Just as I have the past couple of years, I attended Exhibitor Magazine’s EXHIBITOR2013 show in Las Vegas. This show serves two purposes-to use industry veterans and experts to educate those with careers in the trade show and event industries, and to showcase products from the industry’s suppliers.
I took six more of the sessions required for my CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer) certification, and was able to check out all things new and exciting on the show floor.
As of today I have taken 25/28 courses needed for my CTSM, with the goal being to gain as much knowledge as possible from those who have made careers in trade shows/events for decades, and bring it back to my clients. Below are links to the six courses I took this trip, certainly let me know if you would like more information about what I learned:
The course I thought was most beneficial was the “How to Measure the Value of Trade Show Participation..” which gave great metrics for trade shows. This session had a number of specific formulas trade show managers could use to calculate the overall value of the show attended.
The Trade Show
After referencing my blog from last year’s trade show, I realized there were not any breakthrough ideas (SEG graphics, LED lighting and technology still dominated the floor), but things have gotten more refined, and in many cases, more affordable.
SEG (Silicone-edged graphics) are STILL everywhere- This style of graphic has taken off because of its perfect tension and portability.
See the photo to the left showing an island booth made almost entirely with SEG (towers, walls, counters, overhead hanging sign).
Using fabric graphics for all of these applications can save critical dollars on things like freight and drayage. I anticipate SEG to continue to grow within the industry.
LED Lighting – LEDs are bright, clean and throw light nicely. They save energy, last longer and with the prevalence of LED tape, can be used almost anywhere. Now that the cost has come down, LEDs are being used across even more product lines.
This photo shows a hanging structure with a color-changing lightbox incorporated.
Lighting has always been an important aspect for trade show exhibits. LEDs have been able to advance this aspect to new areas, and really are a great accent to the exhibits on the floor.
Technology – It rules our lives, it rules trade shows as well. The coolest technology on the floor is the custom touch software. It is highly interactive and engaging, and all exhibits using touchscreens had lines of people waiting to play with them.
The most common technology on the floor is the iPad. There were iPads in most booths this year. They were doing everything from showing catalogs and pictures, capturing leads, emailing collateral, showing off a new stand (a big part of this show was showcasing ways to display your iPad) and lastly, engaging attendees.
The photo shows an iPad photo booth complete with props to get people to have fun within the boothspace. Incorporating social media and email, this photo booth offered an easy way to get attendees interacting with their brand in person and online.
If you’re looking for a leading-edge exhibit it will incorporate the three product themes above. Almost all of the major exhibits at this show did, and I’m sure that is the case for most other trade shows as well.
EXHIBITOR2013 was fun and informative. I encourage those of you that find trade shows and events to be the center of your career, to attend in the future. There are great lessons shared by both the instructors and participants where you learn about both positive and negative experiences and how to keep yours positive. You will have countless resources to work through the questions you have. This coupled with seeing the cool new technology and exhibits is often very motivating to those that attend. If you’re interested in attending EXHIBITOR2014, get in touch with us for free pass to the trade show.
Author: Chase Howells
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