By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Editorial Note: Originally published on CEIR.org.
Dennis Smith is the Vice President of Business Development for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Previously Dennis held the title of Sr. Director for Exposition Sales and Business Development at AVIXA, the global trade association for the pro AV and integrated experiences industry. Dennis began his trade show career in Europe and spent close to 18 years living in Europe working for some of the top global trade show organizations.
Apart from launching his own trade show company in 1997, Dennis has held several executive level positions and has been directly responsible for organizing more than 250 different international events in more than 30 countries covering a multitude of industries to include textiles, automotive, manufacturing, technology, food and construction.
Born in Colorado and having served in the U.S. Army, Dennis has an MBA in International Business and is highly experienced in global strategy for events around the globe. He is married with two children and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dennis currently serves as the Chairperson for the CEIR Board of Directors in addition to the CEIR Research Council. Here, he shares how he applies CEIR research to help meet his business objectives.
CEIR: Do you collect data at/from your shows and, if so, how extensive is your process? What do you hope to gain from it and/or how do you use the data?
Dennis: The key data points for me are the number of exhibitors; gross and net square feet of space on the show floor; registered and verified attendee numbers; and gross revenue of event. I compare the current year data to past iterations to identify year over year performance and identify trends based upon variances in any of the key data points. This data helps us in reviewing our overall event strategy and identify any areas of concern or success that may help in further developing our overall strategic direction and event concept. We also use the data to assist in building our periodic SWOT analysis and other modelling approaches.
CEIR: Which CEIR reports have you used to help you in organizing your show(s)? How have they supported your business actions?
Dennis: I always refer to and use data from the CEIR Index Report, and the CEIR Census when completed. Most recently, I have used data from the Omnichannel Marketing Insights series and the COVID updates.
CEIR: Do you use other CEIR tools such as the Event Performance Analyzer or the Forecasting Subscription Service?
Dennis: I have used the Event Performance Analyzer in the past, which provided helpful output to benchmark my events to the industry average. A more robust program would be helpful and maybe could include a cost analysis tool to assist organizers in budgeting, especially for marketing and operations, and provide insight to suppliers on pricing strategies.
CEIR: Where does the industry need to focus research efforts and/or to apply research available more effectively?
Dennis: I would like to see more information on attendee habits and insight into the newer generation(s) of attendees.
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