In a recent conversation at ECEF, a one-day US conference for Association (NGO) and for-profit US organizers, I was speaking with some colleagues about visiting exhibitions in unrelated industries for fun. They looked at me in shock. As the discussion deepened, it turns out that they attend their own trade shows or competitive expos in their same sector, but never attend consumer shows (b2c) or trade shows in other industries. Or, in a couple of instances, only attend exhibitions produced by their own companies. Not enough time and no interest were their top reasons.
That’s a mistake! Visiting other exhibitions – both trade and consumer – can be very beneficial for you and your business. Here are three reasons why.
1.See New Things – On a global basis, this is the number one reason people attend exhibitions! Trade shows in other industries have different registration set ups, entrance units, education on the show floor, and décor. Consumer shows have become very attendee centric, and you may learn something new to further engage your attendees and increase dwell time (time spent on the exhibit floor). Lastly, you may see a new product or piece of technology that is cool for the sake of being cool. Or in the case of a food or beverage show, taste something delicious.
2.Find Inspiration – There are a lot of creative people in our industry along with stand designers and plain old exhibitors. See something that sparks your imagination or hear a speaker who opens your mind to possibilities. You’re not working, so let your mind wander and absorb what’s around you.
3.Have FUN! – Exhibitions are meant to be more than just wandering up and down the aisles looking at stands filled with products. Take part in activities. Enjoy the atmosphere of community. Breathe it. This is what we all do for a living and it is a great reminder of why we do what we do for a living.
Variety is the spice of life. Get out there and experience other shows. You will not be sorry.
Written by Stephanie Selesnick