ConventionSouth

SEP 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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2012 Sneak Peek Directory Subscribe How To: Advertise BUILD MORE ACTIVE TRADESHOWS Contact T 1 There's an APP for that! radeshows have continued to evolve with exciting changes seen over the past 10 years. Due to the rise of the Internet and the use of social media, tradeshows have started relying on technology and gadgets even more. At the same time, with most companies working with decreased budgets these days, most of us in the tradeshow industry have become very familiar with the cost-effective strategies found to have proven success to increase show attendance and booth traffic. Here are six strategies for more active tradeshows: Tradeshow Expert By Melissa P. Michel Based in Orlando, Melissa Michel and her team have been serving clients nationwide as a Tradeshow and Event Management company since 2001. Please visit www.melissamichel.com for more information on her services. First and fore- most, if you havenʼt already done so, get CONNECTED with your audience. Pre- show marketing via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is all the rage! These outlets require no (or minimal) financial commitment and the results can be phenomenal. Thereʼs an APP for that! With the majority of attendees and exhibitors uti- lizing a smartphone these days, mobile APPs are quickly taking the place of printed conference materials. This in turn saves Show Management money by decreasing their shipping and material handling fees of such items. Based on an attendance level of 2,000+, you can purchase a customized app for around $8,000 and they are typically ready to launch in 30 days. The sponsorship opportunities with apps are plentiful and youʼll quickly regain your investment with the end result being a profit. You can test-drive these apps by going to your smart- phone and searching for e-prodirect; scroll down until you find SACSCOC or STN EXPO 11 and download it for free. ■ Another item that is gaining a lot of popularity is the use of QR Codes. These too can be obtained at no cost to you, or for an additional fee you can pur- chase multiple codes to be used for a variety of 2 marketing campaigns. Encourage your exhibitors to use these codes to drive the interest of attendees and increase booth traffic. Exhibitors can use them as an easy way to share contact information or get attendees to sign up for a contest or give-a-way. ■ TREND W A TCH: Tradeshows Are Up! Continued growth for 2012 is the outlook for the exhibition industry based on first quarter survey results reported recently by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). Data collected for the first quarter CEIR Index reveals that the Total Index increased by 2.7 percent compared to the same period in 2011. The exhibition industry continued to outperform real GDP which increased at a rate of 2.0 percent from a year ago. In tandem with the Overall, all four key metrics showed positive results on a year-on- year basis with Attendance as the leading, key driver for the period. ■ www.con v entionsouth.com SEPTEMBER 2012 ConventionSouth 13 S p i l e e l t s h ns B a live code to see what happens! Scan this

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