
    • Helms Briscoe
    • InfoComm International
    • International Housewares Association
    • LA Inc. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors
    • Los Angeles Convention Center
    • Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
    • Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Maritz
    • McCormick Place
    • Messe Frankfurt GmbH
    • MGM Resorts International
    • National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
    • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
    • New Orleans Metropolitan CVB
    • Northstar Meetings Group
    • Orange County Convention Center
    • Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Premier Beauty
    • Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
    • Rosen Hotels and Resorts
    • San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO)
    • Society of the Plastics Institute
    • Solar Energy Trade Shows LLC (SETS)
    • Tourism Toronto – Convention and Visitors Association
    • Trade Show Executive
    • Transportation Management Services
    • UBM Live
    • US Poultry & Egg Association
    • Visit Denver
    • Visit Mexico
    • American Society of Anesthesiologists
    • Anaheim – Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau
    • Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • bxb Online
    • Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI)
    • Experient, Inc
    • Ft. Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • George R. Brown Convention Center
    • Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Greater Vancouver Visitors and Convention Bureau
    • Hanley Wood
    • Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association
    • International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAPPA)
    • Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC)
    • Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association
    • Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Minneapolis Northwest Convention and Visitors
    • Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI)
    • Performance Racing
    • St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission
    • Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • Tampa Bay and Company
    • Visit Baltimore
    • Visit Charlotte
    • Visit Jacksonville
    • VisitPittsburgh
    • AE Ventures
    • Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
    • ConvExx
    • Craft & Hobby Association
    • Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
    • Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA)
    • Light Speed
    • Major American Trade Show Organizers (MATSO)
    • Mears Transportation
    • National Automobile Dealers Association
    • Portland Oregon Visitors Association
    • VP International
    • Western Veterinary Conference

    About IAEE
    Since 1928, IAEE continues to provide quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE. Through the 2006 consolidation with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), IAEE delivers valuable industry research reports. IAEE also supports IAEE Services, the IAEE Public Events Council, The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing, and the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission, which are IAEE councils that provide products, programs and information to members. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: American Airlines, ASP, Inc., Bearcom, Mexico Tourism Board, Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando, Vertical Nerve, Inc. and VoiceLogic. Visit www.iaee.com for more information.

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