A profitable B2B business strategy, global trade shows will take center stage at this year’s Expo! Expo! show in New Orleans.
One of the most profitable business-to-business (B2B) media strategies, trade fairs are big business. In the U.S., trade shows generated more than $12.8 billion dollars annually, according to Statista’s most recent report on U.S. and global trade show marketing.
By helping companies showcase their latest products while also networking with other companies, clients, and potential industry partners, trade shows help increase and create brand awareness; drive sales; enhance product knowledge; encourage customer involvement; and serve as a launching pad for new products. According to Statista, nearly half of the revenue from events and trade shows in the U.S. is sourced from registrations, with another quarter attributed to exhibit sales.
The research firm says that the majority of exhibitors have a “positive attitude towards trade show program results,” with about 68 percent of them confident that their trade show program was going to achieve better results in 2018 (versus 2017). “This confidence in trade show results is also evident in companies’ trade show budgets,” Statista points out, noting that approximately 47 percent of companies were keeping their trade show budgets steady while 30% planned to increase those budgets.
At this year’s Expo! Expo!, the world’s exhibition and events industry professionals will come together to learn about the latest industry trends and technologies while networking with like-minded professionals. A veritable “trade show for the trade show industry,” the event will take place December 11-13 in New Orleans. Run by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the show provides attendees with a diverse marketplace to view and assess the tools needed to plan and manage successful trade shows and events.
“Expo! Expo! fosters an environment of thought leadership, best practices, and innovative solutions for show organizers to apply in real time for effective results,” the IAEE states. “No other trade show in the industry brings such a diverse group of buyers and sellers together for face-to-face interaction.”
The event also features technology innovators that provide attendees with the latest tools to create new experiences that they may implement in their own shows. Education sessions are planned to provide the best in thought leadership in key targeted areas including leadership, strategy, design, marketing, management, and technology, all to quickly elevate show organizers to the next level of event management.
Serving the Evolving Trade Show Industry
A popular marketing strategy for a wide variety of companies, trade shows continue to change and digitalize along with the world around them. In The nature of trade fairs is changing, Messe Frankfurt’s Klaus Reinke highlighted some of the key trends currently taking place in the industry, including a greater emphasis being placed on personalization, better target marketing of certain audiences, and new ways of helping exhibitors generate quality leads.
“A successful trade fair should generate actual leads,” Reinke points out, noting that advertising, exhibitor, and visitor registration processes, or service requests, are increasingly taking place online. “After all, the customer journey for visitors is already largely on the Internet. However, lasting connections and building trust for long-term partnerships can only be developed by way of personal contact at the trade fair.”
Going forward, Reinke sees that big data will play an increasingly important role in the orchestration of successful trade shows, with that data including analysis of mobile application data collected from trade fair visitors to obtain profiles and information. He sees the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as another developing trend, with an emphasis on purely digital information points where visitors can use touch screens or chatbots to obtain information. “This is yet another way of collecting valuable data to help trade fair organizers further optimize their offerings.”
Making Sure the Booths Show Up on Time
It doesn’t matter how much advanced technology is incorporated into a trade show, the booth that doesn’t show up on time or in working order can derail even the best-laid plans. “With months of coordinating hundreds of details, all it takes is one minor miscommunication or oversight to go over budget, miss a deadline for paperwork, or misplace booth equipment,” Emily Esposito points out in Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Trade Show. “No matter how many tips and tricks you read, something will inevitably come up that you’re not prepared for. For example, what do you do when an item doesn’t arrive, hours before the trade show is scheduled to start?”
One way to avert these kinds of disasters is by working with a reliable logistics provider who understands the complexities of the trade fair industry. For example, DB Schenker’s worldwide trade fair services gives shippers a comprehensive service, from planning to on-site execution. With trade fair specialists on staff—and situated worldwide—DB Schenker guarantees that everything goes smoothly both during transit and at the event location.
With local know-how and global full-service expertise, the logistics specialist provides perfect execution of all trade fair projects. Services include transporting exhibits and stand materials; delivery to the stand location (manually, or using forklifts or cranes); organizing the handling of empty containers; and dealing with all formalities (including customs). Through these and other services, DB Schenker demonstrates its expertise at trade fairs all over the world, helping its customers to present themselves in the best possible light.
Organized in 1928 as the National Association of Exposition Managers to represent the interests of trade show and exposition managers, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ is the leading association for the global exhibition industry. Today, IAEE represents over 10,000 individuals in 52 countries who conduct and support exhibitions around the world. The organization globally promotes the unique value of exhibitions and events and is the principal resource for those who plan, produce, and service the industry. Visit the IAEE online at www.iaee.com.