We had the pleasure of interviewing Vince Battaglia, Founder of B2B Communications. The company designs and supplies all of the data available on our website's trade show calendar. The trade show calendar includes a comprehensive list of various shows and exhibits held around the United States. It allows users to customize their search based on the show’s name, location, and industry. Learn more about Vince, The Trade Show Calendar, and how he began his career in the trade show industry.
Why did B2B Communications decide to create a Trade Show Calendar?
I have always found a need to target shows in every job that I have had in the industry, and it seemed that many companies would also benefit from accurate data and upcoming exhibitions.
What are some of the most common uses of the calendar among your customers?
Most of my customers, like Champion Logistics, have private-labeled the calendar to provide a valuable resource to their customers and to help drive traffic to the Champion website. Exhibit builders and suppliers use it to target their sales efforts for the next 6 to 12 months. Exhibit managers use it to find additional exhibiting opportunities in their industries.
Which city would you consider the most searched in the trade show industry?
Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago are the most searched cities by suppliers to the trade show industry. Exhibit managers primarily search by industry category.
What shows are considered the largest in your database?
It is easy for anyone to find the largest shows in the industry using the arrows on the column headers. Sort by the number of attendees, exhibiting companies, or net square feet of exhibit space. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the largest in the United States.
What shows are considered the smallest in your database?
Many shows have only ten exhibitors, but they still count as trade exhibitions. We do have good information on the largest shows, but many details are still missing on the small to medium events.
Do you have any interesting stories or feedback from people who have used the calendar in a unique or unusual way that you could share with us?
I have a great deal of satisfaction when I hear of business professionals finding new events to attend in their industries. For example, there are millions of business professionals that do not get to go to the major shows in their industry, but they can go to smaller regional shows if they know when and where they are. If we can help build traffic on the show floor, then exhibitors will gain more value from the exhibitions – and exhibit at more of them. A primary goal of the project has always been to promote exhibitions, and this is turning into an industry-wide effort to promote the entire trade show industry.
Could other professionals use the calendar outside of the trade show industry, or is the calendar specifically for this industry?
Most of my customers are targeting exhibit managers with their private-labeled trade show calendars, but my ultimate goal to promote these trade show calendars to all business professionals to increase the amount of attendees/buyers at trade exhibitions. For example, an association in the retail industry has already private-labeled the calendar as a resource for their members. Just think about the significant impact on attendee promotion that the calendar will have when hundreds, and even thousands, of event calendars are private-labeled by dental, medical, aerospace and other industry associations.
Are there plans to expand the calendars’ service types to allow/show other event listings, such as non-profit organizations’ fundraiser events and walks in a particular area or location?
We did add functionality to include consumer shows and conferences to the calendar last year. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events needed the ability to include consumer shows on their calendar, and the World Alliance for Retail Excellence and Standards needed to include conferences on their calendar. Most of the other companies that have private-labeled the calendar so far, including Champion Logistics, only want trade shows listed because exhibitors at these events are most likely to need their services.
Is there a way that customers can customize the calendar to show only local trade show events in their area? Perhaps they want to use the calendar in their weekly or monthly e-newsletters, but only want to show local event listings to their subscribers.
Yes, some of my customers display only shows in the USA as the default search. If an end user wants to find shows from any other country, they can click the “All Exhibitions” button. Another example: one of our customers based in Orlando, Florida wanted their calendar to initially list only events from Orlando.
Let's get a little personal, now. Do you have a favorite trade show? If so, which one, and why?
The first trade exhibition that I ever worked was COMDEX in 1991. I was amazed that an entire industry with companies and business professionals from all over the world erected a “small city” in four days. I have been hooked ever since. Trade exhibitions are hugely important B2B (business-to-business) companies in this country and throughout the world.
What is your favorite convention center? Why?
I personally like centers that are close enough to walk back to the hotels and in downtown areas that have great restaurants, bars, and other attractions. Denver and San Diego would be my favorites so far.
What do you enjoy most about attending trade shows?
Trade shows are where B2B business and marketing gets done. It is always exciting to see the major companies of an industry show up to promote their latest and greatest products to buyers that potentially order thousands of units at a time.
As we all know, passion for an industry is something that drives a lot of business professionals to keep going. That said, what makes you “tick?” What fuels your passion for the trade show industry?
I have heard many stories of how small companies have succeeded in a major way thanks to the sales that came from trade shows. I like that it has the potential, if done correctly, to drastically aid the sales of the corporate world, and I like being part of that.
How old were you when you started working in the trade show industry? At what point did you realize you had a passion for this industry and wanted to improve it?
I talked my way into a sales position at the Sands Expo before I knew what the exhibition industry was – at the age of 28.
How many shows per year do you personally exhibit at or attend?
I personally go to dozens of shows per year. Visit me at our booth at Exhibitor Live and Global Shop coming up in Las Vegas!
To learn more about the trade show calendar or how to get one for your website, visit Vince’s website at www.thetradeshowcalendar.com or call 702-839-8181. You can also email Vince at [email protected] for more information.
Thank you for sharing your story with us and our readers and for your mission to improve the trade show industry.