A news release the other day from IFPE show organizers touted that the event has been named to the "Fastest Growing Events" List by EXPO Magazine, and the exhibition was cited for its increasing use of technology. This is no surprise to me, because even though the 2011 edition was my first time attending, I was impressed with the size of the show and the quality of exhibitors. And the much larger ConExpo-Con/AGG was even more amazing to me.
The event is presented every three years by the National Fluid Power Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. It is the largest show in North America focused on new equipment and product innovations for the fluid power/motion control/power transmission industry sectors.
The magazine assessed the winners on several performance metrics as well as "innovative ways of showcasing exhibitors, blockbuster growth and use of new media and IT." The 2011 IFPE was the largest in its history with more than 400 exhibitors taking more than 140,000 net square feet of exhibit space. IFPE and the co-located ConExpoO-Con/AGG attracted nearly 120,000 registrants, including 24% international.
The next edition of IFPE will be held March 4-8, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The new media that EXPO Magazine highlighted included a free smartphone mobile app that was an extension of the show's web-based interactive "show planner." IFPE emphasized social media engagement with staff at a special booth prominently identified "Social Media Cube" and focused on Twitter postings and interaction. Other initiatives to connect attendees and exhibitors included "justify" reports that provided targeted information for specific industry sectors, an online exhibitor "technical experts" directory, and a "new products and technology" spotlight online and at the show. IFPE organizers also used RFID technology for exhibit booth traffic reporting and analysis for exhibitors to better understand attendee interests.
While I'm still a bit skeptical about the use of smart phone technology and social media tools by fluid power technology users, I know that it will only continue to grow. In my experience, most users are marketers at this point but by the next edition of IFPE, I'm sure this will be a different story. Putting those tools in place last year more than likely means by 2014, they will be utilized more frequently and effectively by show attendees. Looking forward to finding out for myself in two years!