At a recent conference, a colleague asked me why PROCESS EXPO wasn’t organized into pavilions? After all, with exhibitors from all different industry segments, wouldn’t it make sense to put bakery suppliers in one area, prepared foods suppliers in another, and so on and so forth? Wouldn’t that make it easier for attendees to find their solutions?

I explained that while that made sense, our members had chosen a different route. Instead, we employ the mall concept with our larger exhibitors selecting space deeper into the hall to draw attendees further in. Perhaps more importantly, this layout places dairy exhibitors next to meat, prepared foods next to bakery and beverage next to pet food, etc, giving attendees exposure to technologies used in other segments as they pass. We call it cross-pollination. But regardless of what you call it, your customers see it as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in their business and that’s why they come to PROCESS EXPO. They know they won’t see these “other” technologies at the vertical shows they attend.

And yet, as busy as our attendees are, what are we doing to help them find their way among all the solutions of 500+ exhibitors at McCormick Place?

In next year’s show there will be an unprecedented number of new tools to help attendees find solutions for the segments they are searching. This will include industry-specific search functions on the website and product locators onsite; industry-specific brochures and floor plans that highlight exhibitors that offer solutions in that segment; segment-specific exhibitor lists for each registrant based on their demographics; segment-specific show floor tours for attendees to help identify key suppliers; and new industry icons which will be posted at each booth so that the attendee who is passing by knows exactly what segments you sell to.

In short, no we don’t have pavilions because we feel that the mall concept creates better opportunities for both attendees and for exhibitors. And yet, we are always looking to improve our product and make it easier to for processors to find their way into your booth. Do you have a suggestion to achieve that? Let me know at [email protected]