Face-to-Face Report : October 2009



Two New (Free!) CEIR Reports Now Available for ABM Members

CEIR's landmark study on the attendance habits, attitudes and opinions of young professionals regarding exhibitions and events is near completion, and ABM members have access to complimentary early findings from the study, entitled “Power of Exhibitions in the 21st Century.” Contact Kate Patton for a copy of the study’s preview; a complete report will be available next month.

Another important addition to CEIR’s research library was recently released. Entitled “Effective Methods for Visitor Promotion (Part II: Exhibitors),” the report analyzes the most and least effective tools for attracting visitors and reveals the average spending on pre- and post-exhibition promotion by exhibiting companies.

These new additions join the variety of free CEIR research already available for ABM members, including:

  • How Digital Marketing Affects Exhibition and Event Performance
  • Looking Past the Recession: Exhibition Strategies for the Interim
  • The Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation

Contact Kate Patton with your request(s), and the research will be sent to you directly.



ABM Executive Forum Kicks Off on November 3rd with Virtual Events Workshop

In less than three weeks, ABM’s all-new 2009 Executive Forum is coming to 7 World Trade Center in New York City with a powerful agenda, an impressive line-up of industry thought leaders to provide attendees with real answers for today as well as real solutions for tomorrow, and two days of valuable networking opportunities.

On November 3, the conference kicks off with an interactive workshop on the business of virtual events. Led by John Failla, CEO of Tesoro Events and “Virtual Event Insights” blogger, the session will explore:

  • which virtual event models and applications are most successful in delivering value to attendees, sponsors and organizers;
  • how to extend the reach of your existing physical events by leveraging digital tools;
  • best practices for launching and executing your first virtual trade show;

and more!

Panelists include Eric Biener, VP of business development and network sales at Nielsen Business Media, and Bob Felsenthal, publisher of BtoB magazine.

The Virtual Events Workshop joins an impressive agenda. Among the speakers already confirmed are Steven Brill, Co-Founder, Journalism Online; Thomas Haas, CMO, Siemens; Michael Mandel, Chief Economist, BusinessWeek; and Rick Segal, Chief Executive, North America/Global Practice Leader, B-to-B, Gyro:HSR. Click here to view the full agenda.

For attendees outside the New York City area, we have provided a list of hotels near 7 World Trade Center at a variety of different price points, and we encourage you to consult the list as you plan your trip. Please call the hotel directly to make your reservation.

Interested in sponsoring this event? Contact Jane O’Connor at (212) 784-6367 or at j.oconnor@abmmail.com for available opportunities.

ABM's 2009 Executive Forum is sponsored by Aequor TechnologiesAtlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, Booz & Company, BPA Worldwide, BtoB Media Business, CDS Global, The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.Readex Research, SRDS, and Worldcolor.



ABM Unveils New, More Comprehensive BIN Reporting

ABM recently unveiled a new format for its Business Information Network (BIN) figures, which now include digital b-to-b spending in addition to print advertising and trade show expenditures.

Total b-to-b spending in the first half of 2009 (tradeshows, print, digital) was $10.5 billion, reflecting a decline of 18.9% from the first half of 2008. 

B-to-b digital revenue in the first half of 2009 was $2.1 billion, a 3.0% decline from 2008; magazine revenue in the same period was $3.8 billion, a 26.5% decline compared to 2008; and trade show revenue was $4.6 billion, an 18.6% decline.

Trade shows accounted for the greatest share of revenue in the first half of 2009 (43.5%). Print share declined by 3.4%, from 39.9% in 2008 to 36.5% in 2009. Though b-to-b digital revenues declined in the first half of 2009, digital accounted for a 20.0% share of revenue, a 3.3% increase from 2008. See table below.


2008 2009
Trade Shows 43.4% 43.5%
Print 39.9% 36.5%
Digital 16.7% 20.0%

About Inquiry Management Systems (IMS):
With offices in Toronto, New York and London, IMS has served magazine publishing professionals since 1979. Over 1,400 magazine titles utilize its array of products that help sell additional pages of advertising, increase lead results for advertisers, and produce creative Web solutions.

About CEIR:
For 30 years, CEIR has been highlighting the importance of exhibitions in today's business environment. Its goal is to promote the image, value and growth of exhibitions. This is accomplished through producing primary research studies that prove the effectiveness and efficiency of exhibitions as a marketing medium.

Digital revenue sources include: ABM members, PricewaterhouseCoopers/IAB, eMarketer, and Outsell Inc. 



B-to-B Case Study Series Now Available Online
Featured study confirms power of mobile events

ABM recently partnered with BtoB magazine to compile a series of case studies from previous BtoB coverage that showcases the strategies b-to-b media companies are utilizing to achieve their objectives.

While the complete series is available in the Research & Marketing section of ABM’s Web site, one case study, on Ciena Corp.’s new “Innovation Lab,” has been reproduced below to emphasize the power of mobile events in expanding one’s customer base and as a valuable alternative to participation in large trade shows.


Questioning the effectiveness of its participation in large trade shows, network solutions company Ciena Corp. set out to build an alternative event, providing a one-on-one experience with customers, addressing their challenges, and eliminating the distractions of a large show environment.


Ciena built an “Innovation Lab,” a high-concept trade show booth within a big-rig truck, which is driven to and parked near a customer’s place of business. The truck is staffed with several Ciena employees who demonstrate functional installations of the company’s most popular products.

Kaon v-OSKs (interactive video screens) inside the truck provide a hands-on experience for customers with 3-D renderings of the company’s offerings. During an event, 20 to 120 people can view Ciena products. The mobile event also provides a solution to tightened travel budgets triggered by the economic downturn.


The success of Ciena’s Innovation Lab was immediately apparent. Over the 10 months it has been running, the lab has made 51 stops with about 2,000 customers walking through. The mobile lab Web site, which is displayed on the truck’s exterior, has received 1,200 hits.

* This is a summarized version of BtoB’s August 5, 2009 article, “Ciena Hits the Road with Mobile Event.” For the full article, click here.



Trade Show Industry Honors Top Achievers,
Brings the Future into Focus at TSE's Gold 100 Awards & Summit

The bright, California sunshine paled in comparison to the star power found in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, last month when the industry’s leading senior-level trade show executives attended an intensive day-long summit, meeting with business innovators and thought-leaders to tackle the industry’s burning issues and celebrate the newest crop of trade show superstars.

For participants, the Trade Show Executive (TSE) annual Gold 100 Awards & Summit was a unique opportunity to dialogue, debate, celebrate and network at the highest level, as TSE magazine, along with ABM, one of seven supporting associations and 29 sponsors, “pulled out all the stops” to provide an inspiring, content-rich experience that would set the standard for the industry.

Dialogue, Discussion and Debate

Held September 24, the fast-paced program was jam-packed with novel ideas. The summit, which consisted of panel discussions, live interviews and interactive sessions, boasted a speaker’s roster of “Who’s Who” in the trade show world, and addressed head-on the many industry topics swirling in today’s economic climate.

Futurist Watts Wacker, author of The Visionary’s Handbook, was the keynote speaker. “Your job—putting buyers and sellers together—is going to become more important than ever,” Wacker told his audience, “and now it’s going to be very different.” He challenged attendees to forego conventional wisdom in light of the systemic changes in the U.S. business environment, and introduced the intriguing concept of “deviant marketing,” which means using a strategy that runs counter to what everyone else is doing.

Others in the assembled brain trust included: Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association; Peter MacGillivray, vice president of events and communications of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA); Paul Woodward, incoming (2010) managing director of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry; TSE president Darlene Gudea; TSE chief economist Frank Chow; Liz Crawford, show director for Advanstar Communications; Chris Meyer, vice president of convention sales for the LVCVA; Kam Diba, creative director for NBC/Universal; Aaron Bludworth, COO of the George Fern Company; Terence Donnelly, vice president of trade show markets at Experient; and John Barber, vice president of digital at Immersa Marketing.

Issues debated and discussed ran the gamut: the pressures of a volatile economy and the hope of a 2010 recovery; creating next year’s budgets during this year’s crisis; using the new technology tools; “must-do” social networking strategies; forecasting; innovation; experiential marketing; and other burning issues and controversies of the day.

Celebrating the Industry’s Star Performers

But weighty issues weren’t the only business of the day. The trade show execs were also there to honor the high achievers in their midst, which culminated at the Gold 100 Awards Gala Thursday evening. The event drew presidents, CEOs, CFOs, executive VPs, group VPs, show managers, trade show industry association leaders and others, who came together to recognize the Top 100 Trade Shows of 2008 and applaud the success of the recipients of TSE’s top honors, the Gold Grand Awards.

Gold Grand Awards went to standouts in 13 categories. While “big” mattered in some cases (the sprawling 2.3 million net square-foot CONEXPO-CON/AGG was named “Largest Show of 2008,” and also received the award for “Highest Economic Impact on a Local Economy”), shows of all sizes competed in other categories, including “Leading Brand,” “Top Show Organizer,” “Most Innovative Practices” and “Against All Odds.”

“This has not been an easy year for the trade show industry – or any other industry for that matter," said Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group. "By honoring the shows that set the Gold Standard for the exposition industry, we are not only recognizing those events that have thrived during the severe economic downturn, but also putting a spotlight on the new ideas and strategies that others can follow.”

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a big winner, grabbing awards for “Largest Annual Show” and “Highest Global Participation.” The show also tied with Hanley Wood’s Surfaces and the Radiological Society of North America’s RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting for the “At the Forefront of Technology” Award.

“The International CES team is thrilled to receive these awards,” said Gary Shapiro. “We strive to make CES the most important technology event in the world, and being identified as such by an objective third party means a lot.”

Rick McConnell, president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions, says the distinction as “Technology Leader,” which Surfaces won, is both validation and incentive. “Surfaces serves a rapidly changing marketplace, and it was great to be commended for how we’ve tuned in to our audiences. This kind of endorsement is going to make us work even harder to maintain our leadership position.”

Competition was strong in other categories, too, resulting in a two-way tie for “Top Show Organizer” between Reed Exhibitions and Nielsen Business Media, both of which organized eight shows on the Gold 100 roster.

The Complete List of 2008 Grand Awards:

  • Top Show Organizer: Reed Exhibitions and Nielsen Business Media. Each company managed eight Gold 100 shows. Reed organizes No. 21-ranked SHOT and 470 events worldwide. Nielsen organizes 75 events. Its ASD/AMD Trade Shows are held twice a year and were ranked 23rd and 24th.
  • Largest Show: CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Spanning a whopping 2.28 million nsf, it was the largest trade show ever held in the U.S.
  • Largest Annual Show: International CES. Reaching 1.85 million nsf, the perennial winner placed No. 2 on the Gold 100 list.
  • Largest Semi-Annual Show: MAGIC Marketplace. The two shows, the flagship in the portfolio of owner Advanstar Communications, together total nearly 2 million nsf and 700,000 attendees from the apparel industry. The February show was No. 8 on the Gold 100 list. August ranked No. 12.
  • Leading Brand: Medical Design & Manufacturing and MEDTEC. Canon Communications’ medical-device brand features ten shows worldwide. Each show includes a number of co-located events that broaden the overall scope. MD&M West ranked No. 52 on the Gold 100. MD&M East was No. 87.
  • Highest Economic Impact: CONEXPO-CON/AGG. The giant show drew 143,000 attendees who had an estimated total impact on the Las Vegas economy of over $234 million.
  • Most Innovative Practices: World of Concrete. The Gold 100 show, which ranked No. 16, had innovations in nearly every aspect of its operations, from recycling to space sales to attendee networking.
  • Highest Global Participation: International CES. A third of its attendees – about 28,000 people – came from 141 nations outside the U.S. The association used an aggressive outreach to draw overseas attendees.
  • At the Forefront of Technology: A three-way tie among International CES, Surfaces and the RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting. At the International CES, visitor usage of MyCES search-and-planning platform soared. Twittering began eight months before the show. Surfaces, ranked No.40 on the Gold 100, offered the Zeppelin interface application, which linked the show Web site to the attendees’ personal planning portal. RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting offered RFID badges, which provided extensive attendee tracking that translated into rich data on prospective buyers for exhibitors and floor traffic for the organizers. The show placed No. 35 on the Gold 100 and the largest in the Medical & Healthcare sector.
  • Leadership in Green Initiatives: Natural Products Expo East (ranked No. 99 on the Gold 100) and West (ranked No. 65). The Colorado-based company was heralded for its extensive planning with an eye on making the show as green as possible. Management focused on recycling as well as other details such as travel distances by sources.
  • Against All Odds: Accessories, The Show. This once-struggling show, acquired by Business Journals Inc. in 1997, is now thriving in the competitive New York and Las Vegas markets. It runs seven times annually and brings in about 60,000 attendees from 60 countries. That’s roughly a 20-fold improvement in just over a decade.
  • Staying Power: The NAMM Show. This music instrument industry expo entered its 108th year ranked No. 33 on the Gold 100. It is the show that means business: a significant share of industry business transacted annually occurs during the show. NAMM, The International Music Products Association, invests a big part of its show profits into programs to develop attendance.
  • Fastest-Growing Show: Mid-America Trucking Show. Exhibit Management Associates, Inc. held its largest show ever in 2008 with 869,149 nsf, up more than 103,000 nsf from 2007. Increased marketing and growth in the trucking industry contributed to a move-up in the Gold 100 rankings from No. 16 in 2007 to No. 15.



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