The EEAA Leaders Forum, held recently at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Resort in Queensland explored the impact of new technologies on the exhibition sector and how this will affect the evolution of the industry in the next ten years.
Exhibition industry experts gathered in Queensland last week for the EEAA 2011 Leader’s Forum
Forty industry leaders took the opportunity to examine the exhibition sector’s recent performance and collaborate on future directions. Participants included CEOs and general managers from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin convention centres; leading organisers Reed Exhibitions, Diversified, Exhibition Trade Fairs and Australian Exhibitions and Conferences; and major suppliers including Moreton Hire, InfoSalons, Agility Logistics and ExpoNet.
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, 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.