Messe Düsseldorf North America - Trade Show Daily

The Top Ten of 2011

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

describe the image        Well, here we are – December already.  I don’t know about you, but the past year has disappeared faster than anticipated.  And I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet.  I think a heretofore snowless Chicago has made it feel like an extended autumn…at least that’s what that bowl of still uneaten Halloween candy sitting on top of the refrigerator makes me think.

Overall, it was a busy year for us at Messe Duesseldorf.  Several of our industry-leading events were held in Germany this year:  boot Düsseldorf, EuroShop, interpack, GIFA-METEC-THERMPROCESS-NEWCAST, MEDICA, COMPAMED … and drupa and wire / Tube are just around the corner in 2012.

These events of the past year have made me reflect about a combination of commonly asked questions and exhibitor pitfalls I’ve observed.  I’ve boiled them down to the Top 10 - hopefully without offense to David Letterman and Worldwide Pants!

Cue the drum roll...
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                                   Sorry Dave!

# 10     European electricity is supplied at 220/230 V.  In the U.S. we operate at 110/120 V.  So if you plug in your own stuff without a step-down transformer, don’t be surprised if it reacts like a sparkler on the Fourth of July.

# 9       Entrance passes / name badges for our shows in Germany are not linked to a lead retrieval system, at least not yet anyway.  They’re used primarily for entry to the fairgrounds, secondly as a means of identification, and thirdly…

# 8       Entrance passes / name badges are also tickets to ride the public transportation network.  Some shows’ tickets are only valid within the city of Duesseldorf (VRR), other shows are valid beyond the city’s borders (VRS).  But make sure in advance that you know which zones are covered for your specific show in order to avoid an awkward very public discussion with a German conductor in front of a train car full people.

# 7       Yes, there’s wireless internet access at the fairgrounds, and we have a highly-rated official supplier.  However I’ve learned anecdotally that there are other reputable German wireless companies who provide competitive service (and sometimes temporary trial offers) that can be booked online. I’m just sayin’, that’s all.

# 6       Europeans don’t do “Pop-Up” display stands like we do at shows in the U.S.  If you plan to ship your Pop-Up to the show, you should still plan to order a modular system stand package (walls, carpet, electricity, basic furnishings) and then assemble the pop-up within the booth.  Remember, system stands in Germany are customary – without one you’ll probably stand out for the wrong reasons.

# 5       Bring ALL of your documentation and order confirmations with you to the show!  Nothing says wild goose chase more than not knowing which service provider is building your booth, supplying your booth furnishings, or which freight forwarding company was used to send your freight to Duesseldorf.

# 4 
      Make sure your bills are paid in full before you head over to Germany and avoid the walk of shame to the cashier counter in the service center because your electricity hasn’t been turned on.  Messe Düsseldorf North America is here to assist you in deciphering your invoices and to make sure that nothing falls thru the cracks.  And don’t be alarmed, we’ll be happy to remind you in good time before the show starts of any open balances!

# 3       Listings in the show’s catalogue are not necessarily free.  Unlike trade shows in the U.S., most of our events in Germany allow you to only have an alphabetical listing in the show catalogue and single index listing at the back of the directory.  Anything else you usually have to pay for – that’s just how the catalogue’s publisher rolls.

# 2       Social media has come into increased prominence especially within the past year.  Acquaint yourself with the available technologies – and know the show’s Twitter handle.  Promote your company before, during, and after the show.  Take advantage in advance of the promotional exhibitor materials.   Face it – this is the way things are going and just sitting in your booth hoping everyone will just come to visit is probably not going to cut the mustard, unless Jennifer Aniston is sitting there with you for some reason.          describe the image
Gratuitous picture of TV & Film Star, Jennifer Aniston.

#1
       Pay attention to deadlines!  We know that all this registration and ordering is essentially an administrative task, easily pushed to the back burner. But missing a deadline can mean the difference between getting or not getting a booth in a show, or having to pay a surcharge for a booth order.

Sometimes things at trade shows can go awry for any number of reasons, but always keep in mind that our number one priority is to make sure that you get the assistance that you need as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to make sure that the pieces are put in place so that you have the best trade show possible!  Remember, we’re here to help!

Enjoy the holidays!

Topics: MEDICA, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, International Trade Shows, Exhibitor Badges, Compamed, interpack, Social Media, exhibit booth, drupa, Top 10

You Won’t Lose Track if You Take a Train

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:47 AM

img35      Taking public transportation someplace is always a good bet.  Not only is it better for the environment, it also will save you time and parking costs.  We always encourage everyone to take advantage of Duesseldorf’s world-class public transportation network.  The trains run like clockwork – punctually and on time almost without exception, and frequently.

An added bonus:  If you’re planning to exhibit in or visit one of our many trade shows in Duesseldorf, your exhibitor pass and/or your admission ticket doubles as your ticket for travel within Düsseldorf’s regional public transportation network, known as the VRR.  Modes of travel include all buses, subways, trams, and regional commuter lines (2nd class).  The VRR system covers all of Duesseldorf as well as some outlying suburbs.

Visitor entrance passes/badges to the trade show include free public transportation to and from the show on the day(s) of your show visit.

Exhibitor entrance passes/badges are valid for free public transportation 2 days before, during, and 2 days after the show.
  soultrain 1


Depending on which show you are attending, this “combi-ticket” concept is extended to an adjacent public transportation network known as the VRS, the nearby city of Cologne’s regional transportation network.  Details about exactly what public transportation zones are included with the visitor or exhibitor entrance pass/badge are printed on its backside.  These details can also be found on the trade show’s registration webpage.

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If staying outside the VRR Zone, and the VRS Zone is not covered by your exhibitor or visitor pass, it will be necessary to purchase a ticket to the perimeter of the VRR Zone, and then for the rest of the journey within the VRR Zone there will be no additional public transportation charges.

If the trade show's official registration web site AND the back of your entrance pass/badge specify that both VRR and VRS are included in the free transportation plan, then you do not have to purchase an additional ticket in order to travel from any city located within the VRS Transportation System.
 
For additional details, links, and pricing examples, visit the travel page at our website!

And while you’re in town – think about visiting the nearby city of Wuppertal to ride an original, 110 year-old suspension monorail.  It’s operated by the VRR, so your ticket will cover the ride! 

So with that, we’ll finish here with a pun about monorails because they always make for decent one-liners!

 

 

 

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Topics: Düsseldorf, Exhibitor Badges, Visitor Badges, Public Transporation, trains

Badges!? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges!

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 @ 16:23 PM

If you recognize this as a line uttered to Humphrey Bogart in the 1948 film Treasure of the Sierra Madre, safe to say you’re a movie fanatic.  More widely recognized, the sentence was spoofed into one of the many memorable and funny throwaway lines in the Mel Brooks’ classic 1974 comedy movie Blazing Saddles.

 

 

 

 

describe the image©1974 Warner Bros.
All Rights Reserved.

The “Badges? We-don’t-need-no-stinkin-badges!”  quote always seemed to illicit a laugh as we tended to the credentialing and distribution of exhibitor and visitor entrance passes for our trade shows at the Duesseldorf fairgrounds.  For until quite recently, our trade shows in Duesseldorf didn’t actually require name badges.  Rather, each exhibitor and visitor was provided with an entrance ticket.  Each ticket was simply that:  an admission ticket with a magnetic stripe on its backside that allowed the card holder to pass thru the turnstiles at the entrances to the fairgrounds.

Name badges, as we know them from trade shows here in the United States and elsewhere, were non-existent.  Exhibitors and visitors alike were coached to bring plenty of business cards to exchange during the event.  Lead retrieval units, therefore, were also non-existent.
 

However as of the beginning of 2011, all that is now starting to change.

Staring this year, Messe Duesseldorf has upgraded its infrastructure, using some of the most modern technologies to streamline and track the show’s attendance demographics better. Each visitor to our trade shows in Duesseldorf now is encouraged to register online and to purchase an entrance pass / name badge.  Each badge now identifies the bearer’s company name clearly on the front side of it, and also contains a distinct bar code that allows the visitor swipe their card as they pass thru the entrances to the show.  Plastic name badge holders are available on-site, so that the badges can be worn.


And of course, these badges also continue the dual purpose of serving as a ticket to ride Duesseldorf’s public transportation network (known as the VRR).

Exhibitors and visitors are still encouraged to bring plenty of business cards, but it is with the hope that eventually these badges will also be used as a proper visitor ID, containing the visitor’s credentials that can be scanned into a lead retrieval unit.  Some of the obstacles that must be sorted out still remain, especially how to reconcile the handling of proprietary personal information against Germany’s strict federal data protection laws.

To be sure this is an important step forward and one that most certainly will be welcomed by many companies that participate at our trade shows!

Topics: trade show, Messe Duesseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, trade fair, Trade Show Planning, Exhibitor Badges, Visitor Badges, Lead Retrieval