Despite lower visitor turnout and the organisational constraints posed by the government’s health and hygiene rules, 89% of exhibitors at EPHJ 2021 said that they were satisfied with the number of visitors, while 98% of companies ranked the quality of visitors as either satisfactory or excellent.
Visitors came specifically to find targeted solutions and to speak to suppliers about specific, tangible projects. “This Show is for true professionals, whereas some other trade fairs only attract the curious,” explained one exhibitor.
At the end of EPHJ 2021, 89% of companies said they had signed contracts or would do so soon. “Despite lower attendance levels, we spoke to more visitors and our dealings were more targeted than in previous years,” said one respondent.
EPHJ app still improving
More than half of those who downloaded the mobile app found it useful. However, the features developed this year were not used to their full potential and the ‘visit notification’ system, which was supposed to complement the appointment booking system available when visitors registered on the website, proved inadequate. Respondents also flagged up an issue with the exhibitor listings. We are aware of this problem and are currently looking for ways to make it easier to search for companies based on categories and sub-categories. The discontinuation of the paper version of the catalogue should give us more flexibility in this respect.
Few visitors used the appointment booking system introduced this year. More than half of respondents still preferred to ‘make their appointments in person or wait for prospects to visit their booth‘. We will need to communicate more about this new feature, as almost a third of exhibitors did not even know about it.
EPHJ: a year-round communication hub for professionals in the high-precision industry
In the same vein, only half of exhibitors made use of the invitation system to follow up on registrations and send reminders to prospects, with the remainder instead preferring to contact their customers using older methods, often by copying the link to order their badge. In contrast, those who did use the system found it very useful, while those who were not aware of it are seriously considering trying it next year in light of its follow-up and reminder features. We need to focus more on communication here too, as 21% of companies admitted they were unaware of this development despite our messages.
Responses were divided on the launch of a communication service. With a third of exhibitors considering it useful, it appears that we need to launch an EPHJ communication hub that promotes companies in our community year round. According to the survey, while no direct correlation can be established, nearly 80% of company representatives that responded to the survey are active or present on LinkedIn and 25% on Facebook; 13% are not on social media.
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Finally, it is worth noting that 62% of respondents described their contact with the EPHJ team as excellent and 36% as satisfactory, meaning that 98% of exhibitors were satisfied. In fact, 85% of exhibitors have already decided to return next year. We will conclude with a comment from an exhibitor that perfectly sums up the EPHJ mindset: “EPHJ is a professional trade show where know-how and competence take precedence over marketing. It is absolutely worth continuing!”