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.

The first day of OFFPRICE, held Feb. 15-18 at the Sand Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, kicked off with crowds of buyers in the aisles, with some exhibitors calling it the busiest day they had ever had at the show that was celebrating its 40th run.

The showfloor spanned 132,000 net square feet, its largest one to date, and there were 8,8460 buyers, a 5.5-percent increase, compared with the same show in 2014, looking for products often priced at 70 percent below wholesale costs.

It was the largest percentage gain in retailer attendance in more than seven years, resulting in the highest attendance the show has ever had. 

“More retailers than ever before have figured out how instrumental a visit to the OFFPRICE Show can be for their stores,” said Stephen Krogulski, CEO of the OFFPRICE Show, which is owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group. 

He added, “The show has gotten a little bigger and better each year. It’s an influential marketplace for both buyers and wholesalers. The companies that exhibit here all source deals for a living. Retailers are guaranteed to find an incredible deal on some type of apparel.”

One key to more buyers at the show this year was working with representatives such as Humberto Gonzalez, who was responsible for bringing a large contingent from Mexico and other countries.

“We were pulling in people all the way down to South America and over to Spain,” Gonzalez said.

A newer section of the show, Cash and Carry, was packed with people looking for deals on everything from jewelry to electronics to cashmere scarves.

Krogulski said it was the third show for that section with a record number of 69 booths, and he expected it to grown even more in the future.

“We are always looking for new categories to expand in,” he added.

Trends on the showfloor included women’s dresses, seamless tops and leggings, as well as polo shirts, dress shirts and cargo shorts for men.

“You come to OFFPRICE because you expect to find good deals and then you come back for the unexpected,” Krogulski said.

He added, “There was definitely an appetite for people who were willing to take some chances on new products and categories.”

Even though OFFPRICE has a high retention rate with its exhibitors every show, there was still a wide range of new products on the floor.

“We were able to exceed our expectations, and at the same time, met great new accounts that will hopefully be long lasting,” said Brandon Cooperman of D&L Apparel, Ltd.

Buyers also were impressed with the show.

“Las Vegas is a hub for beauty; beautiful faces, landscapes, buildings, and moments flash by at every point. However there is no greater concentration of it than within the 2015 OFFPRICE Show,” said Brandi Beckwith, buyer, Groovy Goods.

She added, “Endless aisle after aisle of diverse clothes with no shortage of vibrant colors and textures you simply must reach out to experience.”

How Can I Tell If My App Was Successful?

March 1, 2015
Jay Tokosch

Jay Tokosch, CEO of 

For my first blog post here on TSNN I figured I’d start at the beginning with why have a mobile app in the first place.

This is a question that I use to get when we first started in 2009 when everyone was still using paper maps and programs.  Since that time, however, I do not get this question often enough. 

Just producing a mobile app does not mean it will be successful.  Sadly, some organizers buy an app just to have one or they got it for free (ok, don’t get me started on a free app – you’ve heard the old saying “you get what you paid for”). 

Then the responsibility of getting content into the app gets added onto some staff member’s already full plate and consequently it shows in the app.  As Mr. Wonderful (aka Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank) would say… “STOP THE MADNESS!” 

It is not hard to have a successful mobile app.  Really, all you need are three (3) things:

·         An app that is user friendly

·         Content that is relevant

·         Promotion of the app

Each of these items are very important and have many parts to them. Having an app that is user friendly requires an app that anyone can pick up and use without any training. It must engage the audience with relevant content.

They should want to continue using it not only during the event but pre and post event as well!  Promoting your app so that users know about it is just common sense but you’d be surprised the number of events we see that produce an app and never really promote it. 

These three things take planning. First, know the demographic for your event. Find out through some simple polling what you audience uses for mobile phones, tablets, and how they would like to get their content.

Over 70 percent of adults use some social networking on their mobile device. So, you want to choose a social platform that will return an ROI for your event.

Event-based social platforms return little to no ROI so ask about social networking platforms they would like to use during the event and also what they use on a regular basis. It is important to know what they will use during the event vs what they use on a regular basis because during the event their activity will be different from what they use regularly.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Next, plan out the content you wish to present to the audience. Besides what is typically found in a program guide and standard in most apps, this can encompass many features.

Features like audience response, session check-in, video, sponsorships and iBeacon to name a few.  All are a part of presenting content to the audience. 

You should also plan out your content for more than just the event dates. Plan this to be for the whole year until next year’s event.  YOU have an audience – take advantage of using the app to communicate with them!

Promotion of the app is more than just putting up a link. Let the audience know what the app contains.  Let them know that you plan to use the app year round. 

Highlight some of the cool features or new features in emails and your website.  Provide your app’s link and a button for all of the event’s partners to put on their websites. 

Promotion has to start early and continue during the event as well as after. During the event, put signs in registration. Did you know that about 60% of your total downloads will come two days before the event starts and then through the event??

Downloads are great, but usage is king!! Keep in mind, one million people could download the app but if only 100 people use it then it is worthless. No one sees the content, sponsorships and most likely they will delete the app from their phone. So follow these steps above and look for the usage to grow!!

UBM 2014 Full-year Revenues Dip 6 Percent: Focus on ‘Events First’ Strategy

February 27, 2015
Rachel Wimberly

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

Citing currency headwinds and lower biennial revenues in an `even’ year, U.K.-based UBM reported a 2014 full-year revenue dip of 6 percent to £746.3 million ($1.15 billion) this year, compared with £793.9 million ($1.23 billion) during the same time period in 2013. 

The events division was on an upswing, though, reporting 6-percent growth for the company’s annual events to £429.2 million ($663 million), compared with £424.6 ($656 million) during the same time period the year before. 

Biennial events saw a 39 percent decrease in revenues last year, however, to £21.3 million ($33 million) from £38.1 million ($59 million) the prior year. 

“These results represent a good performance in a year of significant strategic progress. UBM had a strong H2 and although the reported results reflect currency headwinds, the Group delivered good underlying revenue growth in both Events and PR Newswire, and solid operating margins in each of our three segments,” said Robert Gray, acting CEO for the company. 

In December, UBM expanded its event portfolio significantly as part of its ‘Events First’ strategy by scooping up Advanstar Communications, which produces the MAGIC Market Week events, among several others, for $972 million. 

“The acquisition of Advanstar accelerates our `Events First’ strategy, which we announced in November,” Gray said. 

He added, “This clear and well-defined strategy has been embraced by the business, and we have already made good progress during the first two months of 2015. The Advanstar integration is on track and trading in the first couple of months of the year has started well.”

A bright spot in UBM’s events portfolio in 2014 was the shows held in emerging markets, which makes up more than 50 percent of the company’s annual events revenue.  

Revenues for emerging markets-based shows in 2014 rose to £218.1 million ($337 million) last year, a nearly 9-percent increase, compared with the year before. 

Events in China accounted for 35.9 percent of the emerging markets annual events revenues (Mainland 20.3 percent, Hong Kong 15.6 percent). Underlying revenue growth in China was 8.5 percent. 

In addition to strong performances from UBM’s largest Chinese shows, which are in the company’s Top 20, such as CBME, Hotelex Shanghai, Cosmoprof Asia and Sign and LED China, the Istanbul Jewellery & Gem Fair also performed well. 

This performance was offset by slower growth at other large shows, particularly Furniture China.

North American Events revenue rose by 2.8 percent on an underlying basis. Strong growth in our Top 20 shows (such as Black Hat, Game Developer Conference, Enterprise Connect and Cruise Shipping Miami) was offset by declines in smaller events and cancellations (notably of lower margin single sponsor custom events). 

Overall North American annual events revenue dipped 7 percent last year to £105.8 million ($163 million) from £113.8 million ($176 million) in 2013. 

In the UK, a strong performance from IFSEC following its relocation to Excel in London did not offset the declines at Ecobuild. 

In Continental Europe, the increases reflects a good performance at CPhI WW, coupled with a very strong launch of European Jewellery & Gem Fair partially offset by the discontinuation of ATC, in Europe as well as the soft performance of a number of events serving the healthcare sector.

Continental Europe and U.K. full-year combined 2014 revenues decreased nearly nine percent. 

As of Jan. 31, forward bookings for the 2014 Top 20 events are up 8.7 percent (after adjusting for the effect of foreign currency, phasing and invoice timing differences). 

Unadjusted forward bookings are down 1.5 percent on a constant currency basis.

Las Vegas Fashion Shows Focus on Creating Unique Experiences

February 26, 2015

During one week in February in venues spread throughout Las Vegas, there are no less than 17 individual fashion shows going on at the same time.

Making sure each show is memorable as a standalone event is key and often accomplished through creating a unique experience that leaves in an indelible impression.

Waling the aisles at Reed Exhibitions’ The Agenda Show, held at the Venetian/Sands and serves the surf, skate and street community, an attendee instantly knows that are not at your typical show.

Music is thumping, the aisles are packed with interesting booths and products, skateboarders are flying by and the attendee is transported into the urban street culture world, and that’s the point, according to the show’s founder Aaron Levant.

“We really want the show to look like a cool showfloor experience”, Levant said, adding that the main goal is to make it feel like a retail store where someone could find all the hottest products in an engaging place.

For that reason, booths are not set up by priority points, but grouped instead with “like-minded brands”, Levant said.

Two other shows, Capsule, which also is owned by Reed, and Liberty, which is owned independently, both had identities of their own, with DJs spinning tunes, food trucks, unique showfloor layouts and grand entranceways.

Next door at the Business Journals, Inc. shows – AccessoriestheShow, stitch and MRKET – all of which are combined with the Reed shows to form Modern Assembly – there also were distinctive features to set each of the three shows apart.

Walking into MRKET, a menswear show,  one of the first things an attendee sees is Vanguard’s Gallery, a section of the show at which exhibitors are handpicked by Michael Mako, who previously worked at Saks Fifth Avenue.

“The younger brands that are taking a classic look and putting a contemporary twist on it are located in the gallery,” said Sharon Enright, BJI’s executive vice president of the trade show division.

In the middle of the gallery is a seating area with modern, comfortable furniture and four products, “Mako’s Picks”, that were placed in scenes around a winter theme.

Over at stitch, ready-to-wear for women, the floors look like an attendee is walking into a high-end showroom, complete with chandeliers hanging up and down the aisles.

Britton Jones, president and CEO of BJI, said of all three shows, “It’s all about creating a similar experience as to when somebody visits a store.” For that reason, no exhibitor is guaranteed the same booth for every show. “Just like a store always changes things around,” he added.

In order to create all of the unique looks at the BJI shows, the company has an in-house design team that “understands the showfloor process,” Jones added.

The MAGIC Market Week portfolio of shows, which were recently bought by UBM and are held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and Las Vegas Convention Center, have an even bigger challenge to tackle with 10 shows to create different experiences in.


“Each show needs to have its own voice,” said Christopher Griffin, president WWDMAGIC & SOURCING  at MAGIC . “It should reflect the community it serves. All 10 shows’ personalities are quite distinct. We’re not trying to create a homogenous experience.”

Right in the middle of PROJECT Vegas was a beautiful green space created in the center aisle with interesting furniture and greenery. It was an instant respite from walking the aisles that were filled with either hard-walled showroom-style booths with big-name brands like Levi’s, Fossil and True Religion or smaller booths  in the outer aisles.

The whole showfloor buzzed with excitement on opening day and for exhibitors such as Yaniv Britton, it was the place to be. “We’ve been at this show for seven years, and it’s where we do most of our West Coast business,” she said.

Next door in the THE TENTS, it looked exactly like it sounds. The area was transformed into a huge tent with white, flowing draped fabrics on the ceiling and a light feel all the way throughout that really captured the essence of the higher-end products displayed.

At the POOLTRADESHOW, there were artists working on their latest creations, a tattoo parlor just in case anyone was interested in some new ink and at the Sock It To Me booth, someone could grab a free pair of socks if they just tried them on.

“Honestly, people are shocked they get a free pair of socks if all they have to do is take a photo with them on and tag us on Instagram,” said Matt Bergman.

Over at the LVCC, where the majority of the MAGIC shows were located, FN PLATFORM, for the shoe market, was divided up in a clever way so that people would know what area they were in at all times with not only signage, but also gathering places themed around the type of shoes featured.

There were product areas such as Cosmo, where a lounge with chandeliers, a bar and bright pink carpeting marked the section of the showfloor catering to women’s shoes.

Other areas included Zen, In Play and Camp, to name a few.

The six other shows at the LVCC included a new one – Playground – that focused on children’s brands.

“This show has a very distinctive voice,” Griffin said. He added like the other shows, that now all take up big pieces of real state at the convention center, he expected Playground to stake its own claim in the MAGIC fashion show portfolio.

Beacons Guide the Way for Event Organizers and Attendees

February 26, 2015
Traci Browne

Traci Browne – Freelance writer and self-proclaimed trade show geek.

“This industry (trade shows and expos) has not changed for 150 years. People just used to dress better,” said David Ely, head of sales and marketing for TurnoutNow.

But Ely feels change now is possible and affordable with the arrival of beacons on the scene. There is no need to guess what attendees are doing at your event. Through the use of Bluetooth beacons, real-time data now is available to trade show and expo organizers.

Bluetooth beacons are transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 to broadcast signals that can be heard by compatible or smart devices.

A typical example would be a signal transmitted from a beacon to a smartphone. When the smartphone is in a beacon’s proximity (from inches to 100 or so feet), the beacon will automatically recognize it and will be able to interact with that device.

ASAE used TurnoutNow’s cloud-based, data analytics technology at their Tech Conference last December. Allison Wachter, director of registration and exhibits for ASAE, said that the beacons gave her information that will help ASAE better plan future meetings. Information that was never available before.

Wachter said that it was not unusual for exhibitors to ask her about traffic on the showfloor. Before they started using the beacons, it was not possible to accurately measure the traffic. “Now, we have hard data and can see counts of people coming in and out of the show floor,” Wachter said. “We have heat maps to see where the dead spots were.”

Because that information is available real-time, shewas able to address dead spots by moving coffee and desert stations to those areas to increase traffic.

ASAE plans to use the beacon technology for all their major events in 2015. While the tech event collected anonymous data, they plan to start having attendees login to the app. That will allow them to use the technology for CEU credit tracking and post show reporting on sessions attended and booths visited.

“As a planner I think it’s a game changer. It helps us do our job better and know what’s really going on at our event that we didn’t know before,” Wachter said.

While data can certainly help the event organizer, Iris Goldman, founder of On Location Engagements (OLE) feels the key to successfully deploying beacons at a trade show is delivering great content to the target audience. Goldman thinks the ultimate experience for an attendee at a show would be using beacons to create an experience for each and every attendee based on their unique needs and interests.

Retailers often use beacons to deliver coupons and deals to customers walking through their store. But that is not how Goldman thinks exhibitors at a trade show should be using beacons.

Goldman said, “It’s all about curation, no matter how you slice it and dice it if you don’t have much to say, it becomes a proximity marketing Bluetooth device, that’s all. Don’t make it a proximity marketing device because people will just turn it off immediately. “

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is using beacons as geolocation devices that help attendees navigate throughout the convention center.

Jacques Racine, founder and chief innovation officer of Sherpa Solutions and provider of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center technology, said the mapping is just one of the advantages to geolocation.

Show organizers, exhibitors and attendees can tap into the system at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and use it as a networking tool via Sherpa’s ActivLocator.

Racine said that with the Sherpa geolocation services, attendees can use the app to connect with people they want to meet and then actually locate them in the building.

Racine feels that attendees are not going to be thinking about a message they received through Bluetooth Beacons when they entered the exhibit hall and that messages from exhibitors targeted to attendees are not going to make or break a meeting.

“But if everyone can meet 15 or so more people in the course of a meeting, then there is a huge, huge value the system will bring to the attendees and therefore to the organizers,” he added.

While there are many different ways to use beacons, the key will be in providing an experience attendees value enough to prompt them to enable Bluetooth on their devices. 

TSNN Launches Online Global Trade Show Venue Directory

February 25, 2015

Trade Show News Network has unveiled the TSNN Global Trade Show Venue Directory (, with more than 200 exhibit halls, convention centers and other facilities with exhibit space listed.

“Trade Show News Network is committed to providing valuable data for the industry,” said Rachel Wimberly, TSNN president and Editor-in-Chief. “We designed the TSNN Global Trade Show Venue Directory to be the go-to place to find the perfect venue for show organizers’ events.”

Complimentary to all users, the TSNN Global Trade Show Venue Directory is a comprehensive guide that is designed to assist trade show organizers, meetings and event planners to find the perfect venue for their events.

Sorted by several search categories, users of the TSNN Global Trade Show Venue Directory also have the ability to side-by-side compare different facilities based on different criteria, including exhibit and meeting space, and submit RFPs directly to a venue.

The directory has basic listings that are complimentary for all venues and enhanced listings available that have the ability to include photos, video, venue description, social media links, amenities, surrounding airport, restaurants and hotel information and much more.

TSNN also has a U.S. Trade Show Venue Directory, with more than 400 exhibit halls, convention centers and other facilities with exhibit space listed – 

If your venue is not on the list and you would like to have it added or if you are an existing venue or a planner and find information that needs to be updated, please contact

If you are interested in a featured listing or advertising, please contact Sam Shuster

The TSNN Global Trade Show Venue Directory was designed by Fantail Consulting & Technologies –

Job Task Analysis Results Help ASAE Create Valuable Resources for the Association Community

February 24, 2015

The American Society of Association Executives conducted a Job Task Analysis last year that explored the core functional areas of association management.

The results of this work will help in developing a comprehensive Body of Knowledge for the association field and CAE content outline.

 Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) conducted the research, and the survey results confirmed identifiable competencies that reflect important elements of knowledge for those who work in associations.

The results also highlighted that professionals working in associations have a broad range of responsibilities that can be organized into strategic, applied, and foundational levels of application for purposes of understanding and acting upon individuals’ content needs.

The job task analysis, particularly the strategic-level view of functions, was used for refreshing the CAE content outline and exam for 2015.

In addition, ASAE has begun using the job task analysis as a framework for products, including the new ASAE Handbook of Professional Practices in Association Management, Third Edition and the  CAE Study Guide 2015

“Because association management skills must evolve in our ever-changing environment, it’s important for the community to remain aware and open to how these changes impact our organizations,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

He added, “By conducting a Job Task Analysis every couple of years, we will ensure our resources have the latest information for our member-serving associations.”  

The new ASAE Handbook of Professional Practices in Association Management includes an additional emphasis given to the Chief Staff Executive (CSE) lens in each of the functional areas and the business acumen required to lead and manage associations. The third edition is dedicated to the Founding Executive Editor, John B. (Jack) Cox.

Both resources are co-published with John Wiley and Sons and are available online in ASAE’s Bookstore.

Medical Design & Manufacturing West (MD&M West) Celebrates 30 Years

February 23, 2015
Lisa Apolinski

Lisa Apolinski is a professional speaker, blogger, and digital strategist. With her company,, she works with event managers to get their message to attendees, particularly through digital channels, on and off the show floor.

It is hard to imagine that the Medical Design & Manufacturing West (MD&M West) show hit its 30th year, but the 35,000 attendees, 2,100-plus exhibits and 365,000 square feet of showfloor space demonstrate just how far the show has come.

Stephen Corrick, executive vice president and managing director at UBM Canon, which runs the show, said, “There is such an investment by all on a great show, including seeing such highly qualified audience members engage with the educational programs at the show.”

Roger Burg, vice president/Design & Manufacturing portfolio director at UBM Canon, added, “It is great to see attendees being so engaged. You can see how the audience is taking everything in, and the exhibitors bought their knowledge to the show floor.”

This year’s show, held Feb. 10-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center, focused on the convergence of technology to enable the user, as well as intelligent automation, and these areas were seen in the exhibits and the educational sessions.

“Last year’s education platform worked very well,” Corrick said.  “So this year, we kept the platforms intact, including the innovative tours, which are a huge hit.”

Exhibitor Cathy Powell, industry marketing manager – Robotics at FANUC America Corporation, said, “We have noticed a better educated attendee on the showfloor and more executive titles. Robotics is a hot topic in the industry, and we have had great interest by attendees in understanding this technology and how it can help the manufacturing process.”

Attendee Cheryl Hanslip, sales executive from Doc Johnson, said, “For us, it is about relationship building and engaging with other attendees and companies. I just arrived, but I have noticed the great engagement and always enjoy coming to this show.”

The speed networking sessions, for example, were quite popular at the show, with attendees taking advantage of the high-intensity event.

With the great weather in Southern California, many attendees were jumping outside to take in the sun. “We are competing against the weather here, but we are still seeing very qualified leads,” said exhibitor Dan Caballero, sales engineer from Videojet.

“The attendees have been interested in current industry trends, such as customization and automation of their product lines,” he added.

Attendee Rene Romandia, general director for Motocar Parts de Mexico in Tijuana, was very impressed with the exhibitor booths and information being provided. “I have been attending this show for a while, and coming up from Tijuana is well worth the drive. I am always impressed at the level of expertise and contacts we can make in this industry because of this show.”

MD&M West 2016 will be held Feb. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority Buys Rivera Hotel to Expand Footprint to 5.7 Million Square Feet

February 21, 2015
Anna Huddleston

Las Vegas Contributor.

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority’s Board of Directors voted to approve a contract for the purchase of the historic Riviera Hotel & Casino’s 26-acre site as the cornerstone for its planned Las Vegas Global Business District. 

The District will expand the Las Vegas Convention Center’s footprint from 3.2 million square feet to nearly 5.7 million square feet and give it a Strip-front location.

“The Las Vegas Global Business District is the single most important economic development project in the state,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA.

He added, “This strategic acquisition of land gives us the much-needed space for expansion while also providing a highly visible presence on one of the most famous streets in the world – the Las Vegas Strip – and is essential in helping us to reach our goal of 45 million visitors.”

Under the agreement, the LVCVA will purchase the site for a total of $182.5 million. Funds for the acquisition will be drawn from the LVCVA’s bank credit facility with JPMorgan. The LVCVA will issue long-term bonds to retire the bank credit within the next two years. Terms of these bonds will follow the standard public bonding process.

The $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District is the largest economic development initiative the LVCVA has undertaken since the Las Vegas Convention Center was originally built in the late 1950s. 

The expansion project is expected to lead to an additional 480,000 new attendees as current conventions grow and through attracting an estimated 20 new trade shows and conventions. 

The Riviera site is a key component of the LVCVA’s land acquisition strategy. Envisioned to be completed in two phases, the first phase focuses on the Riviera site and includes 750,000 square feet of new exhibit space and 187,500 square feet of supporting meeting space as part of the new 1.8 million sq. ft. expansion.

Phase two focuses on renovating the existing convention center and includes a 100,000-square-foot general session space and another 100,000 square feet of meeting space. Including public areas and service areas, the expansion and renovation increase the facility from its current total footprint of 3.2 million sq. ft. to nearly 5.7 million sq. ft..  Once construction begins, the entire project is expected to take five to eight years to complete. 

The Global Business District also includes plans for a centralized transportation hub that would be the centerpiece to a new transportation plan for the entire city.

The district will provide a distinct look and feel to the area and provide the opportunity for economic development related to the industry, including the development of a global business center that utilizes the facility’s World Trade Center designation to attract corporations wanting to interact with the tens of thousands of businesses who visit the convention center each year.

Las Vegas has been ranked the top trade show destination for 20 consecutive years by TSNN and hosts 53 of the nation’s 250 top trade shows. The largest include the International CES, MAGIC Market Week, SEMA and NAB Show.

Western Veterinary Conference Takes on RFID to Track Attendee Behavior

February 20, 2015
Anna Huddleston

Las Vegas Contributor.

In its 87th year, Western Veterinary Conference evolves with the times just like the dynamic industry it’s serving. For its annual event that took place Feb. 16-19 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, it made strides into the RFID technology and Amazon-inspired marketing model for its continued education offerings, as well as revealed its new branding, to stay on the cutting edge.

“It’s about having an accessible, customized and personalized experience,” said WVC CEO David Little. “If we can enhance that, it makes our attendee experience more valuable.”

One of the steps on that front has been the introduction of the RFID technology in the badges to help create a more detailed picture of those experiences and to use predictive analytics in the future to cross market products and services, particularly when it comes to continuing education.

“We think of it as the Amazon model,” Little said. “If we see that an attendee went to several ultrasound sessions, we can recommend the right lab. Data analytics allows us to see who’s engaging with what forms of CE and provide access to additional opportunities.”

In the future, he predicts that RFID will also enhance the experience on the showfloor with targeted messaging and materials.

Cross promotion is going to come particularly handy with WVC expanding its educational offerings into WVC On the Road – satellite programs in cities around the country, WVC Academy – a year-round, hands- on training at the Oquendo Center in Las Vegas , and a digital campus blended learning experience, where attendees work with content online and get hands-on training during the conference or one of the programs.

“We’re looking for different ways to touch the vet professionals and not just through the annual conference,” Little said.

Introducing the new forms of CE throughout the year account for a slight dip in attendance at the conference, but Little said that WVC actually touched more vet professionals during the year than in the past.

In 2016, the conference will take place in early March and will no longer run concurrently to Magic Market Week, part of which also takes place at Mandalay Bay Convention Center and adds serious crowds to taxi lines and restaurants.

It also will be moving to the main trade show hall on the convention center’s much larger first floor, which will allow the show to grow.

“Our exhibit space has been maxed out for several years now. We have a waiting list for when we move downstairs,” Little said. It’s currently at about 117,000 net square feet with 500 exhibitors and about 14,000 attendees.

Along with opportunities, the move creates a challenge that fewer attendees will make it to the exhibit floor from their classes. Veteran exhibitor Phil Taylor with Imex Veterinary said, “Exhibits and education will be separated even further. Already, unless attendees have an interest in a specific product, it’s hard for them to make it down here. ”

Little acknowledges this common concern among the exhibitors and feels confident about delivering traffic. He said, “We’re looking into unique ways to entice people to come.”