Conventional and Unconventional
Methods and Techniques
SAE Auto Show History
• From 1998 to 2002 SAE watched supplier participation
and attendance decline dramatically.
– In 1998 approximately 70 of the top 100
global OEM suppliers attended.
– In 2002 only 13 of the top 100 global OEM
– This was a drop of more than 80 percent in
tier one exhibitors.
SAE Auto Show History
• Research shows some reasons for the decline in participation were
due to the following:
– Budget cuts
• Money is better spent on the more direct approach
– Private technical shows produced more bang for the buck with little or
• Face-to-face presentations
– Lack of attendance from the major OEM’s
• top-level auto engineers that vendors want to connect with were not
• Engineers too busy to attend
• Engineers laid off
– Limited privacy
– Quality and quantity of customers attending the show was limited
– Economic signs pointed to a slowdown in the auto industry
SAE Auto Show
• Plan of attack
– Research and define any and all problems associated with the
– Contact current and former event participants to understand
issues and concerns.
– Compile all data and do a team analyzation.
• Prioritize common issues and concerns.
– Develop a committee comprised of exhibitors that will support
and participate in the planning activities to rectify issues and
– Create a plan to collaboratively address and implement action
items set forth by the committee.
• Event Pricing
– Expand attendee options to include low-cost show floor only passes.
• Provide free passes to interested parties that want to know more about the
event. Allow them access to a mini event hall of fame set up inside the
– Offer free advertisements in select areas for multi exhibitor attendees.
• Company name and arrows providing directions to their booth.
– Provide key areas within the hall where exhibitors can display additional
materials at minimal costs.
• Above door handles
• On trash cans
• Computer keyboards
– Encourage exhibitor partnerships to maximize product publicity
• Companies with joint ventures
• Relationships forged by technology
• Common interest / different audiences
– partnerships are a great way to drive
attendance and add to the overall buzz.
• Partenering with companies, associations,
TV shows [ Discovery and History
Channel], career fairs, inventor
• Tools That Have Impact
– Exhibitor committee
• Supports the events continuous improvement ideas.
– Private meeting suites on the show floor to encourage business meetings and
– Technology wall to showcase a single key product from each exhibitor.
– One touch digital kiosks programmed to display multiple exhibitors and their
product portfolio on display.
– Attendees can scan thru the exhibitor list and view product offerings
– Lanyards with detachable USB drives
• Allows for easy upload of exhibitor information vs. the paper laden spec. sheets and
brochures commonly associated with the event.
– New Technology Hall of Fame
• Attendees get scanned when they enter and scanned again when they review the
– Expand audience thru partnerships
– Cyber Café
– Electronic Headers
• Exhibitors can upload their company name and highlights to catch the attention of the
– award space on the basis of innovation and technology
• Tools That Have Impact Cont.
– Theater on the show floor were executives can deliver presentations
– A supplier park and salon that offer more intimate settings for
companies to display their technology and network with potential
• The supplier park mixes exhibits from suppliers with those from OEM’s.
• Provide a small booth in the park to help cut down on exhibit costs.
• A salon can offer a setting for up-close interaction by letting companies
privately showcase products and technology to customers.
– Training Sessions
– Education Sessions
– Learning Labs on the show floor with hands-on demo’s
– Breakout Sessions
– General sessions using a well-known or inspirational speaker who is
able to relate to most of the audience.
• Multi-media and Mobile Communications
– Quick Response Codes or AR Codes
– Web addresses
– mobile product page
– image of the floor plan or booth
– mobile company brochure
– Trade Show Apps.
– Allows attendees to view floor plans, directory, exhibitor list along with the booth number
– provides the ability to download marketing materials in pdf format.
– Seminar scheduling, daily news, speaker directories and social media integration.
– Virtual Trade Show – 6connex
• Dimensional virtual exhibitions featuring branded partner and sponsor booths.
• Cost effectively demo products and services in an interactive environment
• Deliver executive keynotes and distribute content
• Drive awareness around industry issues, concerns, and topics
• Sell sponsorships using a variety of options
• Food, Fun and Entertainment
– Host a barbecue that includes some traditional
barbecue dishes that have an aroma that fill that
• E.g. Pulled Pork, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Shish-Ka-
– Food sample stations featuring popular foods from
around the world
– Mobile food cart showcasing event adds, vendors,
– Wine tasting stations
• Food, Fun and Entertainment Cont.
– Sponsor a gala that permits a spouse
– Rock Climbing Wall
• Attach envelops with awards to the top to
see who can climb the highest and obtain
– Set up a trivia game with sponsorships
• Both exhibitor and attendee get some trivia
cards when they answer the question
correctly they receive points. At the end of
the show prizes are awarded to contestants
with the most points.
• Human Curiosity
Attracting crowds is a matter of leveraging the power of natural
– Light up the show floor in a setting that adds life to the show
• Trace the floor plan with lighting that displays sponsor logos
– Waterfall writing display
• Showcase the event brand message
• Display Company Logos
– Lunchtime interactive magic show
– Perpetual motion exhibit
– Laser light Show
• Portray the theme of the show
– Ice bars show casing technology hot spots in the show
– Caveman technology training display
• Reverse Trade Show
– Have the attendees be the exhibitors and the
exhibitors attend the event