A Business Trip in Edmonton


In recent days, and as a part of the activities that we are doing to start operations in Canada, I had the opportunity to attend the Annual Convention of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM) in Edmonton Alberta.


Without doubt, I realized again that this Industry is headed by wonderful people, but I don't  know if it is because the "Face to Face" Industry makes us more sensitive or because it is a wonderful community, always willing to share ideas and knowledge, but, yes, it is like that, all of us that take part in this Industry have such joy.

I share with you some of the points that were mentioned during sessions, hoping that they inspire you to try new things, or that they may confirm decisions that will be taken thinking in the long-term of our events.

1: Wearable Technology:


This year, the start concept at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) was the revelation of a series of devices that you can bring either in your arms, at tennis courts, in clothing, etc., they can read certain data and when processed, yes, you can live better.

The use of these devices is becoming more common and now the organizers may benefit from the use of these technologies. Almost everything is related with sports themes; they can also mesure the number of steps, your heart rate, or even suggest routes for cycling or jogging, etc.

Some of the ideas that were mentioned are: Smart glasses to help both visitors and exhibitors to build relationships more easily, showing personal data already obtained. Show information on demand. The stands will begin to receive NFC "rings" antennas. If a visitor is interested on a particular product, the antenna can send information directly to his or her mobile or email.


2. Other Technologies:


Let's start to see more use of the "Augmented Reality" and 3D models.

Now the scenario changed dramatically because with different technologies it is possible to project 3-D images giving you the appearance of volume objects.

We will begin to see some holograms that can interact with the public.

These technologies will give a special and different touch to  "experience" the visit in general. The sum of sensations, learning, innovation, fun, and move people will guide everyone for not wanting to miss the event.


3. New Generations


We talked about the new generations and the way to involve them with Expositions.

It was mentioned that Expositions should think about teaching Exhibitors that students, although they cannot be consumers today, they can be engaged with the concept of learning all about Expositions. It would very important!

Some ways to bring students or these new generations known as "Millenials" or Generation "Y" and "Z" were:


  1. There are contests of knowlledge between different colleges or univesities.

  2. Special sections on websites aimed tofirst time visitors.

  3. Networking activities with facilitators for first time visitors.

  4. Recruitment activities where exhibitors themselves may participate.

  5. A button of "Attention to Students" for some specific stand, so that students do not waste time looking for all the Exhibitor Staff and may know which specific person can attend them.

  6. Big boards where people can express what you want regarding the Exhibition. They said that there have been many recommendations and some really are very creative drawings or diagrams.

  7. In this particular case of boards, I remember once in SAIE, that, all of a sudden, one of the architects began drawing on one of the walls a small house and later everyone began drawing what they wanted.

  8. Having a Commitee within the Organization of the event to be responsible for designing activities for future generations is so wonderful.


4. Expositions of Suppliers

It was organized a small exhibition where different companies presented their products, they must have been around 60 companies.

The exhibition of suppliers lasted only three hours.

All stands measured tha same, about 2 x 2. They were built with dividers, and a small "counter" or desk.

An interesting issue raised is that it is difficult to transmit the difference between the size and capacity of each of the exhibiting companies, because they all have practically the same space. Now we have to think in more creative or different settings.


5: Panel with Organizers


This panel really liked me because I had not experienced before a workshop like this.

Those who were registered in this conference had the option to send in advance a topic to break up their preference talks, letting us to hear their points of view.

It was interesting because many organizers shared common problems, we learned how each one can solve them.

Themes as "Changing Institutional Image", "Change of Venue", "Permanent Staff and Temporary Staff", "How to Expand outside Canada" emerged, even themes coming out from the Province where was carried out the show were studied.


I hope these ideas will be useful, I would like really to share all this in person very soon.