by Graceanne Bowe, SAPinsider
Like many large events of its kind, the co-located Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Procurement, and PLM conferences in Paris includes a vendor Exhibition Hall along with the sessions. As I was at the events this week, I observed an interesting trend.
The vendors who see the greatest traffic are those who offer something of value, not just a sales pitch and a free giveaway, to customers.
The most successful example of this concept at work occurred in SAP’s booth. For the first time at an SAPinsider Europe event, SAP offered a full program of approximately 25 demos and discussion forums across three days. As customers entered the booth, they were invited to take a seat on a comfortable chair, where they then engaged in a dialogue with an SAP expert or viewed a demo on a broad array of topics. A few of the most popular activities were centered around spend analysis, portfolio and project management, lean batch manufacturing, and supply chain performance improvement.
As customers registered for the conference, they received a full schedule and detailed description of demos and forums. Customers also had the option of selecting one of these activities when building their conference agendas. Each time I passed the SAP booth, it was filled with customers who were enthusiastically engag
ed in discussion or asking questions about a demo. Customers attended sessions on the main program and then found the SAP booth a helpful resource for deepening their understanding of particular solutions and products.
Rather than detaching the educational experience from the vendor hall experience, SAP instead created an integrated learning experience that allowed customers to flow back and forth between education and exhibition hall. Hopefully, other vendors paid attention and will seek opportunities to make their Exhibition Hall presence a means of providing greater customer value.