Why’s it so hard to be a trade show exhibitor? 14 Dec, 2017

I got lost yesterday. Actually, trapped is probably a more appropriate description of the situation.   While helping a client migrate data onto our platform before exhibiting at an upcoming trade show, I found myself wandering through a maze of websites, landing pages, and PDFs.  Once I found my way back out (to the show’s well-hidden exhibitor kit page), all I could think to myself was, “why in the world do they think it’s ok to make people work this way?”

Trade Show Exhibitor Maze

Want a sense for what “this way” means?  Let me just say that in the course of trying to understand the workflow of this particular show, I visited:

•  at least 14 unique web pages,
•  from 11 different websites,
•  managed by 9 separate organizations,
•  4 of whom required me to provide some kind of billing information,
•  and 2 of which made me download forms to re-upload and send to them.

And that doesn’t include the Google Drive folder where my client had been storing everything, their cloud-based project timeline that was manually built and shared with their team, and the web-based Outlook calendar that they’re pushing everything to – bringing the total websites to almost fifteen!
If you’re an event marketer with responsibility for your company’s exhibitions then you’re probably so conditioned to prepare for a show by bouncing from the organizer’s website, to a generatradeshow-Too-Much-Informationl contractor’s online ordering platform, to third-party and venue services sites, to a hotel booking page, etc., etc., etc., that you don’t even think twice about it.  You simply continue to have your time wasted instead of creating content, developing marketing strategy, and communicating with your customers.
For our part, Eventuosity has created a one-stop-shop for exhibition management that guides event marketers from their first planning meeting to their very last post-show report.  With both generic and named trade show templates in the system, we give users the ability to create an end-to-end workflow, timeline, and library of required weblinks with just a single click.  Can you imagine if the trade show industry as a whole got on board with this concept?!
That is our hope for the future of the event marketing world – that show organizers and service providers broaden their approaches to event-tech adoption to focus as much on exhibitors’ experience as on that of attendees.  Simplifying the trade show process by allowing exhibitors to work smarter, more strategically, and at maximum efficiency will ultimately mean more dollars and attention paid to add-on show services as cost and time spent by event marketers on non-strategic work is reduced.  Starting with one weblink instead of over a dozen seems like a pretty good first step.