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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great Feedback on SEMICON West

I’m passionate about getting quality data to make good decisions and get objective insights on SEMI products and services. I obsess over web analytics, attendee surveys, registration data, customer profiles, email open rates and click-throughs, and anything else I can find to enlighten and simplify a complex world.

For SEMICON West we use a number of tools to better understand our attendees and exhibitors and how to serve them. We use both qualitative and quantitative data on both attendees and exhibitors to measure event satisfaction, behavior and other parameters that are important to our customers and event planners.

Our SEMICON West post show report is the primary tool exhibitors use to evaluate the event’s audience. Our report is based on trade show industry standards; in fact, last year our report and data collection process was audited by BPA to ensure the highest quality, most accurate attendance reporting. The post show report is based on “verified visitors,” or those non-exhibitor attendees who actually pick up a badge and attend the show. In addition to sheer volume, the post show report includes demographics on title, geographic origin, product interest, and purchasing authority.

We also use the registration data to understand what specific buyers came to the show and why. We are looking for names of approximately 200 real buyers from fabs around the world to verify their attendance and behavior at the show (its not spying, but don’t tell anyone).

We also send surveys to every attendee and exhibitor asking input on key performance and satisfaction issues, and providing an opportunity for open-ended comments and recommendations. Some of the questions are the same for every SEMICON event so we can compare metrics across many events, and many questions are specific to the event and target specific issues. Our response rates are very high on these surveys, attesting to the desire of most attendees to help see SEMICON West become the best exposition possible. Believe me; I read every survey response.

We also stop by as many exhibitors as possible to get feedback and opinion on show performance. This year we met with 134 exhibitors to get their input on their show experience and ways we could improve the expo and programs. Over 40 Action Items resulted from these meeting that were intended to improve show performance.

While the quantitative feedback key performance metrics are essential, I most enjoy the personal and direct feedback I get from exhibitors. Judy Davies at Verigy was enormously well-prepared and thorough in capturing and documenting ways that SEMI could improve West. Her spread sheet listed over 20 items, each coded with the classic Red, Green and Yellow indicating how we were doing. Of course, not all of this feedback is good. Judy doesn’t hold back in her expectations and she is tough customer to satisfy. But her feedback is vital to helping us improve the show.

At yesterday’s SEMI Sales and Marketing Council, Joe Lonergan at AES Motomation gave the group an honest summary of his experience at SEMICON West. Joe explained to the group that he was concerned about the traffic (many less exhibitor staff), but was (fortunately) happy with the quality of leads.

While negative feedback healps us improve and focuses our effort, I have to admit I really enjoy the good feedback. Catherine Rossi Roos from Roos Instruments was kind enough to write, “I don't think we have such a good show since 2000 when TAP was still in San Jose. I believe our location near the TechXSpot played a big part in the both quality and quantity of our booth visitors.”

Even Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief of SST and Small Times, said “huge kudos to the staff of SEMI who did an excellent job of lining up great speakers for a variety of tech sessions running throughout the three days of the show.” That was nice.

All of this is just a long winded way of saying, -if you have any feedback on SEMI or SEMICON West, please us (me) know. I promise we will listen and use the information to improve our products and services.

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