Losing sight of the basics


Blogger: Barry Siskind, Author of Powerful Exhibit Marketing

During the past few years, much has been written about the enormous affect that technology has, and will have, on our business. It seems that such things as social media, digitalisation, Apps, Wi-Fi, LinkedIn, Facebook, friends, likes and so on have monopolized our conversation.  All this has been helpful but I sometimes fear we have lost sight of the basics of our industry. What brings exhibitors back, and will continue to keep their interest, is the exhibition’s ability to provide them with business contacts that will turn into business opportunities in a real and measurable way.

While it can be argued that technology will generate business contacts, the realisation of this truth is often difficult to measure which can result in exhibitors who can no longer justify their future participation in the exhibition.

I don’t want to sound like a Luddite and suggest is that technology is bad but each time you change or alter to your exhibition, the key question you should address is how will the proposed change help exhibitors obtain business contacts in a measurable way.

2 Responses to Losing sight of the basics

  1. I agree with you suggestion that we need to provide measurable ways for people to ensure their participation in marketing activities is worthwhile, but honestly don’t believe that the exhibition industry does a very good job in fulfilling that basic need. The “basics” as you call them too often as very basic indeed. I agree with Urs comment that any digital disintermediation of what we do is unlikely to be automated, but that’s not really the big risk. As I’ve argued in a recent blog post of my own (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/disruption-coming-paul-woodward?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish), some of our digital competitors may well pose a serious threat by launching new events which are highly measurable in ways we haven’t dared imagine before. They may also use events as many organisers use online activity; as a marketing ‘add-on’ to what they see as the ‘real thing’; selling sq. metres. If our competitors start giving those sq. metres away (and some already are), then we have a real fight on our hands.


  2. Digitisation will change mostly any industry and the exhibition industry too. But read Gerd Leonhard’s today’s comment on LinkedIn: You can’t automise experiences. (SparkNZ post)


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