In almost any industry, there are a plethora of trade shows. So when you finally find one that is a great fit, you like to let others know about it. The Off-Site Construction Expo (OSCE) has been one of the best, and this opinion is not from a novice. At Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME), we attend lots of trade shows because we fit into many different categories, including the construction industry, elevator industry, modular building industry, etc. The list goes on and on because we can, and have, attended many shows for specific sub-groups such as hotel owners or building managers to name just a few. All have their pluses and minuses.
With that said, our Sales and Marketing team just got back from the Off-Site Construction Expo that took place in Berkeley, California sponsored by the Modular Building Institute, the American Institute of Architects – San Francisco and several corporate sponsors, including USG, dryvit, Wesco, Skender, Precision, ExaLeap and Mr. Shrinkwrap. The expo was perfect.
You may ask, “How can a trade-show be perfect?” That is an audacious claim, but I can back it up.
First, the location. It was not the typical cavernous, half-filled, concrete hall that echoes like the rim of the Grand Canyon, but a more intimate setting on the campus of University of California – Berkeley. The confines allowed for discussions and opportunities for long conversations outside of the hall without the usual trek to a hotel across the street. Everything was very simple, but very well done. Additionally, the northern California area was tailor-made for our business. Our solution hit the need of the region we were in perfectly. We really opened some eyes. The fast delivery and installation of a high-quality commercial elevator made the day of people so tired of fighting stick-built elevator companies.
Second, the structure. One day – need I say more? There are some trade shows that are so big or so poorly structured that the vendor area is open for days on end. We end up honing our juggling skills with stress balls between rushes or playing “Name that Tune” against other vendors using the piped in muzak (we always win). The constant checking of the wristwatch just makes the whole day pass like it is stuck in molasses on a cold day. The opposite was true at the OSCE. We were busy at every time we were supposed to be. Also, the speakers were not just hawking goods but bringing important information to the table while also taking questions. It wasn’t just preaching but in-depth, thoughtful answers. Even the mealtime was well planned out and timed. We had just enough time to get our meal, meet someone we didn’t know and break bread while talking about the industry.
Third and most important, the attendees. I have no idea what mystic arts were employed, but it seemed like every attender needed and wanted to hear about PME. The booth was busy with a steady flow and we were able to provide several quotes for new jobs and ones on the books. Too many trade shows are filled with swag hunters and fellow exhibitors looking for conversation. OSCE was filled with opportunity, as all of the booths were buzzing with activity. I have never been involved in a trade show that had so many positives. Kudos to all the folks at the Off-Site Construction Expo! They have everything down to science; the location, structure and attendees.