Read a Guest Blog from PMMI’s Christine Maple. Christine is the Marketing Manager for Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), which produces PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and EXPO PACK Mexico. PMMI is one of Fixation’s clients.
Are you familiar with Large Show Roundtables (LSR), hosted by tradeshow veteran Sam Lippman? I wasn’t until Fixation Marketing—one of the event’s sponsors—invited me to participate earlier this year. I’m really glad they did. LSR in Anaheim, California on January 22, 2010, was a great learning experience.
The one-day roundtables are kept small and private to facilitate frank discussion and real problem-solving among those of us who manage large trade events. I was one of only 16 executives in attendance. I was also the newest and the youngest by far. But, my peers didn’t make me feel that way at all. Instead, they looked to me, in particular, as the freshest perspective in the room, turning to me when issues of social media and emerging technologies came up. I quickly realized they were looking for reassurance and I was able to give them some.
I’ll tell you what I shared with the group:
- Face-to-face interaction still matters—And it will never go out of style. Even young people today realize that showing up makes a bolder statement than calling, emailing, video-chatting, tweeting and texting. But as show managers, we do have to work hard to produce events that speak to every generation and that move and shake with the times.
- Social media is a given, not an option—The answer is “Yes!” Yes, you should set up a LinkedIn Group; yes, a Facebook page is necessary; and yes, Twitter is something you should actually do, not just complain about. These social media channels open up the lines of communication with the very people you want to attend or exhibit at your show. Open discussion, instantaneous information exchange and viral community-building leads to a sense of ownership, which in turns leads to more investment of time and resources on the part of the “community.” You want your show to grow into a “large” one, right?
- Don’t just listen to your audience, let them know you heard them—At the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), we did and it’s paying off. With an industry-wide shift toward total systems solutions, PACK EXPO International is evolving in step with the marketplace and expanding its focus to showcase processing and packaging solutions under one roof. Exhibitors and attendees asked for one powerful show; and we are delivering this fall.
The next Large Show Roundtable will take place in St. Louis, Missouri on April 15. I encourage you to apply right away. Don’t miss the opportunity to find out what you’re doing right when it comes to your trade shows and events, and what you could be doing better. I promise you’ll go home with plenty of new ideas, proven strategies and the support of your peers.
Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), producer of PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, and EXPO PACK Mexico
PMMI is a trade association with more than 500 member companies that manufacture packaging and packaging-related converting machinery, commercially-available packaging machinery components, containers and materials in the United States and Canada. PMMI’s vision is to be the leading global resource for packaging, and its mission is to improve and promote members’ abilities to succeed in a global marketplace.