EICMA 2010: Big Success & Message To Organizers
File under Exhibitions Statistics
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
Despite being at the tail-end of a world economic crisis, with massive layoffs, closedowns and spending cuts, this year's motorcycle exhibition Eicma did very well. In fact, according to the organizers, it did more than very well, it exceeded all expectations, and broke all records.
Last year saw some 450,000 paying visitors at the show, this year they went over the 500,000 visitors. Eicma are surprised about the figures since the final day, Sunday, saw a cold and rainy winter day, and they did not expect the visitors to arrive.
The 2010 edition saw 45,700 exhibitors (with 12,500 coming from abroad) and 2104 journalists.
And it's about the journalist side of things that I really would like Eicma to pay a little more attention. Despite having one of the biggest motorcycle shows in the world, Eicma as an organization have not kept abreast with technology and the way things get done today. It's no longer print media who come in droves to he exhibition, it's the web press.
When the web press arrive, we like to arrive before everything starts and make sure all gear works. Typically, many of us arrive on Monday and would like to go to the press center to ensure that your WiFi works, we can access it, that all our hardware survived the trip, or that we didn't forget anything. But you keep the center closed and do not allow us in. This despite the fact that there is always a press conference in the afternoon, that of Ducati. So most of us are there already.
Suggestion: Let us in on Monday. Let us register on Monday.
In the morning of the first press day, you only allow us in at 09:00, while the first press conference is at 10:00. In one hour you need to register 2104 journalist. Not enough time, and a lot of frustrations. Let us in at 08:00. This way we can register, settle in, get a cup of your excellent coffee.
Suggestion: Allow us in earlier on Tuesday. 08:00 would be nice.
You organize/coordinate the press conference, placing them almost back-to-back with no pause to actually process the information and write it up and publish. Remember, the web press needs to "broadcast" as soon as possible. And then you schedule the press conferences in any physical order, so we need to run from one stand in one hall, to the next one, usually at the opposite part of the exhibitions halls. It's worse than running the New York Marathon.
Suggestion: Give a little more time in between conferences, and schedule them geographically next to each other.
The press center is pathetic. There is barely enough space for 30 people working and there are not enough power outlets. You've got 2104 journalists at the event. A couple of 100's require to work the articles immediately and send them into the internet. With some 30 workplaces it's obvious there is never enough room to work, and tempers flare between journalists who want to work and can not get to a desk.
I know I for one would be willing to pay a small fee for a reserved desk, power outlets and internet connection. So maybe you could do a special room for journalist who need to do their work during the show and charge a small fee.
Suggestion: Create much more workspace, preferably enough that we can "reserve" a table for the duration.
And finally, please speak to your security staff. We don't like being insulted by them, manhandled, or requiring bribes to get in early.
Suggestion: Train your security staff in being customer (press) friendly.
Eicma, wake up if you want to continue being successful. It costs us a lot of money to attend.