If you have ever attended an Electronics Expo, you know about the excitement in the show hall. You can feel it! There’s probably no other show with the same energy — emotional and electrical.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the granddaddy of all electronics expo shows. Pre-COVID, CES attracted over 180,000 attendees and 7000 exhibitors to Las Vegas. Each year, it showcases areas such as televisions, laptops, streaming content, health and fitness, smart homes, and transportation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The show includes 45 product categories like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, drones, mobile hardware robotics, quantum computing, and vehicle tech.
CES is considered the “show of shows” for well-known brands introducing their latest products or startups looking to become the next Fortune 500 company. It attracts manufacturers, developers, and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems, and more. It also includes a conference program where the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers address the industry’s most relevant issues.
Like CES Las Vegas, CES Asia is the premier event for the consumer technology industry, showcasing the full breadth and depth of innovation in the Asian marketplace. The 2022 show has been postponed. The dates for the 2023 event have yet to be announced.
Other Significant International Electronics Expos
- IFA (Berlin, Germany): IFA offers a comprehensive overview of the international market for consumer electronics and home appliances and attracts international trade visitors from more than 130 countries. September 2-5, 2022.
- CEATEC (Chiba, Japan): CEATEC is an annual trade show in Japan, similar to the Consumer Electronics Show. It is Japan’s largest IT and electronics expo and conference. The 2021 Show will be online with pre-events in September and the opening event on October 15.
- Computex (Taipei, Taiwan): Computex is an annual computer expo held in Taipei, Taiwan. It is one of the largest computer and technology trade shows in the world. The 2022 show is scheduled for May 24-27. The 2021 show was a virtual event.
- Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, Spain): Also known as MWC Barcelona. Organized by GSMA, the show is dedicated primarily to the wireless communications industry. It is attended by global mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, and content owners. This year’s event is from February 28 to March 3, 2022.
- GITEX (Dubai, UAE): Launched in 1996, GITX Global is an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference held in the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It promotes itself as the “World’s Largest Enterprise and Government Technology Event.” Held on October 10-14 2022.
Planning for an Electronics Expo
While all trade shows are competitive marketplaces where planning, design, and execution are critical to success, an Electronics Expo like CES is hyper-competitive. The sheer size of these shows means they’re spread over several exhibit halls, often in separate buildings.
Planning is essential. First, you need to identify your sales and marketing goals for the show. At first glance, this may seem like an easy task – introduce our product or service and get lots of orders. However, every other exhibitor has the same goal, all 7000 of them. What makes your solution or your company unique and what problem(s) does it address? Basic sales and marketing 101, right? At the same time, you need to create a budget that will include the exhibit, the show space, show services like electrical and material handling, staffing, transportation, lodging, meals. Will there be other expenses? Yes, but these are the major ones.
Once you have your goals and a budget, it’s time to meet with your exhibit house. Preferably 3-4 months in advance of the show, if not before. Then the fun part begins. This will include the exhibit design, requirements for this show (and perhaps future shows), choosing whether to purchase or rent your display, identifying accessories and electronic needs, and designing the graphics.
At the same time, your exhibit house will ask about your marketing plan for the show. They’re not being nosy. They need this information. Trade show marketing is a specialized form of marketing (all too often) learned through trial and error. If you’ve ever participated in a trade show or expo before, you know they are expensive. And any mistakes before, during, or after the show can be financially painful. Your exhibit house will gladly assist you in avoiding those mistakes and work with you on a strategy for maximizing your trade show investment and sales opportunity.
An exhibit house, like Exhibits Northwest, wants you as a long-term customer, and it’s in their best interest to ensure you are successful at each and every trade show.
How to Stand Out at an Electronics Trade Show
Sadly, there’s no one proven technique for getting noticed at an Electronics Trade Show. Getting noticed is unique to each company/product/service. But there are some basic guidelines:
There’s a reason so many exhibitors have hanging signs. You can see them from across the show hall. If you’re wondering where the Samsung booth is, simply look up. There’s a good chance they have multiple hanging signs over their booth. If you have an inline booth, a hanging sign isn’t an option but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other techniques for getting noticed. See below.
Messaging and Graphics
Three to five seconds… that’s the general rule of thumb of how much time to have to attract an attendee’s attention on the show floor. The best comparison is a billboard on the highway. Are there any memorable ones you recall while driving to work? And why do you remember those and not others?
This seems obvious. However, how often have you walked by a booth only to see the staff distracted, bored, or unwelcoming? Even if you wanted to know more about their product or service, you might not enter the booth because the energy or vibe seemed wrong. We want to talk to people who want to talk to us. It’s not complicated.
This can take many forms from speakers to games and from giveaways to demonstrations. People remember experiences. Some can be simple like a cornhole contest and others can be more complex like an augmented reality experience. The key is to tie the engagement with your offering and target it to qualified attendees. Giving everyone who walks by your booth a branded charging pad probably isn’t going to boost your sales if you design electronic clean rooms. BTW – Creating a video that runs on a loop is rarely engaging.
All shows have a range of sponsorship opportunities. Take the time to review them and determine if any are appropriate to your company, clients, and budget. If you don’t see a good fit, be willing to suggest one to the show organizer. They’re usually open to creative ideas.
All too often, exhibitors assume it’s the responsibility of the show organizer to drive attendees to the show. And you would be right. But it’s not their responsibility to drive attendees to your booth. The most successful exhibitors treat trade show exhibits like an in-house event where they are responsible for identifying and inviting the guests, creating a compelling agenda, making it easy for them to attend, and then engaging them once they
arrive. Admittedly it’s a challenging objective at a trade show, but smart exhibitors work much harder before the show than during the show. They’ve already targeted and invited at least 50% of the attendees they expect to see in their booth during the show. The random attendee who enters the booth is a bonus.
Display Considerations for Consumer Electronics
This one is simple. Whatever works. You know your customers. What they like, what they don’t like. The task is to take that information and create an experience they’ll want to participate in at the show and then share with others. Your exhibit house excels at translating your vision into a design that makes it possible. It’s always a creative partnership, one that often changes and evolves from show to show.
Your Electronics Expo Partner
Exhibits Northwest is your trusted and experienced trade show industry partner. With nearly three decades of experience and thousands of successful projects, we know exactly how to achieve your goals and make sure you stand out from the crowd. To get started, fill out the form below – we look forward to hearing from you!