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Data gives picture of the experience - live blogging

As promised, here's the follow up on Ralph Nappi's panel presentation at ECEF. Nappi is president of the Graphic Arts Show Company. He gave a pretty frank look at his large show, Graph Expo, which is held annually in Chicago's McCormick Place. He actually revealed things I'm sure he wouldn't want shared too broadly, but I hope I'm safe by sharing these points.

These are lessons he learned are based on data he partnered with ethnoMETRICS to obtain, including extensive videotaping of the show floor, and other more traditional meetings quantifiable data, such as electronic leads generated.

We found the back of the hall does get good traffic.

People enter and go straight or turn right. Much fewer turn left.

Learned needed space at the front of the hall so that attendees can get their bearings when they enter the hall.

Learned we need an extra entry aisle.

Attendees are not necessarily stopping and engaging at the front of the hall when they first enter.

Big, large booths did not necessarily attract attendees. In fact, in study of five large, important exhibitors, the attraction rate -- the number of people who stopped at a booth divided by the number who walked by -- was less than the average booth at their show. More important is what the exhibiting companies did to attract people.

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