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Monday, February 11, 2008

Exhibit With Purpose

At a recent Exhibitor University Seminar for SEMICON West exhibitors, trade show expert Jefferson Davis said, “The number one key to exhibit attraction and recall is demonstrations. Booths that deliver information and ideas creatively are more effective and memorable.” The Exhibitor Education Program is a series or education webinars and programs designed to help exhibitors utilize best practices in trade show marketing and how to get the most from SEMICON West.

The December online seminar was held to introduce exhibitors to new features of SEMICON West and help them get the most out of their trade show investment. The seminar was hosted by Jefferson Davis from the trade show consulting firm, Competitive Edge. I added some information on who attends SEMICON West and what they want from their trade show experience. The key point we tried to stress for exhibitors is to “Exhibit with Purpose”.

During the seminar, I said, “The goal of your booth is to create or change an opinion. Effective trade show booths do not try to recreate an office sales meeting--you can meet customers anywhere--but your trade show booth must do more than simply enable a conversation. Effective booths immerse the visitor in a compelling message as part of a comprehensive effort to differentiate and position your products. No other marketing medium is as powerful as trade shows. Unlike brochures, videos, websites, even sales people—effective trade show exhibits can change how your company is viewed and compared with competitors.”

Based upon attendee surveys, attendee interviews and discussions with important buyers and specifiers, what attendees want most from SEMICON West are new ideas and information. For exhibitors, they want informative booths that provide meaningful information on important technical and product information. If they can’t see actual equipment, they want to see presentations and demonstrations that are educational and creative. Passive displays that don’t help educate the attendee or help differentiate you from competitors are less memorable and less effective.

During the discussion, it was pointed that out at the recent SEMICON Japan exhibition, the number of formal booth presentations and demonstrations was approximately ten times the amount at SEMICON West. Even in small booths, it was common to see to professional speakers giving a technical presentation with the aid of slide shows, graphics and creativity. Presentations draw crowds and beyond their specific message, reinforce the idea that the companies are leaders in their field with new ideas, good technology and proven solutions. And, focusing on professional presentations and booth demos can be less expensive than many passive booths that are cost more to build, more to ship and more to set-up.

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