Mississauga, ON, May 3-4
FAMA/FEMSA asks – Kris Newton, Events & Trade Show Manager, Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs answers
FF/F What will be different with your 2020 Trade Show?
KKN Thanks to feedback from our 2019 Trade Show evaluation and from exhibitors that attended our Vendors Meeting in June, we are pleased to offer some new and different opportunities for the 2020 show, while maintaining old favorites. The year’s biggest change will encompass a vastly improved lead retrieval process to ensure maximized lead generation throughout the show. This will partly be achieved through a quicker and more efficient onsite registration area, and welcome desk. Some other changes include a newly re-designed trade show floor which will allow for greater networking opportunities through lounges and sponsorship opportunities to maximize vendor and delegate interactions. We have also made changes for first-time attendees to the trade show, through a special orientation reception tour. Finally, we’ve made changes to the agenda and conference hotels. We have moved the OAFC Memorial Service, which will be followed by our annual Awards Dinner, to the International Centre on Saturday evening. We’ve also revamped our charity silent auction, and pre-booked larger room blocks at the two main conference hotels to better accommodate both attendees and exhibitors.
FF/F What offerings do you have that others don’t?
KKN The OAFC Trade Show is the largest and most successful gathering of fire service manufacturers and suppliers in Canada. The 2020 OAFC Trade Show offers direct access for sales teams to maximize product exposure and corporate visibility, with people who not only purchase the products, but use them too. This event will allow equipment manufacturers and service providers to connect with all levels of fire service personnel and municipal officials in Ontario. Year after year, the OAFC Trade Show continues to be one of the highest rated components of our annual events.
FF/F What advice do you have to exhibitors to increase their effectiveness at your show?
KKN Firstly, make sure you’re getting the most out of your time on the trade show floor by pre-show marketing and by leveraging our sponsorship opportunities. Network with your customers! Whether you do this by meeting people on the trade show floor as they walk by, or by attending conference evening functions and keynote sessions, networking is a huge component to connecting with current, and/or potential new customers. One of the easiest ways to increase your effectiveness, also happens to be the most overlooked, pre-schedule meetings or marketing appointments with potential clients before you arrive and have your booth ready to demonstrate the product right on the trade show floor. Become an OAFC Industry Member! By being a member, not only will you get discounted rates at the OAFC 2020 Trade Show, but you’ll be front of the line for sponsorship and marketing opportunities. Be creative with your exhibit at the 2020 OAFC Trade Show. With over 170,000 square feet of exhibit space, and over 300 exhibitors, getting creative will help elevate your brand’s profile, draw crowds to provide invaluable networking opportunities, obtain important leads, and generate sales to emergency service providers and municipal officials. It also gives you the opportunity to come face to face with fire and emergency personnel from all across Canada.
FF/F What trends are you seeing in the trade show industry that exhibitors should be aware of?
KKN Trade shows are changing with the times, and the OAFC 2020 Trade Show is no exception. Over the past few years we’ve been hard at work integrating data advances into our show. Utilizing new technologies to help with lead retrievals, organizing appointments for clients, tracking ROI, helping to develop achievement goals, and to better understand who is interacting and engaging with which vendors, the OAFC 2020 Trade Show is staying ahead of trade show trends. Vendors also need to use this approach by utilizing technology such as virtual reality and creative visuals to help drive traffic to their booths. More and more, exhibitors are creating fun, interactive displays with lighting to attract attendees and offering creative swag. Booths are incorporating comfort stations within their booths, offering smart device charging and a beverage, so attendees can relax while they take in all of their company’s branding and marketing. The OAFC 2020 Trade Show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to craft a unique, creative, open booth concept that allows for opportunities for live product and/or service demonstrations and creative designs.