Tomorrow, I'm flying to Orlando to attend the HIMSS Trade Show which is geared towards medical technology professionals. I will be the first from our team to arrive in Florida, and it will be my responsibility to supervise the union laborers who will build our booth all day on Sunday. The rest of the team flies in on Sunday to work at our 20x x 20' booth where we will be showing all our Tablets and UMPCs from 8 different kiosk stations. Here is a photo of how our booth looked last year at HIMSS as we were almost 100% set up.
I love working trade shows. There, I said it. Seriously, I really love the whole experience that starts with an empty exhibition hall that is transformed in 2-3 days to an industry showpiece . There's something about the build-out period -- the time when I can dodge forklifts, maneuver through a maze of crates and supervise the final merchandising and set up that makes me truly happy.
I'm also very much in my element during the actual show hours and manage to have a good time despite the long hours and achy feet. First, I like to give product demonstrations. I get a kick out of conversing with potential customers, finding out their needs, and showing them the best solution for them. Let's face it, no matter how hard we, along with our competitors and partners, have promoted the tablet form factor, there are always show attendees who have never seen digital ink or played with a touch screen computer.
As a marketing person, I don't get too much interface with our customers too much, so my time spent on the show floor becomes an intensive learning experience where I speak to potential and existing customers. Walking the show floor also gives me the opportunity to check out industry trends and see what our competitors are doing. I recently came across a B2B marketing blog where business marketers have been weighing in their thoughts about shows. Click Here to see the link. It's interesting to read how different people view the business of trade shows and how we calculate the return on investment.
If you will be attending HIMSS, stop by booth #831 to say hello. Hopefully, I will have a lot of stories to share upon my return.