Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Invisible Exhibitor, The Invisible Attendee

It was delightful to see two research papers published by Maya (the videos are on auto-play so please be patient if they all start playing simultaneously) titled the 'Invisible Exhibitor' and the 'Invisible Attendee'. The papers are insightful. If you have ever been involved with an in-person trade show or conference, you will find yourself nodding in agreement as you go through the paper or watch the videos.

I had the pleasure of talking to one of the designers of the research Paul Gould at Maya this morning. Congratulations are also due to the Expo Group for supporting this research. It goes to show that the trade show industry is willing to recognize that change is needed.

In the papers and research you and the face-to-face trade show industry will hear the voice of the customer. I know the Convention Industry Council's APEX initiative was on a mission to streamline the processes. I do not know where that stands.

It seems to me that throwing an excess of processes, technology and bureaucracy is not making life any easier (see the RFID example in the paper). It seems that the trade show industry has de-humanized the experience.

The virtual trade show folks have lessons to learn from these papers. The most important one I think is to 'not take away the human element!'