Beware of Hotel Poachers
More and more shows are grappling with the issue of having their attendees duped by scams that lure them in with cheap hotel rates, take their money and then, when they show up for the expo, there is no room at the inn. Every year, thousands of attendees and exhibitors flock to ABC Kids Expo (for instance), and every year, at least a half dozen people get taken in by what the industry calls “housing poachers” or “housing piracy.”
It’s also not just ABC Kids Expo or Las Vegas that are dealing with this problem. Shows in cities across the U.S. have been targeted as well. In order to tackle the “room block poaching” issue head-on, the Convention Industry Council (CIC)’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative recently formed a new work group: The APEX Room Block Poaching Work Group was formed to raise industry awareness on the impacts of poaching, and to develop best practices, tools, resources, and education to aid expo professionals in managing and protecting room blocks.
In order to combat the poachers, show organizers can employ several strategies, including listing all of the companies who have previously approached attendees surreptitiously, working with a housing company, working with the hotel management, sending out an email reminding people only to book with the show’s official housing company; and sending out cease-and-desist letters to poachers.
The Meetings Mean Business campaign – a national communications and advocacy platform that showcases the value of meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions – recently launched an industry-wide mobile app. The MMB app is tool to ensure that everyone across the industry can access important campaign materials at a moment’s notice. It will serve as the on-the-go resource for industry leaders, as well as meetings and travel professionals.
Features include quick access to collateral materials, data points, editorial content, the latest industry news and other important information. The app also will serve an additional entry point and engagement tool for industry professionals looking to get involved with the campaign. You can find it on both the Apples iTunes Store and the Android Google Play Store.
To learn more, visit MMB at www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com.
CEIR Knows What You Like
When attendees take the time, expense and energy to spend a few days on a show floor, they want to make it worth their while. With that in mind, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released its latest report – Exhibition Floor Interaction: What Attendees Want.
It’s no surprise that the top two answers on the survey when attendees were asked how they wanted to interact on a show floor were product demos (58.9 percent) or hands-on interaction with the products (58 percent). The InTouch Kiosk and the InTouch App are wonderful tools to help accomplish this level of contact. Read one of our previous blogs to learn more about InTouch. Or sign up to receive further information on InTouch.
The second way attendees want to interact is to have the ability to take away information to digest later (57.8 percent). Brochures are one way, but more and more exhibitors are getting tech-savvy (and environmentally friendly) with their takeaways, such as USB drives, and downloadable brochures through QR codes and apps.
The third way they want to interact on the show floor is directly with the exhibit staff– but on their own terms.
More than half of the respondents said they preferred to “walk through and observe without speaking to the vendors, unless I approach them,” while just less than half said they wanted to talk to/share with vendors they didn’t already know, and 45.8 percent said they wanted to talk with new vendors.
The sample consisted of 421 respondents from 14 industries.
Next week, count on some tips for exhibitors based on this report.
What are YOUR thoughts on all this? We’d like to hear your comments!
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