If growth is about learning from past experiences, then let us all try to improve upon lessons learned at this year’s IPEX and apply those lessons to Graph Expo! Social media, in particular, is one area that is primed to gain more traction, and hopefully better participation, at Graph Expo than seen at IPEX.
Tweets from IPEX
@PrintersLounge said: DailyLesson: Digital printing dominates
Twitter @ #IPEX. Conventional market still not willing to use such
tools. Conclusion: they’ll lose!
@pvantees said: Most #ipex tweets are corporates sending out press releases. There is no value in that. Dialogue anyone?
YouTube videos, virtual trade shows, Tweets, and Facebook updates, were all utilized with varying success by vendors at IPEX. Those efforts should be redone for Graph Expo as it extends the reach for the vendors beyond the conference all for those not in attendance but also allows attendees to digest the information at their leisure.
Above all other social media platforms, Twitter being a mobile platform, allows for the most practical use from the show floor. For it to be a success, however, both exhibitors and attendees need to be active!
Twitter Wants You!
Suggestions for Exhibitors (Vendors)
Note: Vendors need to avoid cluttering and using the #graphexpo stream as another broadcast medium!!! (Conversation, according to @pvantees and verified from all of the tweets I reviewed during the show, was missing from IPEX.)
Now that Graph Expo 2010 is less than a month away, it is time to
form a game plan for attending the show. A great place to start with
any research is to go to vendor specific websites and industry
news sites. After you determine the types of products and technology of
most interest, plot your trip using the online tools
provided by the GASC. The site is packed with features for finding the
exhibitors, products, and seminars, that speak to your interest. The
site allows you to organize all of the dates and events into a virtual
From either O’Hare or Midway airport, transit options include shuttle bus, taxi, rental cars, and mass transit. For $2.25, you can take the CTA rail line into downtown Chicago from either airport. Use the Blue Line from O’Hare aiport or the Orange Line from Midway. To plan the exact route needed to specific hotel, use the CTA website trip planner. The next best option is to catch the flat rate GO shuttle bus. The fare from O’Hare to any downtown destination is $27 one way or $49 round trip. The rate from Midway is slightly less because of the closer proximity to downtown at $22 one way and $39 round trip. Save $2/$4 dollars by making an online reservation. A one way taxi fare is more than the round trip bus shuttle.
Daily Show Transportation
Taxis are the most expensive, and more importantly time consuming, way to get to and from the city. Depending upon the rush hour and special event traffic the commute time in a cab can be significant. Also, the taxi queue at the end of the show can easily take over an hour.
On the days of the show, the show company provides free shuttle buses that pickup at various points around downtown. The buses stop near all sponsored hotels find the closest route via Google Maps on m-Bossed. The buses pickup in the afternoon from the South Hall around the corner to the right of the taxi line.
The CTA train lines do not run directly to McCormick Place, but a combination of CTA and Metra (regional rail) can get you there. The easiest transfer points are from the Randolph/Wabash CTA stations, then walk east toward the lake, and catch the Randolph Street Metra at the north end of Millennium Park. The Metra fare is an additional $2.15 over the CTA fare to McCormick Place. Note the Metra runs frequently during commuter hours, but is not nearly as frequent as CTA. Check Google Maps Transit for the best use of trains and buses from your starting point.
In many cases it is easy to request a demonstration, even prior to the show, by locating your salesperson. For the suppliers or companies where you do not have a working relationship, locate the receptionist or information booth. The attendant will ask to swipe your entry badge and direct you toward the staff that can handle your request. Although sales people are often viewed as a last resort, they can usually schedule the best time and person for your demonstration since they are intimately familiar with the staff. To get the best results, remember to be clear in communicating your needs, intention, and time frame for implementation.
If you are willing to miss the air of excitement and anticipation generated by the first days crowd, the remaining days offer more opportunity for quality time with each vendor. The last day of the show, “student” day, is dismissed by most attendees as a wasted day. On the contrary, most show staff (at least in the morning) are looking for anything to combat the boredom of standing around.
The best time of day for demonstrations is in the morning when the staff is fresh and there is plenty of time to spend on any topic. The experience for the booth staff is opposite of the attendee in most respects which translates into standing on a concrete floor and demonstrating the same software or equipment for 10+ hours. Get to the show early rather than later.