To Those About To Exhibit, We Salute You

A tradeshow the size of Sensors Expo 2016 hosts many events and initiatives that require a great deal of effort, imagination, and patience from the expo team. Many hours are spent putting together things such as design challenges, educational tracks, awards programs, live theater presentations, keynotes, and more. Then comes the finger crossing and hopes for the success of each.

This year in San Jose, Sensors Expo was deemed a massive success, even greater than last year’s triumphs in Long Beach. The educational tracks packed in attendees seeking insights into a variety of sensor and embedded technologies, MEMS, and, of course, the looming IoT.

The Design Challenge proved more than just beneficial for the participants and the vendors who supplied parts and materials. The WISE program took off with a great start and may prove to be a regular feature at future expos. Even the poster contest took up steam and drew in both participants and viewers on a large scale.

One aspect of tradeshows however, that seems to take a backseat in post-show coverage is the exhibitors. Oh, the products that various editors and blogger deem interesting get some coverage, magazines pick their top 10 items and do a video report or extended write up, and so forth. But few get in and ask the ask exhibitors how they viewed the event, if it was as expected, and/or did the whole affair prove fruitful for them.


I had the great pleasure of visiting 48 of the 305 exhibitors on the show floor at Sensors Expo 2016. I would’ve liked to visit more, but as Executive Editor there are events to host, awards to present, keynotes to introduce, and shoe leather to wear out. Be that as it may, just those few visits were astounding in a singular way.

Obviously, when you visit vendor booths at a tradeshow as an editor, you are there to see a demo of whatever product(s) they have on display in hopes of getting a great scoop on at least one item. As somewhat of a host as well, the approach adds a certain level of customer service on my part. Therefore, I need to make sure everyone is somewhat happy.

In any aspect of life, finding even two people to fully agree on something can be a futile, if not inane venture. So it goes with tradeshows. If you were to briefly interview every exhibitor at any tradeshow and ask how the show is going for them, the responses will range from excellent to downright miserable with just about every variation in between.

The astounding part of my visits mentioned above is that every one of the exhibitors I visited had nothing but good news to report. They each said traffic was good and heavy and they were all getting quality leads to follow up on. There were no complaints, which instantly made me feel like either I did not wake up that morning or I had been abducted by shadow people and transported to an alter dimension of San Jose. Even more remarkable, none had any suggestions for improvement. If it’s not broken, don’t mess with it.

Yes, you could say that 48 out of 305 is not a good sample of the population at the event, that maybe the other 257 were doing fair to middling to miserable. Okay, that is possible, but not the case. First, 48 extremely happy exhibitors is notable. As I said, get just two people to agree on anything is a feat in itself.

Second, emails from the majority of the 305 exhibitors post show echoed the vibe of complete satisfaction. And, third, last but not least, if there were dissatisfied exhibitors, I definitely would’ve gotten the foul wind of it. So, I salute all the 305 exhibitors who made Sensors Expo 2016 in San Jose a major success. And to those about to exhibit at Sensors Expo Midwest in September 2016, we salute you as well. ~MD


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