Weekly News & Insights: Are You Giving the Way Attendees Want to Receive?


Photo credit: stock.xchng/sanja gjenero

In this age of digital everything, you’d think that going paperless on the show floor was a good thing, right? Not necessarily, according to a recent report from the Center of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

The “Exhibitor Product Information Sharing Practices” report states that the most common method for sharing information is printed brochures and catalogs in the booth (85 percent of exhibitors), and it’s also the most preferred way to receive (58 percent of attendees). In second place is e-mails sent following the show (with 70 and 41 percent, respectively). Surprisingly, USB drives and CD-ROMs come in way down the list, even though those are often handed out. But the report goes on to say that exhibitors find digital materials are more effective, with USB drives and post-show e-mails leading that list. Visit ExpoWeb.com to see a chart of how all the info-sharing methods rank.

It seems there is also some variation depending on the industry. While printed materials are preferred at industrial or medical events, it’s no surprise that attendees at technology events would rather get their information on USB drives or via QR code scans. The bottom line is that you can’t assume that no one wants paper materials anymore. So it’s a good idea to have some printed brochures, fliers, or catalogs in the booth for those who want reading material on the spot, and also ask attendees how they would like you to send their follow-up materials.

In other news, Cvent has announced their list of top 50 U.S. cities for meetings and events, and the top three come as no big shock: Las Vegas, Chicago and Orlando. But what might surprise you is the order of those three: Orlando comes in at number one, followed by Chicago, then Vegas. Meanwhile the order of the remaining 47 cities on the list might come as quite a surprise to those of us who spend much of our time in the top three and other common trade show venues. (Who would expect Grapevine, TX ahead of Baltimore, MD and Charlotte, NC?) Perhaps a lot of what influenced this list is the total number of meetings in general vs. strictly trade shows. To view the entire list of cities, visit M&C Magazine’s site.

Meanwhile in city #3, the Las Vegas Convention Center has completed their two-year, $20-million renovation project. Changes include basic repainting (say bye-bye to the old pink exterior), new carpet, upgraded lighting, added parking areas, and other new features. These are just the beginning steps in a massive plan to create a Global Business District over the coming years.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.


    • By Marlys Arnold

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