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Trendy Case Studies: Co-Location, Big Data and Technology

Curated by Danielle Russell, CAE
With input from: Tim Stover, CAE, CEM, Tony Gallagher, CEM and Tina Holmes
 
The Case for Co-Location
 
Co-location is a growing trend for both Trade and Consumer Shows. Co-locations - where audience or industry cross-over exists is an obvious approach but are not the only factors to consider. Show managers can consider co-locating an event with an event that has a distinct audience in an effort to share the costs of standard requirements such as registration set ups, coat checks, sponsored shuttle programs and staffing. Co-locations may also result in more bargaining power with a facility through a larger event space booking.
 
Karen Maki of Informa Canada commented that attendee response to the co-location is generally positive, with attendees reporting that it is a good use of their time to be able to attend more than one event during the same trip – especially those from out of town.
 
Show Management must however, exercise caution in dealing with exhibitors. Exhibitors who choose to have a booth in only one show, instead of both, will impact the event’s overall profitability. In addition, some exhibitors may wish to have booths in both shows, but find that they cannot staff or merchandize both booths effectively.
 
An annual review and consistent commitment to keeping the event fresh and innovative are crucial to the ongoing success of co-location partnerships.
 
The Case for Big-Data
 
Attendees of the CAEM 2015 Executive Forum will need no introduction to Big Data, its importance, and growing prominence in the Exposition Industry. Big Data can help Show Managers meet the challenge of keeping their shows, new, fresh and exciting, while building on existing strengths.
 
Citing GES – Global Experience Specialists as the reference that helped her organization select their data capture measurement system ethnoMetrics℠, Isabella Wai of the Ontario Hospital Association, also noted that her organization held a pre-contract session to review the different reports that could be generated from data collected her show.  Some of the specific goals Isabella hope to achieve for their show included the efficiency of their floor plan, timing of exhibit hall hours and comparable insight into traffic flow. Ms. Wai reported 100% satisfaction, with a ROI that made the initial investment worth it.
 
Data reports can include; exhibit hall traffic, density and show averages, identification of cold and hot zones, exhibit hall activities and their impact on traffic throughout the day, as well as a list of recommendations. The outcome of the data collection can also create a basis for future benchmarking. It is recommended that Show Management work with service providers to ensure the accuracy and maximum value of reports created for your organization’s senior management.
 
The outcome of Big Data Collection can help to identify short and long-term goals.  Show Managers should engage in collection of big data at least once, every three years or when significant changes are made to the show floor.
 
The Case for New Technologies
 
Facilities continue to be key partners with EXPO members in creating crowd pleasing events that deliver value to attendees, exhibitors and show management. Cutting edge technologies continue to challenge these partnerships as venues look to provide outstanding connectivity and innovative technologies to enhance onsite events.
 
One such innovation can be found in Sherbrooke Quebec, Dominique Gagnon of Centre de Foires de Sherbrooke, provided CAEM with some key highlights of an integrated App that is available to show management for $1000/per event.
 
For the past 6 months, events at the Exhibition Centre have had access to an app with the features such as; floor plans, list of sponsors and exhibitors (including links to their websites), the show schedule. The centre also has an integrated beacon system that allows show managers to track App users on the floor, greet attendees upon their arrival, and bid them goodbye when they leave the show floor. Show Management can also use the app to push pop-up messages about schedule changes, updates, reminders and sponsor messages to attendees.
 
We eagerly await reviews from CAEM EXPO members and other users once this technology has been used through more than one show cycle.
 
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CAEM extends special thanks to our contributors:
Dominique Gagnon, CEM, Conseiller commercial, salons et expositions Operations, Centre de Foires de Sherbrooke
Karen Maki, CEM, Director of Expositions, Informa Canada
Isabella Wai, CEM, Director, Convention Exhibits, Ontario Hospital Association     
last changed 4/13/2016