They are variously called Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, Technology Expos, Expos-Mini or Maxi, Table Tops and so on.
I want to take a closer look at them and try to answer such questions as 'who goes to them and what role – if any – do those expos play in advising, informing or maybe even changing our views and opinions about products and services.'
It would be fair to say that curiosity plays a significant part in getting attendees to expos. This curiosity stems from our essential human desire to experience something new, novel, or even entertaining. This would particularly be the case for attracting multitudes to home and garden expos for example.
Then there are the numerous do it yourself aficionados for whom exhibitions are an opportunity to gain ideas that can be adapted, copied or ordered from the relevant expo stands for their own use.
Yet another group comes from those who work in manufacturing and/or business and corporate activities. These people see such events as an integral part of their business activities and will often factor in resources into their annual budgets for them.
They are of necessity, attuned to what their competitors are doing, are monitoring what their existing clients want from them and on the look out for potential new clients. Attendance at exhibitions is therefore quite a significant means of keeping up to date with what's new in technology in their spheres of professional interests.
Here we see a clear symbiotic relationship between attendees and exhibitors – or more accurately, buyers and suppliers. The exhibition is often the 'meeting place' where both groups meet and hopefully complete mutually successful business transactions.
In other cases the supplier provides a potential buyer with the opportunity to switch from an unsatisfactory existing supplier to a new and more suitable one. Likewise, canny suppliers will maximise their ongoing relationship building with existing clients by arranging all kinds of value-add face-to-face meetings with them at expo sites.
The IICA has been conducting Technology Expos for well over 10 years now. These are specifically tailored events catering to the needs of the IC&A industry sectors. There are approximately 14 such events on average each year that are held all over regional and suburban centres across all Australian states.
The number of exhibitors has ranged over the years from 25 to more than 50 and includes large national suppliers as well as medium and small local ones.
The large number of these Technology Expos across the country provides a convenient means for local and regional end-users to update themselves on the latest innovative products and services without spending money or time travelling to major cities.