Thursday, April 10, 2014

Generic technology exhibitions loosing popularity

Scandinavian Electronics Event was organized in Stockholm Kista within this week.

In Sweden the same effect is clearly seen as in Germany, which I reported in my previous posting about Hannover messe.

Scandinavian Electronics Event is rather generic event in domain of electronics; there are PCBA manufacturing machine makers, EMS providers, component dealers, silicon technology providers, some software suppliers, and consulting houses in one place without clear focus. Other ends of the convention hall are like day and night.

My company attended S.E.E. as an exhibitor some years back, already at that time it was disappointment, with very little relevant contacts and low number of visitor. At that time there was merely 5000 visitors during the 3 day show. We decided not to go anymore.

According to published numbers of two first days, it looks like the total number of visitors will decrease down to 4000. That's definitely too little to justify a three-day event. I discussed with some exhibitors familiar to me, and they told it's not only disappoiment, but also a disaster to put so much effort for pretty much noting.

Meanwhile Scandinavian Electronics Event is struggling for it's existence, Embedded Conference Scandinavia reported 50% gain in number of visitors last time. ECS is smaller than SEE, but very well focused. Every visitor is potentially relevant contact. My company will attend ECS as an exhibitor this year, just like we have done for the previous 5 years.  And once again I will prepare a presentation to be held there. ECS will be organized in the very same place at Kista mässan in November.

Why does it goes like that? Quite obviously at the Internet era, trade fairs and exhibitions are not needed to get information about new product releases and what's going on in general. Why are smaller tightly focused professional events gaining popularity then? It's not about new product information, but getting and maintaining professional contacts, socializing, "to see and to be seen among professionals of your kind", somehow comparable to academic conferences.

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