The show floor for EXHIBITOR2011 closed its doors yesterday after three days of attendee interaction, learning sessions and new product launches. The show floor was open Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year’s event included 243 exhibitors, covering more than 52,000 square-feet of exhibit space. The show immediately made an impression on attendees, with 52 island exhibits, compared to just 10 last year.
From the beginning of the tradeshow, exhibitors took note of the high energy level among attendees.
“We had an exhibitor meeting on Tuesday morning, and many exhibitors said it was their best day in five years and everyone was exhausted,” said Wayne Dunham, EXHIBITOR2011 public relations consultant. “It was a very lively and spirited meeting.”
Most exhibitors also stated that business started to increase back in December and it has been steady since, which was reflected by the attendees at the show.
According to Dunham, exhibitors saw a noticeable difference in the attitude of the professionals walking the floor.
“Attendees were thinking the show was actually bigger than it was, when it was actually the same size as last year,” said Dunham. “But the stats don’t lie. There was a 10 percent increase from last year in pre-registration and Monday saw over 5,800 attendees on the show floor. We also had 55 new exhibitors, which is a real good sign.”
In comparison to last year, attendees were also carrying around fatter wallets.
“Exhibitors said that last year, qualified people were in attendance and that they got leads, but they were wish-list leads, meaning attendees had things that they wanted to do, but weren’t sure if they had the budget,” said Dunham. “This year, they have the budget and want to place orders. This is what was giving the show floor its energy and what had exhibitors dancing in the aisles.”
One of those exhibitors was Robert Dobnski, president of CorpEvents I&D northeast.
“The traffic has been good, with very qualified leads,” said Dobinski. “We have actually placed a couple of orders right here onsite worth some good dollar amounts.”
Freeman, which had one of the island booths this year, believes this may be its best EXHIBITOR to date.
“We have more leads than I think we have ever gotten at an EXHIBITOR show,” said Kelly Scypinski, manager of industry relations and corporate marketing for Freeman. “I think we have 15 hot leads, people that are ready to move in the next couple months and we are going to try and win that business.”
The new products that were showcased also attracted the attention of interested buyers among the many attendees.
“We had a procurement officer from the Army come by wanting to replace his aging skyline with our product,” said Norman Davies of Exhibit Fair International who represents the X-Module family of products. “A representative from the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA is also interested in buying our X-Module truss line.”
Generating new business from the show floor is paramount to the success of any show and that may be more evident for EXHIBITOR, since many of the companies exhibiting only use the booth for this show.
For example, MG Design, which combined technology and experiential marketing for its Mansion of Mystery booth, created its exhibit solely for EXHIBITOR2011.
They were not alone.
“Many exhibitors create booths only for this show because every attendee is their customer, which is unusual for a show,” said Dunham. “The exhibits for Czarnowski and Moss may not be used again until next year.”
Building new business relationships was among the many benefits that exhibitors saw this year. Fabric Images was able to welcome back some old clients.
“We come to the show for our clients and we had a lot of clients stop by, but the interesting thing about this year was that we had some clients that we lost because of the recession come back,” said Leo Boczar, director of marketing for Fabric Images. “This year, we will probably have a better return on investment than in past years.”
Rob Cohen, vice president of Display Supply and Lighting based in Itasca, Ill., agrees that the show had some interesting results and that the buyers had full wallets.
“We are seeing some high-quality projects being brought forward with some very fast turnarounds needed,” Cohen said.
All of this bodes well for the industry as well the show. According to Dunham, pre-registration for next year is already underway.
“We think we might jump from 50,000 to 60,000 square-feet next year, which would be our largest show,” said Dunham. “Around 80 percent of exhibitors are taking larger spaces for next year. This is very cool for the industry.”
|People on the Move|