So there you are. You’ve just been handed the assignment of preparing your company’s trade show exhibit for the new season. No pressure there. And now the questions begin:
-What do we need to accomplish at this show?
-Who is going to be our target audience?
-How do we need visitors to move through our exhibit to optimize the experience for them and for us?
-How do we come up with a booth design that will capture the attention of those visitors and make them want to stop and talk?
With 40,000 people in attendance, the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) annual conference is the world’s largest radiology show. For the companies showcasing their products and services, that makes it an extremely important investment. And you can be sure they ask the same questions as you when preparing to exhibit.
So why do these companies attend RSNA? What is their primary objective? What is the ideal flow for attendees once they are in your space? How does booth design influence the visitor’s experience? What is your favorite design element? Because in the end, we all want the booth photos!
For our 2023 RSNA review, we’re deviating from our usual format. Instead of reviewing booth designs as we normally do, EDE’s Jay Menashe talked with several exhibitors to gain insights into their thinking and the role their exhibits play in meeting their goals.
In this first of a four-part series, Jay asks participants about their primary objectives for the show. While it’s easy to jump ahead and assume that gathering leads is the obvious answer, you might be surprised at some of the other identified objectives. With that in mind, let’s dive into it.
What is Your Primary Objective for RSNA?
It should go without saying that no company would risk an investment in a trade show program without developing a strategic plan that includes clear and achievable objectives for their participation. But for many companies, program objectives are only loosely defined and not easy to measure. With no clearly stated, measurable objectives, how do you determine whether your investment was worth the effort? Our participants clearly came prepared:
“We have a two-part objective,” says Dave Wilson, VP of Marketing for Enlitic. “The primary one is to raise awareness of our solution to the long-standing problem of data standardization in the radiology space. It’s kind of like going to the DMV with an expectation of standing in line for two hours because you don’t know you can go online and get in there faster. The same with data standardization; people don’t always realize there is a solution to the problem they are having. And secondly, we want to show customers what we’ve got.”
Brand recognition tops the list of objectives for TeraRecon Event Manager Shannon Runyon. “We’ve been around 25 years, so we’re not a startup,” Runyan says. “We’re new in the AI space, but with 40 algorithms we are a solid company, know what we are doing, and are just expanding. We want to make sure customers are satisfied with our current offerings while we expand those offerings into the AI space.”
Building the pipeline is the primary objective for Guillermo Sander, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager – Digital Radiology, Konica Minolta. “We close a lot of business with people that were on the fence,” says Sander. “We do a lot of demos, let them play with the system, and answer their technical and clinical questions. And while we try to move visitors across the fence to sign the order, we’re also building our pipeline as we do so.”
Generating leads is job one for Michelle Martinez, Sr. Director of Marketing at 4D Medical. “Our people are meeting so many people at once here,” Martinez comments. “I don’t know any other way they can do that, especially in the medical space, because going from doctor to doctor takes a lot of time. We are here to meet with thoracic radiologists specifically and we want to stand out to those people with our messaging.”
Kevin Lucas, Regional Sales Manager at Amrad, is working to get the company’s name out in front of end users of their products to build brand recognition. “We have distributors but need to touch the people who actually use our product,” says Lucas. “People who get a hands-on touch of our products ask for them by name. Being at this show we can tell the world who Amrad is. Build the brand and they will come.”
Merative’s Jim Young, Head of Marketing, is focused on building recognition and trust among show attendees. “We want to give every attendee confidence that we are an imaging partner they should consider as they make critical decisions that will impact how they deliver care to patients.”
Nurturing existing relationships is top of mind for Stephanie Hernandez, Content Marketing Manager at DocPanel. “A lot of radiologists are moving toward more full time roles,” Hernandez says. “So we are making sure they have all the information they need and are given opportunities to talk about that and deepen the relationship. The same with clients who are creating new subspecialty programs. In those instances where they haven’t done something before, we have a radiologist talk with them. Meeting in person speeds things up.”
With the significant costs associated with a trade show program and the great potential offered for business growth, setting clear objectives is foundational to success. Are you clear about what exactly you wish to accomplish with your program and exhibit? Use the insights offered from these exhibitors to stimulate your thinking and plan for a successful trade show experience.
The experts at EDE are available to help guide you to trade show success. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs MenasheJ@edecorp.com.