From the show floor: AIME 2014

From the show floor: AIME 2014

AIME 2014Phew.  Two days walking the AIME showfloor is almost as tiring as exhibiting…especially in new shoes bought from the discount mall next to the MCEC in between meetings *ahem*

But the right thing to do – by my calculations the ROI is sales = (4 x flights + accommodation) during the week plus prospects = (10 x flights + accommodation)..and there’s no price on the relationship building you can do over bubbles on the Gold Coast booth, or noodles in the foodmarket.

And because of that, my guilt over not exhibiting dissipated pretty quickly.  It’s a win for the event organiser that I chose their event as a focus for doing business – and without AIME, there wouldn’t have been that catalyst for me to come to Melbourne, and get done what needed doing.  I don’t know how Reed will record that win but I am happy to provide a testimonial, Delwyn!

Our decision not to exhibit was upheld by the noticeable lack of technology providers  – obviously sharing our opinion that AIME is not the best marketplace to showcase our products and services.  A grand total of 8 tech providers, spread around the show floor underlines the show’s positioning as a travel and destination event – and maybe that’s just the way it is, as two colleagues exhibiting with their venues said the quality of buyers was excellent; people were there to make choices about hotels and venues, not innovations in technology.  Lucky (for my sanity! and, not to put too fine a point on it, for the industry) one of my meetings was the project team for the Event Tech Experience, the first Aussie event JUST for technology providers…and it looks like we have a venue confirmed (watch this space).

Lowlights

  • The event mobile app wasn’t pre advertised but promoted by PRINTED FLYERS in welcome bags and strewn around the venue.  The irony.  Saw no-one using it.
  • No qr codes for exhibitors – no delegate driven lead capture.  Give us some power back, would you?  Or at least, open up your options for exhibitors.
  • Speakers presenting to rooms of less than 20 people.  When will trade expo designers realise that carefully crafted content attracts people to the show floor, keeps them there longer and adds value.  Those poor speakers…
  • Drummers and statues walking the floor.  Do event organisers really sit around and say ‘hey, how can we add some colour to this event, ooooh I know let’s have a man dressed as a stone statue jumping out at people randomly’.  Er, no.

Highlights

  • No cupcakes on booths any more.  Hopefully next year the macaroons will be out of fashion too
  • Lynchpins in the event industry attend – its the only event-for-event-people in Melbourne so if you want to know what’s happening, who’s doing what – you have to be there
  • Great meetings with partners and clients – by week end I’ll have had 20 formal meetings and about 200 informal ones!

Photo:  the Melbourne booth with Sandra Fountain (Tradevent) and Kathryn Rogers (MCEC).

 

 

 

 

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