DEMAIL, Industry news provided for you by DEMA - Thursday, October 28, 2004
DEMA SHOW 2004
QUALITY VS QUANTITY:
EXHIBITORS SAY TIGHTENING BUYER REGISTRATION LED TO WRITING MORE BUSINESS
After listening to industry concerns at a June meeting in San Diego, DEMA refocused marketing efforts for DEMA Show 2004 and concentrated on getting qualified attendees to the Show.. From fundamental changes in registration requirements; tightening the procedures for obtaining both attendee and buyer's badges and credential scanning, to the addition of the PowerUp Morning Sessions, the new retailer-oriented Adventure Travel Symposium, The Retailer Resource Center, and The DEMA-Sponsored Educational Tracks targeted to travel buyers and retailers, all elements were tailored to make this event more relevant for the Show's primary customers: retailers and travel buyers.
It appears that these changes have helped many exhibiting companies. Comments from exhibitors and attendees seem to indicate that many of those present, especially those with set goals and plans for the Show, had a strong and successful event. While the "registered attendee" numbers were definitely below that of some of the other more well-attended DEMA Shows, anecdotal evidence suggests that the qualified buyers and others attending the Show were there to do business. Many exhibitors also remarked that they appreciated being able to spend more time with the qualified people that were on the Show floor not only writing business, but also building partnerships and relationships which in year's past there was not time for.
DEMA will make "verified and on-site" attendee and exhibitor numbers available in the next few weeks. The number of "registered" buyers at DEMA Show 2004 was over 1,700. Importantly, the number of buyers compared to overall "registered attendees" (excluding exhibitors) was almost 50% with more than 900 retail stores represented.
According to Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA, "four consecutive hurricanes in Florida, the Caribbean and Gulf, combined with a perception that Houston was still the same town it was in 1992 (the last time DEMA held the Show there) appears to have reduced the number of staff that most dive stores brought to the Show. In addition, this year DEMA implemented procedures to ensure that exhibitors saw only the highest quality attendees and helped to reduce the possibility that retailers might encounter their end-user customers on the Show floor. While our efforts may have reduced the total number of people attending the Show, they increased the ratio of serious buyers to overall attendees, which seems to have translated into exhibitors writing more business. In response to stakeholder requests, our objective for this year's Show was to make it, above all else, a place for business to be conducted. Many exhibitors have reported to us that they did write more business this year and that for them this was a successful Show."
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