What About Trade Shows?

EE regularly attends and exhibits at a number of trade shows throughout the year. Some of these include IPC APEX, International Microwave Symposium, SEMICON West, EMC Symposium, AUTOTESTCON, and ITC. We contract for booth space at these shows to enable us to interact with the attendees and, in the process, acquire new subscribers. Additionally, our editors schedule appointments with many of the exhibitors who are introducing new products in the hopes of publicizing them in upcoming issues.

The discussions with the exhibitors on product introductions are very useful, particularly since most include actual demonstrations of the products. This allows the editors a chance to ask pertinent questions while viewing the demos. Knowledgeable personnel staffing the exhibitor booths are able to provide the necessary technical details.

As everyone knows, attendance at many trade shows is diminishing for a number of reasons. Companies are cutting back on discretionary spending such as sending people to shows and offsite seminars. Consequently, at some of the shows, we are seeing fewer and fewer potential subscribers.

A case in point is the recent IPC APEX show held in Las Vegas the first week in April. Personally, I don't think this city is an appropriate venue for a technical trade show. Yes, I know Las Vegas hosts a large number of them throughout the year, but everyone who attends must travel by air or car to the city. There are no walk-ins to the show from the local area. Also, the casinos can be a distraction for some attendees, lessening their time spent on the exhibit floor or attending the technical sessions.

EE promotes APEX to our 68,000 readers in a couple of issues—January and March this year—prior to the show. We have made similar arrangements with IPC for the past several years. In return, EE is provided booth space to gather subscriptions and engage in conversations with the attendees and exhibitors.

Our experience at the show this year was disappointing both in attendee traffic and location of the booth in the exhibition hall. Not only was our booth placed in the back of the hall, but also the Samsung booth completely blocked at least two aisles leading up to our booth, greatly impeding anyone from venturing past their large exhibit. Other exhibitors around our booth voiced similar concerns about limited attendee traffic.

We value our relationship with the IPC organization, but the recent exhibition in Las Vegas was not a rewarding experience. We will assess our future plans for APEX in the next few months, especially since the show will be held in Las Vegas for the next two years.

And finally, I would like to hear how you view the relative importance of attending trade shows. Is participating in the technical sessions and seminars and visiting the booths on the exhibition floor necessary or a nicety in performing your job effectively? Do you find trade shows worthwhile? Or, can you get all the information you need from trade publications, the Internet, and company websites? Please let me know your thoughts on these or related topics. My e-mail address is listed below.

Paul Milo
Editorial Director
[email protected]

Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!