Marketing mag has been to a few great trade shows this year, but many of them have not exactly been jam packed with paying attendees. Has the intense online networking and promotions scene, and the ease of finding great keynote presentation videos on the internet taken away the need to get there in the flesh to exhibitions?

It’s a big enough worry that the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) felt necessary to address it at their Leaders Forum, held last week on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The consensus ended up being there’s not so much to worry about.

Despite technology innovations and the explosion of social media, the industry leaders unanimously agreed that exhibitions will remain relevant and powerful, as the only marketing channel to offer a flexible face to face buying experience.

“However, exhibitions will still need to deliver an outstanding experience for their stakeholders – and utilising technology and personal portable devices to complement the offering will be a key success driver,” said Joyce DiMascio, general manager of the EEAA.

“For every show, every exhibition, every event it is crucial that organisers, suppliers and venues collaborate to create experiences that drive exhibitor participation and visitor attendance. The exhibition must be delivered as an experience that can’t be experienced elsewhere – especially online.”

Exhibitions also proved to be resilient during the recent global financial downturn. Whilst many marketing budgets were cut, research from CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) showed companies recognised that exhibitions remained a cost-effective way of reaching key decision-makers.

“Our challenge will be to continue to provide a compelling story to encourage exhibition participation by communicating the benefits of exhibitions as an integral part of any marketing plan – and a unique way of reaching a qualified target audience,” said DiMascio.

BY Brendan Lawley ON 11 August 2011
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  • Trade shows will continue to fail miserably when the associations don[‘t do anything innovative, they sit there waiting for larger countries to show them how to do it.

    With the web being obviously more popular nothing really has changed with exhibitions it’s the same format

    the internet just gives better pre show marketing possibilities but the trade shows themselves are bloody horrible

    As an exhibitor and a trade show consultant (and might I say the only trade show consultant in Australia with real world results- everyone else says they do trade shows without a shred of evidence but anyway moving on) the seminars for exhibitions are killing it for exhibitors some of these trade shows cost my clients 5K just for space and their are back to back seminars so visitors are never walking through the halls.

    Essentially it’s brainless organisation on the organisers behalf how do we get people through the door is brainless

    how do we get visitors to walk around the exhibit area thats the question they all fail to do (other than a few of the bigger shows)

    it’s the organisers that are destroying the industry, Many times now despite the fact I don’t get booked I tell people not to exhibit why- because there will not be anyone waling around the exhibit- they will all be in seminars

  • and I don’t mean to be rude Marketing magazine- but you are marketing magazine you don’t talk at all about trade shows at all.

    If the magazine devoted to all things marketing turns a blind eye to trade show marketing of course trade show marketing will lose out