Corporate Event Exhibition

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Corporate Event Exhibition Powered By Docstoc
					 By Luisa Handem Piette

                                Planning for Exhibitions vs. Events

Experts agree that in the past decade competition among companies to attract buyers is growing
increasingly fierce; and the line between exhibitions and corporate events continue to blur,
especially with the advent of globalization. Are there differences in planning for an exhibition
versus an event?

Corporations tend to divide their annual budget into quarters, which allows more flexibility in either
adding to their projected expenditure or cutting costs throughout the year. Within the overall
umbrella of events, exhibitions present a more stable and predictable annual expenditure, as
exhibition organizers must set their budgets far in advance to accommodate exhibitors.

Exhibitors often vie for booth space at sought-after shows exhibition organizers must plan
accordingly. Depending on the overall budget and financial goals for the exhibit, organizers must
take into consideration the cost of the exhibit hall and the overall floor plan in order to properly
price the booth space before the selling begins.

Unlike exhibitions, corporate events and conferences offer more flexibility. Since attendees may
be invited or pre-determined before the event is planned, the budget may be based on a specific
allocation of funds. Because the event manager has more control over the audience of the event,
he or she is better able to effectively select options for location, content, etc. In addition, by
inviting a targeted group of attendees or customers, the event manager may be able to improve
his or her return on investment (ROI) on key metrics specific to that audience.

Regardless, both exhibitions and events must compete to attract and retain customers. In doing
so, planning in advance is absolutely necessary for success. Both exhibitions and event
managers must lock down hotel rooms, exhibit space and other logistical necessities as far ahead
as possible to allow proper marketing and promotion. This presents a serious challenge to
corporate event planners who, despite being experienced exhibition organizers, must now invest
more time, financial and human resources in buyer-seller events. Adding subtleties to their
annual or quarterly events, such as diversity of scenery and geographic location, more
sophisticated entertainment and other attractions has become a “must” to grow attendance. This
is where the lines between exhibition and event management begin to cross over.

                Exhibition                       Corporate Event

       • Budget may be                                • Start with a fixed
         determined by        Advance Planning          budget
         exhibitor and        • Hotel Rooms           • Invite customers for
         attendee             • Exhibit Hall Space      targeted pitch
         participation        • Food & Beverage       • Revenue from
       • More general         • Speakers                product or service
         audience, often      • Entertainment           sales, not attendee
         industry-wide        • Other Meeting           fees
       • Revenue from           Logistics
         attendee fees and
         exhibition booth
As a result, new vendors may be brought into the picture to help companies more efficiently
organize their buyer-seller events. Richard Muir, vice president of global accounts for MiceiCom,
says his company, MICE North America, is dedicated to creating successful face-to-face meetings
and events for customers large and small. “We listen closely to our clients, learn from the lessons
of past events, and help them strategically accomplish a good return on investment.” His
counterpart in the communications department, vice president of integrated communications
Nancy Chapman, agrees and adds that despite the high cost of large customer events,
companies are not losing money as many of the events charge a set admission fee to their
customers, thus, offsetting the high cost associated with events’ planning. “If any profit is made at
all from the admission fee, the money is immediately reinvested in providing an even better
experience to attendees, either by acquiring better speakers, booking a better venue or adding
new attractions.” For these customer-centric, corporate events, it is not about growing revenue
through the attendance fees, but rather exposing the customers to new products and services,
increasing brand awareness and forming a long-lasting relationship—that is where the bottom-line
is affected.

 CASE STUDY: Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) in Shanghai, China, May 2006

Freescale, a multi-billion dollar newcomer to the global semiconductor industry, offers a timely
example of the complexity and costs involved in organizing large corporate events. In May 2006,
the corporation held its technology forum (FTF) in Shanghai, China, with more than 2,000
participants, including more than 1,500 hundred customers as well as a host of partners and

The Shanghai FTF entailed more than 400 hours of technical seminars, as well as a Technology
Lab, which served as a mini-trade show within this major customer event. This complex event
management project included a myriad of details, involved multiple parties and a high

 According to Freescale, customer events such as the FTF support its business strategy and
 provide three key benefits:

         They increase customer intimacy. Events such as these create an educated bias for
         Freescale products. Customers walk away knowing how to build a design from the
         ground up using Freescale’s products. FTF also helps Freescale develop insight into its
         customers’ challenges so the companies can become committed partners and
         They reduce costs. FTF brings customers, media and analysts together under one roof
         and builds credibility with business and technology leaders quickly. When used by
         factory, sales and marketing groups, a major event like FTF can be more efficient than a
         series of smaller events, thereby reducing marketing and sales costs.
         They build brand strength. Freescale is a new player in the marketplace. To achieve
         significant and sustained growth, customer events build widespread recognition of
         Freescale as a premium, top-notch company. FTF gives attendees a snapshot of a
         vibrant, thriving company – a message each customer then disseminates to colleagues,
         peers, customers – even friends and family.

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