Trade Show Experts Say “Exhibit with Purpose”
SEMI (January 8, 2008)
So just what do trade show exhibitors need to do these days to bring more customers to their booth? According to trade show expert Jefferson Davis, the answer starts with what happens inside the exhibit. "The number one key to exhibit attraction and recall is demonstrations," Davis says. "Booths that deliver information and ideas creatively are more effective and memorable."
Davis, who represents Competitive Edge, an exhibition consulting firm, gave his remarks during a webinar that is part of the ongoing SEMICON West Exhibitor University Program. This exhibitor education series is designed to help exhibitors utilize best practices in trade show marketing and to learn how to get the most from exhibiting at SEMICON West. The December seminar also featured Tom Morrow, vice president of Global Expositions and Marketing for SEMI, who presented a preview of SEMICON West 2008, as well as a review of visitor behaviors and feedback exploring what they want from SEMICON West exhibitors.
"The goal of your booth is to create or change an opinion," said Morrow, who has managed major events for Intel, IBM, Oracle, Philips, and Motorola. "Effective trade show booths do not try to recreate an office sales meeting—you can meet customers anywhere. Your booth must do more than simply enable a conversation," he said. "Effective booths immerse the visitor in a compelling message as part of a comprehensive effort to differentiate and position your products. No other marketing medium is as powerful as trade shows. Unlike brochures, videos, websites, even sales people—effective trade show exhibits can change how your company is viewed and compared with competitors."
Morrow shared information drawn from post-show surveys, interviews, and discussions with important buyers and specifiers, revealing that what attendees want most from SEMICON West are new ideas and information. From exhibitors, attendees want informative exhibits that provide meaningful information on important technical issues and products. If they cannot see actual equipment, they want to see and hear presentations and demonstrations that are educational and creative. "Passive displays that don't help educate attendees or differentiate you from competitors are less memorable and less effective," says Morrow.
During the presentation, Morrow also pointed out that at the recent SEMICON Japan exhibition, the number of formal booth presentations was approximately ten times the amount seen at SEMICON West 2007. "Even at small booths, it was common to see professional speakers giving technical presentations with the aid of slide shows, graphics, and creativity," he remarked. Both Morrow and Davis added that presentations draw crowds, reinforcing the idea that the exhibitors are leaders in their fields and at the forefront of new ideas, good technology, and proven solutions. Further, professional presentations and booth demos can be less expensive than many passive booths that cost more to build, to ship, and set-up.
Ultimately, Davis concluded, "Successful trade shows are the result of show managers and exhibitors working together to serve the needs of attendees. By providing informative displays that help educate attendees on the strengths and capabilities of your organization, you can help meet the number one demand of attendees."
The December SEMICON Exhibitor University webcast can be replayed in its entirety online at http://www.semiconwest.org/Exhibitors/ExhibitorEd/000352?linkval=Exhibitor University&parent=yes&parentId=4
The next webinar in the SEMICON Exhibitor University Program, "Best Practices in Exhibit Marketing," will explore the latest ideas in trade show marketing and demonstrate what's necessary to make your SEMICON West 2008 experience the best it can be.
Webinar #2: "Best Practices in Exhibit Marketing: Exhibiting with Purpose"—presented by SEMI, Competitive Edge, and Live Marketing
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Time: 9:00am–10:00am Pacific Standard Time (LIVE online webinar)
How: Pre-register now
This live webinar session will cover topics including:
- Utilizing "live marketing" techniques to pull in customers.
- How to incorporate interactive demonstrations—even in a small exhibit.
- Creating events around new product announcements.
- Advertising, sponsorships, and pre-show marketing
Plus, you will hear from actual SEMICON West exhibitors who have built successful exhibits and who take full advantage of the marketing opportunities SEMICON West provides them.
All webinars in the SEMICON West Exhibitor University Program series will be available for replay via the SEMICON West website within 24 hours after the live webcasts. Registered participants will automatically receive playback information and instructions following each webcast event.