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Friday, August 08, 2008

Inquiry Distribution at Trade Shows

Following SEMICON West, I am reminded of one the truths about trade show exhibiting that exhibitors don’t often realize. This truth is especially important in trade shows like SEMICONs-- where the square footage is large, the products are complex and specialized, and the customers are busy. The truth is:

The number of inquiries you generate has little to do with where you’re located on the show floor. Inquiries are primarily a result of your product category, your pre-show promotion, and the booth execution.

This isn’t a theory.

I was recently given a report that illustrated the number of inquiries generated by every booth of the SEMICON West inquiry system. The report showed that inquiries are randomly distributed across each hall. There is no correlation for inquiries from the back of the hall or the front of the hall. There is no correlation for inquiries for cross aisle and corner booths and inline locations. Inquiries are not correlated between islands, inlines and peninsula configurations.

It’s not even evident that inquiries are correlated with the size of booth!

The data from SEMICON West has shown for the past three years that inquiries are a result of good exhibit marketing. Inquiries are primarily correlated with:
• Conducting pre-show direct mail and email with exciting and compelling reasons to visit a booth (see a demo, learn more about new product, enter a sweepstakes)
• Companies that use SMARTBOOTH in combination with attractive directory descriptions that reach visitors with rational and thoughtful reasons to visit
• Companies that have hot new products or technologies (new, new, new is what visitors want)
• Booths that have open, inviting floor plans and/or demos
• Booth that with an exhibit staff that is trained and managed to capture inquiries

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