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WHITE PAPER40Issue 2 | 2012 www.exhibition-world.netimportant though these are. Exhibition organisers require longer-term strategies that will allow them to compete more effectively for visitor time.Getting them back next yearHaving delivered the audience, how do organisers persuade visitors to stay longer, and to return to the next edition? The answer is to improve Return on Time (RoT). Unless visitors feel that the show experience is delivering them a good return on their time, they are unlikely to be generous with it. There are two ways in which organisers can improve visitor RoT. The fi rst is to maximise visitors' productivity, through tools that help them get to what they want more quickly. The second is to add value, for example by offering must-have content or networking opportunities. The third lever for maximising share of visitor time requires organisers to extend visitor contact further outside the dates of the exhibition (see Figure 3).Where once organisers had to understand visitor purchasing cycles, they increasingly now need to understand "a day in the life" of a visitor. Visitors' goals, whether they be keeping up to date with product developments, to problem-solve or to fi nd and purchase products, can increasingly be met on an ongoing basis by online tools. Thus organisers who are unable of engaging visitors outside their show through development of these tools may fi nd themselves competing for a diminishing share of visitors' attention. There are already several examples of e-media owners launching exhibitions successfully, and these "online and live" providers are likely to become increasingly attractive acquisition targets for traditional organisers. Many exhibitors are still unable to accurately track the value captured by exhibiting. This places exhibitions at a disadvantage versus all things digital, which come with transparent measurement built-in. But once again it is digital tools that can help exhibitions to deliver, and prove, their value.As we have seen, visitor time has become more expensive to exhibitors, and this may in part be responsible for impacting the share of budget CMOs are willing to dedicate to the medium.In mature markets, a strategy based solely upon the sale of square metres carries long-term risks. Whether generated at the show or off-site, organisers need to increase their share of non-stand revenues. The good news is that this is consistent with, and directly ties into, the "share of visitor time strategy" that organisers need to develop.Getting into the mind of the exhibitorThe fi rst and fundamental step is to understand exhibitor goals up front. Survey data enables organisers to understand the diverse goals exhibitors have across the different segments of the exhibitor base - be it fl ag waving, meeting current customers, sales or just lead generation - and the extent to which these are being met. Only then can organisers understand how and to who they are delivering value, how they are over- or under-delivering, and to take the measures required, from improving or adjusting aspects of the event, to raising prices. The next step is proof of delivery, which as leading-edge organisers have realised, needs to be more tailored than the traditional post-show press release proclaiming total visitor numbers; however the exhibitor defi nes value. This may be anything from the number of buyers from California; the total value of goods signed at or post-show; the number of design directors from London who say they will return next year, all potential deal-clinchers for the potential exhibitor. Organisers can leverage data to assist exhibitors with lead management. Through tracking mobile app user behaviour, organisers can further capture insights on the visitor journey around the trade show, be it amount of time visitors spent at each stand, or the number of whitepapers downloaded. Whatever drives value perceptions, today's organisers have the electronic tools to identify these drivers, to measure delivery and to communicate this to exhibitors. - AMR International is an events industry consultancy fi rm. Copies of the full white paper can be downloaded at Post-showShow datesContact during trade show datesWebsite access pre and post showPre-showNetworkKeep up to dateLearn / Problem-solveFindEvaluateTransactTrade showVisitor workflowVisitor contact datesFigure 3Expanding exhibitions' share of time in the visitor workfl ow - illustrative (Source: AMR)Geocloning offers a highly attractive form of market entry. Ideally, geocloning an event allows organisers to leverage established exhibitor relationships to bring them to new growth markets that they are targeting. As with an acquisition, organisers need to understand the prospects for the event by thoroughly researching the local market need, competitive environment and execution challenges. If exhibitors are not structured internationally with an international budget remit, organisers may be able to clone a show concept, where the concept is strong enough to offer strong local market potential.GEOCLONING VALUE