Messe Düsseldorf North America - Trade Show Daily

Slapped with Snow & Piles of Paper!

Posted by Robert Self on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

Winter is hard. Few can argue against that. It’s cold. The sun barely shines. Shoveling starts. Delays commence. And cabin fever sets. But despite the numb fingers and all, we would like to give you hope and remind you that brighter days are ahead!

IMG 4455 resized 600

(Photo: Typical Chicago Winter - 2015)

Now, I don’t know about you, but when winter comes around I just tend to move slower – and we see the same mentality occur in the trade show industry. Sure, the main seasons for trade shows to occur are in early Spring and early Winter, but much planning for these shows occurs… well… now.

There are forms to fill out, documents to sign, invoices to pay, and more! We can’t allow our desire to remain sluggish take over! But when all you want to do is hibernate, how can you possibly keep up the momentum to plan for a show? Simply put, it’s the dedication that goes into a project that allows momentum to forge onward. Let me give you an example:

Two weeks ago our Chicago office was basically slapped by Mother Nature, who thought it funny to dump 19.6 inches of snow on the city - making for our fifth largest blizzard in Chicago’s recorded history.

IMG 3432 resized 600

(Photo: There's an actual car under there)

But, being the thick-skinned, snow-savvy people we are as Chicagoans, we still trekked out in cold using our streets and the ‘L’ (our public transit system) to get around, as no travel bans were placed. I, for one, was one of those crazies – just out for a casual stroll to my Super Bowl Sunday gathering. NOTHING was going to keep me from the food, friends, football game, food, commercials, food, Katy Perry half-time show, food, and food. And for most Chicagoans alike, it was business as usual. (Granted there were a few… casualties. See: photo of abandoned car).

CarAbandon resized 600

(Photo: Abandoned cars remain in middle of Chicago streets
from previous night, blocking plows & tow trucks)

While many Chicago offices, including ours, placed our safety before work and allowed us to remain home considering the danger element, there were still people crowding the streets on Monday morning. Our office in particular saw an amazing turnout. Because we know our shows are time-sensitive projects, and we want to make sure we’re on top of our game. That desire to meet deadlines and to plan ahead for any road bumps we may cross brought us through the tundra and to our computer screens. For you, our exhibitors & visitors.

Here’s another: Currently, our building is experiencing some electrical issues unrelated to our particular office, which has made the heat go out. It is currently -15 degrees Fahrenheit outside our windows, while the west coast parodies what hardship feels like. Once again offered the safety to stay home until the issue is fixed, what did we do? We put on another layer, sucked it up, and came anyway.

You see, problems can come at you from all angles without you ever being able to see it coming (much like weather). But rolling with the punches, remaining optimistic, and most importantly planning ahead allows you to find the solutions. In this particular case the solution just happens to be an extra pair of long underwear.

Basically, any show that we organize for the early Winter season (i.e. September-December) undergoes heavy organizing during this, the dreaded dead depths of the late Winter season (i.e. January-March). But we’re here to send you reminders, give you calls, and motivate you. Many deadlines may be approaching for shows in your industry. So while winter is hard, the sun is rising earlier/setting later. The snow and ice are thawing (at least right before it freezes again). And the first day of Spring is next month! Besides, the groundhog reared his head nearly three weeks ago – so we’re half way out of the woods! So here’s to early planning! And if you ever have questions or doubts, you can always reach out to us! Our contact information is below!

Contact us!
Website: www.mdna.com
Phone: (312) 781-5180
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mdnachicago

Topics: MEDICA, trade show, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, International Trade Shows, GDS, REHACARE International, Trade Show Planning, Messe Dusseldorf North America, Chicago, Compamed, CARAVAN SALON, A+A

Behind the Scenes Are the People

Posted by Robert Self on Sun, Sep 28, 2014 @ 19:22 PM

I am one of the newest members to the Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA) team. Actually, I am thenewest person to grace the office with my presence full time; the office is probably a little bit louder now. I’m walking into the trade show management industry with a rather fresh perspective.

I started with the MDNA team in January 2014. I haven’t even worked here a full year, and there is one thing I can say with certainty: trade show management is a team sport. We are a small office, consisting of roughly 12 employees and I have to say, it is impressive how much work this team truly takes on. What many exhibitors don’t know about us, is that we don’t only manage shows in their industry, but across multiple industries, and in multiple countries!

MDNA resized 600

Pictured (Top row, L-R):  Johanna Buehler, Justin Kesselring, Matt Spiekhout, Galina Yukhvid
(Bottom row, L-R): Sebastian Wille, Robert Self, Inga Otgon

 


Now, there’s a lot that happens “behind the scenes” of managing any project, and trade show management is no exception. In many ways, I go about my day as most people in corporate America do: I start my day with coffee and groggy “hellos” (and actually “Guten Morgens”) thrown about. When I finally embrace the willpower to check my emails, the races start. Somewhere in here I black out, and come to around 4:30 when it’s time to power down and go home.


However, when you look closer, you notice the fine tasks that require careful attention – the many cogs and wheels that somehow (due to black magic, I’m sure) come together in the very end and produce some pretty immaculate events. But it’s no witchcraft. It is the careful planning, the ideas bounced off one another, the willingness to offer help that gets these shows where they need to be.

So who are these 11 other brave souls who manage trade shows at MDNA? For many “veteran” exhibitors who’ve attended shows for countless years, we are like the distant cousins who meet back up at each family reunion in Düsseldorf, Germany. They know the routine, and therefore have long standing personal relationships with us.

I have listened as each of our project managers rattle off the names of the people they know from company A or company B, and all from memory. I have witnessed as my colleagues reunite with exhibitors and exchange hellos as old friends. I have also been asked countless times how my colleagues are doing whenever they aren’t around. So for our newer attendees and exhibitors, whether in our pavilions or in individual space, I implore you to get to know us for yourselves! We’re friendly, I promise! And we like to know you as well.

Being the newest person in the office can be daunting, but I know I have a network of helpful, friendly colleagues who don’t question extending a hand. So shake up the day and start a conversation; we may be busy, but we enjoy the interruption. It reminds us to put you first for customer service.

Contact us!
Website: www.mdna.com
Phone: (312) 781-5180
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mdnachicago

 

Topics: Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, International Trade Shows, Trade Show Planning, Chicago, Social Networking

What a Team: 148 Years of Trade Show Experience!

Posted by Anne Meerboth-Maltz on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 11:55 AM

There's a saying in this biz:  When you start working in the trade show industry, you usually either love it right away or you leave after about a year.

Looks like the team from Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA) really likes what they are doing because all 11 of us have been here for a long time. We were curious about just how long exactly and added up our combined years of experience with the company, and it came out to a whopping 148 years!

                       100old
Just another 48 to go!
    
       
Kids BMW car
Future world-traveling pro, car-renter.
     Where the heck did the time go? We still remember when our youngest colleague was not old enough to rent a car.  Now he's handling shows all over the world and travels like a pro.  Some of us started with MDNA right after college, others after “detours” in industry-related fields.  But we have passion for trade shows in common.  We celebrated the 20thanniversary of a colleague not too long ago, and this year marks the 19th and 15th anniversaries for four of us.  

Our headquarters, Messe Düsseldorf, was actually the first German trade show organizer to establish a permanent, fully-staffed office in the U.S. when it opened MDNA in 1982 in New York, then later in 1990 in Chicago where we are now.

Sure we're sporting a couple more wrinkles here and there, but overall we're in great shape and enjoy being THE international link for U.S. companies, helping them with everything necessary to participate in one of our trade shows we organize - be it in Germany, Czech Republic, South East Asia, China, India, Russia, The Middle East or Brazil.

There is something to be said about “time flies when you are having fun”. Trade Show Week had the right idea when they gave out “I Love Trade Shows” t-shirts a couple of years ago. You don't often see that for other industries.

So don’t be shy – contact us whenever you need help or have questions about our trade fairs. After all, this is what we are here for – and we love doing it!

            MesseDusseldorf     

Topics: Tradeshow Week, Trade Show Planning, trade show organizer, Messe Dusseldorf North America, Experience

REFOCUS ON BRAZIL: TRADESHOW SHIPPING AND CUSTOMS

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

...or Howta SendYerStuff to Brazil


HOSPITALAR 2012 is just around the corner, and everything is shaping up for another exciting and more successful trade show than ever.  The largest medical industry event of South America is on track to feature over 1,250 exhibitors and is expected to draw over 85,000 trade visitors.

Clearly exciting things are happening in the Brazilian healthcare market, and US exporters are taking notice!

                               

 

 Hospitalar 007 450                                                          

At this year’s show alone, the number of US-based direct exhibitors has increased by 36% compared to last year, and in fact the North American Pavilion – produced and organized by Messe Duesseldorf North America – is 56% larger than in 2011. 

But despite these impressive results, many companies from overseas who participate at this, or any trade shows in Brazil, get caught in a Brazilian shipping and customs quagmire that can turn a company’s best laid trade show plans upside down.

Hence: A few words about Howta SendYerStuff to Brazil.

describe the image   Brazilian customs clearance procedures for incoming and outgoing freight shipments for trade shows within Brazil are very detailed and time-consuming, and the authorities are rigid and exceptionally rigorous in the enforcement of the prevailing Brazilian customs regulations.

Standard Brazilian cargo handling, transfer, and storage charges, along with compulsory Brazilian customs bonding fees, taxes, and other sometimes unforeseen cargo handling expenses often may be viewed as high by overseas exhibitors.  In some cases, the cost of shipping alone can far exceed the cost of the exhibit space itself!
 

Standard Brazilian cargo handling, transfer, and storage charges, along with compulsory Brazilian customs bonding fees, taxes, and other sometimes unforeseen cargo handling expenses often may be viewed as high by overseas exhibitors.  In some cases, the cost of shipping alone can far exceed the cost of the exhibit space itself!

To ensure that each international exhibitor’s requirements are handled expertly and as smoothly as possible, Brazilian show management companies appoint a locally-based customs broker to handle ALL in-coming and out-going shipments to and from their trade fairs.

Far in advance of the trade show, at least three months or more, it is highly recommend that the overseas exhibitor start working with its locally-based freight forwarder of choice to review its shipping options, paperwork requirements, and of course to secure cost estimates.  It is particularly important to select a freight forwarder that has experience in shipping to Brazil, or better yet a freight forwarder that specializes specifically in international trade show shipping.

Simply selecting an international freight forwarder based upon the lowest price quotation, or attempting to send show materials with an international courier service in order to save a few dollars can be risky and result in a shipment not arriving at the booth in time for the show!

Furthermore, all export documentation must meet exact requirements, and all shipments must be pre-authorized by Brazilian customs authorities before they can be shipped out of the United States to Brazil.  Items for temporary import and items that will be given away and/or consumed during the exhibition must be packed and precisely documented separately, and sent in separate crates.

Messe Duesseldorf North America has been the official marketing and sales office for HOSPITALAR for more than a decade and can coach U.S. companies in all aspects of their trade fair planning for this important event!


Topics: exhibiting, medical trade show, medical trade fair, International Trade Shows, Brazil, Hospitalar, Trade Show Planning, Shipping

Dusting Off an Old Chestnut

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Sep 9, 2011 @ 13:14 PM

This article was originally posted in September 2009, and is now back by popular demand as the fall trade show season kicks into high gear!

System Stand or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Booth

You know as surely as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano every spring and the Chicago Cubs don't make it to the World Series in the fall (sigh), a common discussion that arises every year has to do with a company's approach to its booth setup options at our trade shows in Düsseldorf.

The space has been reserved, flights have been booked, and hotels have been selected. Now it's time to start thinking about how you'd like to present your company's public face at the show.

So you say you have a nifty pop-up display that unfolds out a plastic case? That's a good start. Just need some carpet and maybe an information counter and a bar stool or two to complete the ensemble, right? Looks just fine at the U.S. trade shows, why not in Düsseldorf?

You might want to think twice.

After all, you've made this huge investment to participate at this European trade show, and you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward. But in reality what looks fine against a backdrop of pipe and drape in the U.S. might in reality stand out for entirely different reasons at a German trade show.

In a nutshell: Europeans don't do "pop-up" like companies from North America do. Hence, you don't see much of it over there. In fact, the European approach to exhibiting trends more elaborate and more formal than here. The prevalent view is that the booth is by virtue and extension of the company - the place of business for the week, conducted in as formal a business setting as the show floor permits.

That said, the generally accepted minimum standard of booth design is that referred to by Messe Düsseldorf as a "system stand". Priced by the square meter, these elemental stands consist of panel walls, carpet, table and chairs, company sign above the booth, spot lights and an electrical outlet. This simple concept allows the exhibitor to save on shipping costs (keep the pop-up at home and just send over some graphics) and still decorate and setup shop as you like.

And if you really, really dig your pop-up stand and still want to use it, by all means send it on over and set it up within the confines of your system stand!

Messe Düsseldorf North America can advise you on your booth options and prevailing trends in booth design. Let us know how we can assist you in making your participation at one of our shows the best it can be!

Topics: MEDICA, Messe Duesseldorf, Trade Show Planning, Compamed, exhibit booth, stand construction, Stand Design

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

A Season for "Dibs" - Register Now for MEDICA 2011

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 @ 10:25 AM

Perhaps many of you heard this past week that Chicago had a little bit of snow.  Actually, a LOT of snow, now tallied as the third largest snowstorm in the city’s history.  Not only did we end up with about 2 feet of the white stuff, we dealt with 60+ mile per hour wind gusts, thunder and lightning, and snow drifts six feet high in some places.  But Chicago is generally prepared and has snow removal down to a science, and for the most part within 24 hours things have returned more or less to normal.

But on the side streets, it will usually take a couple of days before a snow plow will pay a visit and shove mounds of packed snow up against the vehicles parked along the curb.

Now anyone who lives in our fair city is familiar with the concept of “dibs”.  This tradition goes back years, and some of our grizzled old-timers will gather wide-eyed children around the fireplace and tell tales about how it even precedes the great blizzard of '67.

dibs3Photo:  Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune


Essentially, before a side street is plowed, or even afterwards, the residents shovel out their own parking spots on the street and then save them by routinely placing lawn furniture, buckets, two-by-fours, stools, saw horses (or whatever expendable junk they happen to have on hand) in the valuable space they have just dug out. That means the space now belongs to the excavator.  If you park in a saved spot, you may run some unfortunate risks that could eventually involve your car insurance company.  
Hence:  DIBS.

At many of our trade shows that occur on a frequent basis, especially an annual show like MEDICA for example, an informal variation of dibs also exists.  The number of companies that return to the show from year to year is high, and there is a relatively brief registration window in which companies can submit their exhibit space applications.  Often the amount of space that is requested at MEDICA far exceeds the amount of space available at the convention center.

Returning exhibitors who submit their applications before the deadline often will get priority consideration for the same space that they had during the previous show, followed then by new-to-show exhibitors who also submitted their applications before the registration deadline.  Many times, exhibitors will request an enlargement of their space, or a move to another location if possible.  But of course with 4,000+ exhibitors at MEDICA it all depends on who has returned and who is getting their space back.  Usually the best way to increase the chances of upsizing or relocating is by expressing flexibility about preferred booth dimensions, configuration, or location.

Under all circumstances, Messe Duesseldorf works diligently to try and accommodate everyone’s special requests and space requirements in a fair and equitable manner.

Registration for MEDICA 2011 is now open and runs until March 1, 2011, but it is strongly encouraged that you submit your completed registration forms well in advance of the deadline.  To request your exhibitor registration materials, simply contact us or visit the show’s website, www.medica-tradefair.com, and get your dibs on a booth at the world’s largest and leading medical industry trade fair!

Topics: Germany, MEDICA, medical equipment, medical supplies, trade show, Messe, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, medical trade show, medical trade fair, trade fair, Trade Show Planning, City of Düsseldorf, Chicago, Booth Assignments, Dibs, Snow

Enhance your Booth. Enhance your Trade Show Experience.

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Sep 3, 2010 @ 10:23 AM

We’ve all seen them, perhaps been one of them in fact:  that sad little booth with almost nothing in it.  Perhaps a few brochures set out on a draped table, the empty boxes tucked beneath or stuck back in the corner.  Maybe even the booth representative isn’t there, perhaps walking the show floor.

The investment of time and money has been made to get the space and get to the show, but it appears nevertheless that the company is operating on a shoe-string budget, and it shows - even if it really might not be.

There are many reasons why companies choose to participate in a trade show, but the bottom line is that you’re looking to put your best foot forward and make the biggest splash that you can.  First impressions count.

At our trade shows in Düsseldorf, instead of pipe-and-drape schemes, we offer booth construction packages – known as system stands.  They come with the basic elements and you do the rest!  Even in the US Pavilions that we organize, the same procedure applies.

Take a basic package and turn it into something special, something that reflects your company’s corporate image, and something that reflects your marketing strategy.  Some things you can do to give your booth that extra “oomph” include:

  • Affix graphics to the walls
  • Have your company logo placed on the sign above your booth
  • Order a video monitor to play a looping company DVD
  • Get a free-standing literature rack for easy access to your company brochures
  • Green it up!  Get a plant or two.
  • Display cases brighten up your booth and make it easier to view your product samples
  • Bring multiple product samples and brochures
  • Have some “give-aways” available, even perhaps just a few for VIP visitors
describe the image describe the image
Go from this... ...to that!

Just a few simple upgrades can make all the difference in the results of your trade fair participation.

Messe Düsseldorf North American can advise you on your booth options and prevailing trends in booth design.  Let us know how we can assist you in making your participation at one of our trade shows the best it can be!

Topics: Germany, MEDICA, trade show, Messe, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, medical trade show, medical trade fair, international medical trade fair, International Trade Shows, North American Pavilion, Trade Show Planning, exhibit booth, stand construction, Stand Design, U.S. Pavilion, booth construction, display booth, show, show collection

Succeed with us Around the World: A Primer to How We Organize Trade Shows

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Tue, May 25, 2010 @ 12:31 PM

In the United States, many trade shows take place in conjunction with industry conferences, usually under the patronage of a supporting trade association.  The show’s sponsor selects a suitable city in which to hold the trade show, and then negotiates and signs a contact with the city’s convention center or other private venue.  More often than not, show management activities are then jobbed-out to professional show management firms.

We often get asked about how we “do” shows in comparison.  Indeed our system is set up differently in Germany than in the United States, starting with the structuring of the company and its approach to how things are managed.

How WE do it

Düsseldorf Fair GroundsMesse Düsseldorf not only owns and produces many of the events held in Düsseldorf, it also owns and operates the convention center (a.k.a. “The Fairgrounds” or “das Messegelände”) – something unheard of in the U.S.  The Düsseldorf Fairgrounds is one of the world's largest and most modern convention centers, featuring 18 halls offering over 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space.


Shareholders of Messe Duesseldorf include primarily the City of Düsseldorf, along with the German federal st
ate of North Rhine-Westphalia and other affiliated public chambers of commerce and trade.  Dusseldorf’s mayor is the Chairman of the Board, who appoints and oversees the company’s CEO.

The company is structured as a full-service trade show management company – not only does each trade show that we produce have a dedicated team of project management specialists, all related goods and services to the exhibitor are provided under one roof:

  • Facilities Management
  • Traffic and Logistics Control
  • Technical Services
  • Stand Construction
  • Protocol
  • Press and Public Relations
  • IT and Internet Support Services


Since 1947, Messe Düsseldorf has been operating world-class and industry-leading trade shows across a wide variety of industries.  Today, 23 of the 50 events that take place in Düsseldorf are the No. 1 events in their respective industries.

And as the company has grown, so too have its international operations.  We’ve branched out over the years into all major markets, and are now on location in 127 countries, with 66 agencies abroad and more than 1500 employees.

For over 30 years, Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA) has been your local partner for trade fairs in Germany and beyond.  We were the first German trade fair company to establish roots here in the United States and for the past 20 years have been based in Chicago.

Succeed with Us Around the World isn’t just our slogan – it’s how WE do business.

Topics: Germany, trade show, international business, Messe Düsseldorf, International Trade Shows, trade fair, Trade Show Planning, City of Düsseldorf, trade show organizer

A Guide to Floor Planning

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 @ 14:58 PM

How to Put Together a 1,000 Piece Puzzle Without Using the Picture on the Box Cover as a Guide

As many US and Canadian companies know, trade shows held within North America often offer exhibitors the opportunity to select booths from a pre-drawn floor plans.  Those at the front of the line are usually members of the trade association that sponsors the event, those who were at the last show, how much space was rented, and other priority considerations such as the number of staff members manning the booth divided by their collective age and multiplied by the number of years employed by the company – you know, elaborate actuarial tables of some kind. 

A

Topics: Trade Show Planning, stand construction, Stand Design, Booth Assignments, Floor Plans