Here’s a short list of some of the top exhibitor conventions in the world:
- PACK EXPO 2010 in Chicago, the world’s largest packaging and processing convention, with more than 1,600 companies purchasing trade show booths and more than 45,000 attendees.
- World Expo Shanghai China 2010, billed as the world’s largest exposition in the history of world trade fairs, with more than 190 countries and more than 50 international organizations attending.
- CeBIT, the world’s largest computer exhibitor conventions, held at the fairground in Hanover, Germany, has an exhibition area of 5 million square feet and up to 700,000 visitors
- The Hong Kong International Jewelry Show, one of the largest of its kind in the world, at the Hong Kong Convention Center, with 2,300 exhibitors from 46 countries.
- The Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest trade show for books worldwide, with participants from 108 countries.
These are some of the largest exhibitor conventions in the world, but they didn’t get that way by chance. There was a lot of planning and organizing involved. What do they have in common?
They probably have a good strategic planning process in place – research on past convention shows’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, along with constant evaluation of past events to see what improvements can be made.
Top conventions are constantly researching the participants of their events, to see how the attendees feel and how they, as exhibitors, could improve upon their performance. Convention organizers want to find out why their participants purchase trade show booths at their convention, what they expect from the convention, and whether their expectations are being met.
Once they have done their research, convention organizers develop a multi-year strategic plan for their event, a plan that is tied to their research and analysis of their event and their exhibitors. After each event, another year is added to the strategic plan with new initiatives designed to meet participants’ needs.
Top exhibitor conventions use professional marketers, who utilize a mix of conventional and new media outlets to get the convention’s selling points out to potential exhibitors.
The best conventions use their research to identify their important participant groups, and then educate these groups on what their event can do for participants. The marketing program lets participants know what’s in it for them and why they should come to the event. Top convention marketers never assume that participants in last year’s event will sign up for this year’s event.
The largest trade conventions no longer expect exhibitors to come to them. Convention organizers hire sales professionals who understand their industry and have contacts in that industry.
David Judge is the owner of the online exhibitors insurance company, Exhibitor Insure Now. With the ability to provide trade show insurance quotes, David and his team are major players in the trade show industry.