Tips When Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business.

Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays.

If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors.

Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor.

Another good time saving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer.

Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogs, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor.

If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while “who gets what” is still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds.  The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like at the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20′ x 20′ Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either light wood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display’s, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

Tips When Displaying at Trade Shows

Almost all products being sold in the market today have already been sold before by their competitors but what makes other products a hit despite their being new in the market? Most entrepreneurs say it is a matter of marketing your products to your target market.

Marketing can be done in various ways depending on the expertise of the marketer. However, one common way to market a new product is through participation in trade shows. Trade shows are held at any time of the year and they do attract buyers and prospective customers.

There are general trade shows but you can choose from niche trade shows depending on your area of business. Companies join trade shows not so much for actual selling but most importantly for showing off their products and for the possibility of getting bulk orders during the trade show.

A company or a sole proprietor planning to join a trade show should take note of the following:

1. Able personnel to man the trade show booth. A trade show is not just an ordinary selling venue but it is a venue where prospective clients abound so make sure that you send your best personnel to man the booth. Some companies take trade shows for granted and allow inept personnel to watch the booth. The people who are put in charge of your trade show booth can make or break your product. A good staff with public relations skill can attract more clients to your products. It is also important to instruct your booth personnel to dress properly depending on the venue of the trade show. Business attire will always be safe.

2. Invite visitors to your booth. The booth personnel must be trained and instructed to invite visitors to the booth. Most visitors walk away from trade show booth when they see the staff busy with their own thing. Tell your staff the main reason why they were assigned to the trade show and that is to get as many visitors to see your products. Booth personnel should be able to answer questions from the visitors because the visitors may already be potential customers. A booth demo will catch the attention of visitors especially if the demo is useful to them.

3. Prepare your brochures, leaflets and business cards and make sure you do not run out of them.  Always expect plenty of people to visit trade shows so never be caught without your marketing tools. Imagine if a potential client asks for your brochure or your card and then you cannot give him anything just because you did not prepare for an influx of people. It is better to have plenty of left over marketing materials after the show rather than miss the opportunity of showing off what you have to offer.

4. Keep a visitors’ book. Most companies who join trade shows require visitors who get their free marketing materials to sign up in a guestbook. However, only a few of these companies will communicate with the people who signed in their guestbook. Be creative and use the guestbook as a sourcebook for potential clients. The people who visited your booth and who got your materials are definitely interested in your products or else they will not even glance at your booth. Why not take advantage of their contact information?  Mail them a thank you letter along with more information about the product and where they can buy the products.

5. Promote your products but do not be too pushy. Visitors are often turned off by very eager booth personnel who call out to the visitors using their loudest voice. No one would want to visit your booth if your personnel are boisterous. Allow the visitors to go inside your booth and look at the items you have on display but always keep a welcoming smile. Entertain their questions and try to respond to them accordingly. Never shout your words of welcome to the visitors since they might feel defensive all of a sudden and decide against looking at your products.

Anatomy Of A Successful Trade Show Exhibit

A trade show, also known as a merchandise show or market week, is an exhibition or a business gathering organized by companies that showcase and demonstrate their new products and services and also their latest offerings. Trade shows also provide opportunities for companies to meet their customers, to learn new trends and to identify new prospects.

Trade shows are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the trade and members of the press. One advantage of holding a trade show is that it shortens the time it takes for companies to look for prospective customers. But the major disadvantage is that customers and prospects pay little attention to the many exhibitors and their products due to the many distractions and the busy atmosphere inherent in trade shows.

Exhibitors can make effective use of trade show displays in trade shows to direct visitors to their main display area. Trade show displays are used to give visitors a better understanding or appreciation of the products or services being marketed. Although exhibitors are only supposed to put their trade show displays within the confines of their designated trade show exhibit area, exhibitors also display items in strategic areas of the fair grounds. Trade show displays often used include banner stands, counters and cabinets, panel display etc. that clearly display the company logo, basic company information and company slogan.

The trade show booth is an important component of the trade show display as it aims to enhance the brand and marketing experience for the visitor. It facilitates valuable direct face-to-face contact between the companies and their prospective customers. The whole booth set-up includes counters kiosks, lighting, flooring, literature racks, banner stands and high impact graphics, with the booth design, the staffing and the handouts the main factors to a successful trade show booth.

Many companies prefer to rent pre-owned trade show exhibits and displays rather than to buy or to create them from scratch to save on the trade show booth construction costs and also on the expense of warehousing the displays after the trade show is over.

Trade shows demand a lot of work and effort, and exhibitors have to plan well in advance so as to make the trade show a success. It is because any successful trade show offers exhibitors with a very valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with their clients and to close lucrative business deals.



More than 300 attendees from 46 nations will gather Oct. 29-Nov 1 in Bogota, Colombia, for UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry’s 81st Congress

The event has not been in Latin America since 1975 and will bring together leaders and strategic thinkers for a three-day review of the state of the exhibition industry.

UFI’s Congress will be hosted by regional industry association (AFIDA) and Corferias, Colombia’s leading exhibition business.

“Our theme this year ‘Fit to Compete’ will have us examine new markets, new structures, new products and new revenue opportunities,” said Renaud Hamaide, UFI president, of the 3-day program.

He added, “We’ll gain insight from the Latin American experience and apply this to new ideas at a global level.”

The event kicks off Oct. 29 at the Andres DC with an opening party, followed by a full day of sessions and meetings the next day, including the following:

-          Keynote: “Competitive teams – The ingredients of success” – led by Gérard Houllier, Global Sporting Director Red Bull Soccer (France)

-          “Are you fit to compete in Latin America?” – led by Marco Giberti, Partner at Vesuvio Ventures, former President Reed Exhibitions Latin America (USA)

-          “The Latin American exhibition experience: panel discussion” with five experts

The next day features even more high-level sessions, such as “Shaping your future – defining your competitive zone” led by Nancy P. Walsh, president, Reed Exhibitions, North America (USA), and “Is your business fit to compete?” led by Christer Haglund, managing director, Messukeskus (Finland), to name a few..

In order to gain a good understanding what people in the exhibition industry consider important for being competitive, jwc, exhibition consultants from Germany, initiated and developed a survey amongst 900 individuals in the industry.

With a response rate of nearly 20 percent, the survey yielded some remarkable findings. Some of the highlights are:

1. Overall, human resources, the right products/offerings as well as branding of shows are considered to be most important for the competitiveness of our industry as a whole as well as for the competitiveness of individual companies.

2. The majority of the respondents think that their company is highly focused and performing well when it comes to the branding of their shows

3. Respondents see comparatively little importance in the brands of their companies

4. For the future, respondents see the need for more focus on the areas of human resources, organization and pricing

Jochen Witt of jwc will present a more detailed analysis of the survey results in his Global Industry Review at the Congress.

A number of additional internal UFI meetings, including the UFI Board of Directors Meeting, the UFI Annual General Assembly, UFI Regional Chapter meetings and a meeting of the UFI Associations’ Committee which brings together over 50 national and international exhibition related associations, are also scheduled during this 81st UFI Congress.

 The annual UFI Congress moves from region to region and will next be hosted Nov. 4-7 by Fondazione Fiera Milano and Milano Congressi in Italy.

SMG Scores Three Venue Management Contracts; Partners with Europe-based Artexis easfyFairs

October 27, 2014
TSNN News


Venue management company SMG has had a busy few months, scoring three new venue contracts, as well as forming a joint venture with Europe-based Artexis easyFairs.

The three venue contracts all occurred in the past three months and include not only a long-awaited new convention center in Albany, N.Y., but also the highly anticipated new Minnesota Vikings Stadium and the Tucson (Ariz.) Convention Center.

The Tucson Convention Center, Tucson Arena, Tucson Music Hall and Tucson Leo Rich Theater contracts began Oct. 1. The firm was selected after a recent “request for proposal” process conducted by the City of Tucson. 

“We are pleased and excited to welcome the Tucson Convention Center to our family of SMG-managed properties and are confident the facility will thrive under our leadership, combined with SMG’s booking network, client base and other resources and generate a greater economic impact and higher activity level for the City of Tucson,” said Gregg Caren, SMG executive vice president for convention and exhibition centers.

Construction has already begun on $8.8 million in renovations to the Tucson Arena. The focus of the upgrades includes new seats, updated concession stands, a new sound cluster and video board.  A grand opening event is slated for Jan. 3

“We are pleased to welcome SMG as the new facility management company, and we look forward to enhanced business activity in our facilities as well as a renewed focus on customer service for our guests,” said Greg Jackson, contract administrator for the City of Tucson.

The new convention center on tap in Albany will be called the Albany Capital Center and will provide the city with a contemporary, meeting, ballroom, and exhibit venue. 

The new facility will, at a single 82,000 square foot location, accommodate meetings, banquets and exhibitions simultaneously on two levels, insuring the best visitor and exhibitor experience. 

The new Vikings Stadium is set to open in 2016 and will feature 1.75 million square feet of space, double the size of the existing Metrodome.

Caren said the bidding process was highly competitive, adding, “It will be as much a trade show venue as sport and special event venue; very cool!”

He added that there have been several SMG contract wins during the past few years.

On the larger front, SMG has welcomed (in chronological order) Cobo Center, McCormick Place, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Cleveland Convention Center since Q4 of 2010.  

“In the category of under 100,000 prime square feet, we have been selected to run the James L. Knight Miami Convention Center, Blue Water Area Convention Center (Port Huron, MI) and seven others in the same period of time,” Caren said.

Also recently, Eric Everard, CEO of Artexis easyFairs, and Wes Westley, SMG president and CEO, announced that they have finalized a strategic alliance and established a joint venture company, Artexis-SMG, which will be based in Brussels and will offer highly specialized venue management services in Europe and other locations.

“SMG is the world’s leading company in venue management, with a portfolio of 74 exhibition and convention centers. It sets the ‘gold standard’ in public facility management and I am delighted that we will be working together,” Everard said.

He added, “Here in Europe, there is strong demand from public and private owners of congress, convention and exhibition centers for specialist expertise to maximize revenue streams and to help them host top quality events. Our new joint venture, Artexis-SMG, is better placed than anyone to meet this demand.”

Westley added, “I have been very impressed by the professionalism of Artexis operations at its eight venues in Belgium and Sweden. We share similar values and a belief in the energizing effect that venues can have on local economies. With his extensive experience of managing multi-format venues and as one of Europe’s recognized industry entrepreneurs, Håkan Gershagen is the ideal choice as Artexis-SMG’s Vice President, Business Development.”

The new joint venture will function independently from Artexis easyFairs’ activities as an event organiser. It will adopt SMG’s formula for professional venue management and apply them in the European context. 

“Property owners benefit from the full force of SMG working to send business their way, and events planners gain the ability to check SMG venues and available dates 24/7,” Caren said. “We are hugely excited at the prospect of our joint venture offering a similar added value proposition in Europe.”

Exhibiting at a Trade Show in California? You Need These

October 26, 2014
Shane Shirley

Shane Shirley is CMO for SBS Brands, which is a 90 year old global brand leader focused on creating digital and print business solutions to save you time and offering traditional and eco-friendly customized promotional products to accelerate your trade show marketing.



Plastic bag bans have been cropping up in California for years, so when Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 270 on Sept. 30, which bans single-use plastic bags throughout the entire state, it seemed like the next logical step.

More than100 cities and counties in California already had laws banning or regulating plastic bags, and the statewide measure is very similar to the majority of these laws – disposable plastic bags are banned and paper bags are available for a 10-cent fee.

This law will have a tremendous impact on the environment, but it also affects how people that live in the state, as well as visitors, shop. All shoppers now need to pay a small fee for paper bags or bring their own reusable bags.

A lot of folks in California have already established the habit of toting reusable bags to the store, but this is now a habit the rest of Californians need to form and even offers a great marketing opportunity aimed at California trade show attendees in California who are from out of state.

Reusable Bags Provide a Great Marketing Opportunity In Any State but Especially in Cali

With this in mind, if you exhibit at trade shows in California, why not promote your brand with reusable bags? Such a takeaway is always useful and convenient for the people who visit your booth in any state, but there is a very specific demand for reusable bags right now in the Golden State. The people who leave the show with a reusable bag bearing your branding are almost certain to use it and help spread the good word about your company in the process.

These bags function essentially as an eco-friendly mobile billboard that your customers and prospects carry while increasing your brand awareness and brand recognition in the process. You can customize your reusable bag by selecting the materials, size, shape, material colors and printing colors and imagery to make something that is comfortable and convenient to carry while also blending into your branding for a cohesive addition to your marketing lineup.

Another perk of marketing with eco-friendly reusable shopping bags is the durability. Under normal conditions a reusable bag will last for 3 – 6 years, so your customers will be carrying your branded bag and promoting your company for years to come, offering you a great ROMI (return on your marketing investment).

Promote Your Brand and Help the Environment All At the Same Time

Not only are reusable bags functional and useful and super customizable, but they are also very eco-friendly. Not all reusable bags are equally eco, as ultimately the material your reusable bag is constructed from factors into just how eco your bags are, but simply by replacing the need for disposable bags and utilizing recycled or sustainable materials you can create a promotional bag that is good for the planet, your brand and your bottom line.

Using reusable bags as a trade show takeaway in California or any state tics a lot of boxes in terms of promoting your brand in an environmentally friendly manner and securing a substantial ROMI.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Unveils Largest Rooftop Solar Array on a Convention Center

October 25, 2014
TSNN News


NRG Energy and MGM Resorts International teamed up to unveil the installation of the world’s largest rooftop solar array on a convention center.

Covering approximately 20 acres atop the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, the 6.4 megawatt (MW dc) [5.0 megawatt ac (MW ac)] photovoltaic array will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 1,000 U.S. homes annually and is the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip.
 
MGM Resorts and NRG also plan to build an additional 2 MW dc (1.5 MW ac) photovoltaic array atop a future expansion of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, scheduled to begin construction later this year.
 
“Today marks a major milestone for MGM Resorts, NRG and the entire Las Vegas community,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “The completion of this solar array demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the principles of environmental responsibility, and the announcement of the second array reinforces that we’re always looking to do more.”
 
Once completed, the combined solar installation is expected to provide pricing stability and reduce energy draw from the southern Nevada grid during the hottest time of the day, which also is peak electricity demand.

The project is estimated to displace approximately 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the equivalent of taking more than 1,300 cars off the road.
 
“As one of the largest providers of renewable energy solutions in North America, we’re delighted to be the chosen partner of MGM Resorts to take this giant leap forward and join their longstanding legacy in environmental stewardship,” said Tom Doyle, president and CEO of NRG Renew.

He added, “NRG envisions a thriving, sustainable future powered by renewable energy. We look forward to continuing our partnership with MGM in bringing competitively priced, clean energy to Mandalay Bay through the second solar array of this project; further supporting their commitment to reducing energy costs.”
 
NRG financed, constructed, owns and operates the installation for MGM Resorts at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Mandalay Bay Resort will purchase all the electricity generated by both solar arrays.

“The rooftop solar installation at Mandalay Bay significantly advances our resort’s commitment to being a leading sustainable destination for conferences and conventions,” said Chuck Bowling, president and COO of Mandalay Bay.

He added, “Partnering with a progressive company like NRG to achieve this milestone reinforces our commitment to promoting renewable energy and protecting the planet’s limited resources as supported by our Green Advantage sustainability initiative that has already decreased our energy load by over 14 percent since 2007.”
 

Growth was Abundant at PMA’s Fresh Summit International Conference in Anaheim

October 23, 2014
Lisa Apolinski

Lisa Apolinski is a writer, blogger, and digital strategist, having founded her own consulting company, 3 Dog Write.



If you wanted to know everything there is around the produce industry and learn about it in one place, the Produce Market Association (PMA) 2014 Fresh Summit International Convention and Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center was the right place to be. 

All facets of the industry, from seeds, packaging, equipment, shipping, import/export, growers, distributors, retailers and more were represented, with the more than 1,090 exhibitors on 265,300 square feet of exhibitor space (a record for space, and evidence of the show’s growth). 

The attendance also set a record for the Anaheim location, with more than 20,000 attendees from 60-plus countries.

“The Fresh Summit International Convention really is a neural network of global and vertical integration, where all aspects of the industry are represented for education, networking and advancement,” said PMA CEO Bryan E. Silbermann.

He added, “There is both luminosity and serendipity happening at the show, where unplanned engagement can be just as impactful as planned meetings. And that is what makes face-to-face meetings like the Fresh Summit so exciting.”

This year’s show took place Oct. 17-19 and new products also were a hot topic.  More than 180 new products were on display (also a record number), with more than a dozen kid-friendly offerings, which was  very much in line with the push to inspire children to eat healthier.

“It has been great to see a focus on healthy eating among children, and how our industry can lead that charge,” said attendee Robert Solari, Executive Producer at Global Bites.

Exhibitors and attendees alike also were impressed, with the variety of educational sessions and notable guests, including topic experts from Pantone, FDA, The Hartman Group, and industry members, such as Chiquita, Sysco and DMA. 

And just like the attendee array, the topics also were vast. “Our educational sessions embody the strategic pillars of PMA, including our global community, science and technology, industry talent, and issues leadership,” Silbermann said.

He added, “Our educational sessions reflect important topics in our industry, such as global trade, emerging technologies, talent acquisition, and food safety.” 

Attendee and speaker Barry Lee, senior industry specialist from the International Finance Corporation, agreed. “There are so many facets of the industry, and a show like Fresh Summit provides a venue for members to learn, share and move the industry forward.”

When it comes to how the industry gives back, PMA has a great impact. “At this show alone, we provide nearly ¼ million pounds of food to food banks,” said Meg Miller, director of public relations, PMA. “And we have a PMA event on every single continent, which can really make an impact on how the industry gives back.” 

Tracy Reader, public relations director at Nature Sweet Tomatoes,said, “The produce industry has a strong focus on how we can impact our communities, whether it is having sustainable packaging, supporting local gardens, or working to ensure food safety.”

One notable accolade shared by all: the efforts of the Anaheim Convention Center. Many remarked on the sustainable efforts of the convention center, as well as how the venue provided a true Southern California experience, including the Friday night reception in the outdoor space filled with great food and fantastic ambiance.

Next year’s Fresh Summit International Convention and Expo will be held Oct. 23- 25 in Atlanta. 

BZ Media Will Debut InterDrone Show for Commercial Drones in Las Vegas

October 22, 2014
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.



Ted Bahr, president and CEO of Melville, N.Y.-based BZ Media, said now is the right time to launch a new show his company’s been strategizing about for a while: InterDrone, the International Drone Conference and Exposition will debut Oct. 13-15 next year in Las Vegas.

“We have been tracking this market closely for two years and are convinced that this growing industry needs an event 100 percent focused on the commercial drone market and that the right place for that event to thrive and grow is Las Vegas,” Bahr added.

He said, “Our goal is the build the largest dedicated commercial drone event in North America.”

More than 2,000 drone builders, flyers, and buyers are expected to attend the first annual event bringing together all the key participants in the growing market for commercial drone aircraft.

The three-day event will feature a two-day technical conference for drone-building engineers and software developers and an overlapping conference for the buyers and flyers of commercial drones, with more than 60 classes, panels and keynotes in all.

There also will be an exposition with 70-plus exhibitors expected to display their latest products and technology.

Bahr said of the timing of launching the show now: “It just feels like the market, although still heavily regulated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), is ready to take off.”

He added, “We wanted to make sure that we did not conflict with the big association show for unmanned systems, UAVSI, which is held each May, and, at the same time, give ourselves a full one-year run-up to the event to make it really big. Otherwise, we probably would have launched sooner.”

Drone is the familiar name for what are alternately called unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned air vehicles (UAV), or Unmanned Systems. The work of peaceful commercial drones is surprising people with the dozens and dozens of practical uses being written about nearly every day in the press.

While the defense market for drones dwarfs commercial spending today, a BI Intelligence analyst report expects nearly $12 billion to be spent on commercial drones over the next decade, with growth ramping up quickly.

The exposition will allow manufacturers of drones to both source product from OEM exhibitors as well as meet and sell to professional commercial drone buyers in the agriculture, journalism, film, search & rescue, real estate, and many other industries.

“This will be a one-stop and a must-attend event for builders, buyers and flyers of commercial drones,” Bahr said.

The exposition will also include a drone demonstration area, the Yes Fly Zone™, in the exhibit hall.

BZ Media produces the world’s largest Android developer conferences; Big Data TechCon, the how-to technical conference for IT professionals implementing Big Data; the largest independent SharePoint conferences, and Wearables TechCon, for the builders of wearable computing technology.

BZ Media also publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Bahr previously founded the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in 1989, which covers much of the underlying technology used in drones.

TCEB Unveils “Thailand Connect the World” Campaign for U.S. Market

October 22, 2014
TSNN News


The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau introduced to the U.S. market the ‘Thailand CONNECT The World’ brand communications campaign for the 2015 fiscal year.

Looking to reaffirm Thailand’s leadership position in the business events industry in Asia, the latest global brand communications campaign targeting top quality buyers and business events visitors from around the world showcases the three fundamental pillars of Thailand’s MICE industry including ‘Destinations of Thailand: Your modern metropolis, the world’s business events paradise’, ‘Business in Thailand: Your borderless business potential, the world’s biggest market of opportunities’, and ‘People of Thailand: Your success with proficient professionals’.

As a strategic link between global business excellence and local expertise to drive the economy, Thailand expects to attract more than 1 million business events travellers, earning the Thai economy more than $3 billion in 2015.

As a top 10 source market contributing to the vibrancy of Thailand’s business events industry, during the first three quarter of 2014 fiscal year, from October 2013 – June 2014, the U.S. market continues to show significant growth both in terms of visitor numbers and revenue. There were 29,346 business events visitors (18.55 percent growth year-on-year) earning the Thai economy a total of $92.2 million (13.95 percent growth year-on-year), thanks to strong performance in the convention segment.

“The strategic direction to promote Thailand’s MICE industry is in response to the government policy of reinforcing international confidence in Thailand, and especially in boosting the vibrancy of the country’s MICE industry, which helps connect business events to global success,” said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of TCEB.

He added, “For 2015, TCEB has developed the ‘Thailand CONNECT The World: Global Businesses and Local Experts Link to Boost Business Events Success’ brand communications campaign, building on Thailand’s 2014 brand campaign.”

The Thailand CONNECT The World campaign builds on the strong legacy of the three fundamental pillars of Thailand’s MICE industry including (1) Destinations (2) Businesses and (3) People, by showcasing the best of all three elements.

This year it is expected that Thailand will welcome 888,210 international business events visitors, generating total revenue of $2.9 billion. Looking ahead, TCEB forecasts that the launch of Thailand CONNECT The World, together with other market initiatives, will enable Thailand to welcome 1,036,300 business events visitors (a 17 percent increase from 2014 targets), earning the Thai economy a total of $3.55 billion (a 22 percent increase from 2014 targets).

Diversified Communications Acquires HRM Asia in Singapore

October 21, 2014
TSNN News


Diversified Communications acquired media company HRM Asia of Singapore, its fifth international acquisition of 2014.

The acquisition establishes an operating division in Singapore and adds HR Summit, Asia’s largest human resources event, as well as the HRM Congress series, HRM Magazine and HRM Online to Diversified’s portfolio of more than175 events, eMedia products and print magazines.

“We are acquiring HRM Asia because it fits well with our model of working across a variety of touch points within a community,” said Matt Pearce, Diversified’s International Director.

He added, “We see the opportunity to expand the business both locally and internationally.” 

This acquisition brings Diversified’s global presence to eight countries. Besides Singapore, Diversified has operating divisions in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the U.K.

The 27 employees of HRM Asia will join Diversified’s global staff of 850 people and will continue to be led by HRM Asia’s General Manager Kaveri Ayahsamy.

“This acquisition continues Diversified’s growth strategy to further expand both globally and into new industries,” said President and CEO Ted Wirth. “Earlier this year, Diversified acquired Expo Management in the UK and Kavin Intertrade in Thailand.”

Diversified Communications is a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, eMedia, publications and television stations.

Diversified serves a number of industries including: accounting and finance, business management, healthcare, transportation, natural and organic, seafood, food service, and commercial marine. 

 

Issues and Trends in Exhibit Space and Sponsorship Sales Report Released

October 21, 2014
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.



Exhibit Surveys and Lippman Connects recently released the second annual report: “Issues and Trends in Exhibit Space and Sponsorship Sales”.

According to the survey of event organizer executives, growth in both exhibit space and sponsorships sales appears healthy. 

Improvements in the economy and support by industries represented by the events were cited as the primary reasons for growth in both areas.

Even with the positive news for both exhibit and sponsorship sales, Sam Lippman, president and founder of Lippman Connects, pointed out there was room for improvement.

He said senior management could offer more time to the sales effort (46 percent thought that senior management offered “weak support”); senior management could provide additional staff to the sales team (50 percent thought that senior management offered “weak support”); and Sales and marketing could be more aligned (49 percent thought that marketing strategy and tactics were not aligned with sales).

Skip Cox, CEO of Exhibit Surveys, said the survey results “shed more light on the strong correlation between attendance growth and exhibit space sales, as organizers confirmed that the biggest challenge to space sales is the need to grow and validate growth in buyer attendance.”

He added, “With the majority of respondents indicating that space sales had increased over the previous event, it was surprising that most organizers (83%) are making use of incentives to close these sales.  An interesting disconnect here was that the incentives most frequently being offered (e.g. postal mailing addresses for exhibit promotion) were NOT the incentives that organizers thought were most effective (e.g., email addresses).”

Here are some of the report’s findings:

·         Exhibit space sales provide half of event revenue, while sponsorship sales account for 16 percent.

·         A healthy 63 percent of respondents reported an increase in exhibit space sales for their most recent events.  Changes to the sales strategy, including the adoption of a more consultative relationship with exhibitors, along with an increase in personal outreach to exhibitors, were credited for the increase in sales.  More than half cited the need to grow attendance as the leading challenge in selling space.

·         Half saw an increase in sponsorship sales for their most recent events.  Demonstrating the ROI value of sponsorships to potential sponsors was the most significant sales challenge.

·         Most (83 percent) organizers offer incentives in their effort to grow sales.  USPS lists of attendees, discounted sponsorships, and discounted advertising are offered most frequently.  However, organizers consider attendee email address lists, crediting some of the drayage cost, and discounted exhibit space to be the most effective.

·         40 percent of organizers did not feel the need for sales training.  For those wanting to train their staff, most are interested in training on the use of audience demographics and event data in the sales process, followed by training on consultative selling techniques.

This study was released at the October 2014 Lippman Connects Exhibit Sales Roundtable.

Media Conglomerate Bonnier Buys The Promotion Company – Family Events

October 20, 2014
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.



The publisher of Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Field Stream and Cycle World magazine titles recently acquired The Promotion Company – Family Events that produces shows such as the Hot Bike Tour, Off-Road Expo, Monster Truck Nationals and 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, many of which have exhibit floors.

“This strategic acquisition will allow Bonnier to extend its high-value enthusiast audience by leveraging robust event opportunities,” said Matt Hickman, vice president of brand strategies, Bonnier Corp. 

He added, “We view event audiences, both spectators and participants, as truly passionate. That passion drives consumer demand, deep engagement and unlimited activation potential.”

Bonnier acquired The Promotion Company, Inc. intact in a stock purchase transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed. Sponsors, exhibitors, participants and key stakeholders will remain with the same teams managing the upcoming 2015 event series. 

“It’s been a great ride these past 38 years ― producing top-notch events with a team of professionals, partnering with industry leaders to achieve our joint marketing objectives and having fun doing what I love,” said Bruce Hubley, founder of The Promotion Co. & Family Events.

He added, “I’m honored that a family-owned company with an outstanding international reputation has acquired Family Events. With Bonnier’s acquisition, I see tremendous growth potential and incredible opportunity for our marketing partners and stakeholders.”

Hubley will continue working with Bonnier’s events division and assist in expanding the events platform.

The Promotion Company serves more than 50 markets nationally, with 30 to 40 scheduled events per year.

Some of the events owned and/or produced by Family Events include the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals Series, Monster Truck Nationals Series, Off-Road Expo, Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals, Street Machine Nationals Series, Hot Bike Tour, Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National, AutoFest, The International Mother Road Route 66 Festival and Car Show and the RCX Expo. 

Bonnier Corp. is owned by Swedish-based Bonnier AB, a multichannel media conglomerate operating in 15 countries.