TVBEurope recently ran a series of articles on “Views from the trade show floors”
Three Media CTO, Craig Bury, was invited to contribute.
In-person trade shows are back and edging towards their traditional capacities. What shows have visited/exhibited at recently and what was the atmosphere on the show floors of each?
In April, Three Media attended the NAB Show in Las Vegas as a visitor. Despite taking the decision some time ago that we would not exhibit at the show due to lack of others exhibiting/attending, we knew from conversations with industry colleagues that they were planning to attend so we made a last minute decision to visit. NAB provided the opportunity to reconnect again and I have to say, it felt good to be walking a show floor again to catch up with friends. The atmosphere at the show was incredibly positive, vibrant and engaging.
Granted, a few of the larger exhibitors were absent this year, and while that was to be expected it did somewhat diminish the overall value proposition. The lower attendance levels relative to prior years actually enhanced the experience as it was easier to navigate the usually busy aisles as well as spend more quality time with people.
Describe the show(s) from a business perspective – what targets did you set and were you able to meet/exceed them? Any surprises along the way (chance meetings that led to business/leads)?
Our objectives for this year were different to previous years, especially given that the show was on a much smaller scale, and we did not have our own booth this time around. Usually, we have meetings booked throughout the show, where we would talk to current clients, broadcasters and service providers but 2022 has seen a significant reduction in numbers of this type of attendee, both visiting and exhibiting.
One of the primary aims was to re-establish contacts and to meet with select vendors that we knew would be in attendance. Secondary to that, our focus was on picking up new clients through our consultancy services and XEN:Pipeline product as well as push some of the new technologies we have been working on over the past couple of years. With registrations down the show floor was less busy, so it was much easier to get around.
The newly opened Las Vegas Convention Center Loop system was a welcome addition to quickly get from the North/Central halls across to the new West hall. I came away from the show having met my objectives… and then some.
Has your view on trade shows changed since the pandemic hiatus? Are they still an effective platform for business generation/retention?
While trade shows remain an effective platform to meet with vendors, the lower attendance figures we are currently seeing at events make it questionable as to whether they are an effective platform for business generation. . These events have always been key to prospecting, building and maintaining relationships, and generating new commercial opportunities. Our business models are highly dependent on solid one-to-one business relationships with clients and customers, and traditionally trade shows like NAB have most definitely been one of the keystones in that process. They provide the opportunity to gain knowledge on new technologies and trends, which enables us as a team to develop our own technology and strategies moving forward, but right now are these shows attracting new technologies? It will be interesting to see how effective IBC is at attracting exhibitors and visitors back to fully occupied show. If they are unsuccessful then I think many companies will re-evaluate their marketing spend.
To read the articles in full and contributions from others within the industry please visit