A prominent dairy processor approached me at the last PROCESS EXPO, a little disappointed that he could not find the dairy solutions he was looking for. His remark surprised me as I knew we had well over 60,000 square feet of solutions for dairy alone. I ultimately helped him find what he was looking for, but this encounter truly opened my eyes. For years, we had been marketing PROCESS EXPO as the nation’s best horizontal food industry trade show but onsite we were leaving it up to the attendee to find their way. We had to do better.

At the 2019 show you’ll see several changes which we’ve already advised our exhibitors about to some degree. When an attendee registers online, their confirmation will include a list of all exhibitors from the market segments they are interested in as well as other highlights from those same segments such as educational sessions, meet ups, and production lines. Upon arrival at the show, there will be brochures, floor plans and orientation tours for each particular segment. Looking for pet food solutions? Follow me! Bakery exhibits? Right here on this floor plan. You get the idea.

For that shy attendee who doesn’t want to ask, they’ll be able to search online or on the floor at our product locators which will be configured to also search according to market segments. Not sure what segments Company XYZ provides solutions for? That’s easy. Just look at the Show Guide where you’ll see our new industry icons. And if that’s not enough, we’ll even have those icons available at XYZ’s booth just in case you don’t want to consult the Show Guide. In short, no one should have to ask where is my solution?

While all this sounds logical, you might be asking yourself, what does this mean for me the exhibitor?

First and foremost, our goal for the 2019 show is to continue diversifying our attendance by delivering new processors from non-traditional industry segments that will ultimately create new business for exhibitors. These processors come to the show to see equipment and to talk with experts so if you have a diverse product line, I urge you to bring as much of it as possible. This is the key to launching projects and growing business in segments that might not be your primary focus.

Next, develop your pre-show marketing plan. We all know 2019 is a busy show year. Who do you need to see at PROCESS EXPO? Current customers? Prospects? How are you reaching out to them? Do you have the right contacts? This is an investment in time and resources. Who do you want to buy the equipment you are bringing? Make sure they know you are exhibiting and what you’ll have. PROCESS EXPO provides you with more marketing resources (most of which are free) than almost any other show but it’s up to you to take advantage of them.

Finally, if you haven’t yet indicated your market segments on the CORE, get it done now. All of the new ways we’ll be advising attendees about solutions and market segments, where do you think we’ll pull that information from? You got it. We’ll pull it from the CORE. So, when that processor is looking to buy that line which your company would be perfect for, you want to be on that brochure, floorplan, exhibitor list, search result, etc. Don’t put it off.