CSI Europe is fast approaching. Those of you who participated at CSI America in Miami this year will know that our first post-pandemic event provided a much-needed opportunity to reconnect with customers and suppliers. For me, our first event back provided an opportunity to think strategically about areas that we need to invest in to improve the product and add value to the community. Here are some of our plans for the future:
Identifying visitor growth areas
It’s no secret that visitor numbers have been down across our events. The industry is still recuperating. In particular, the North American cruise lines are in recovery, and between pandemic-era redundancies, subsequent recruitment drives and the large workloads of the remaining teams, their out-of-office availability is limited. Our strategy to increase attendance is to focus on departments that work alongside the design teams who are instrumental in newbuild and refit projects. These departments have previously attended our show in select numbers but now is the time to accelerate our strategy to attract these people to future CSI events:
- Hotel Operations
- Project Managers
- Onboard Revenue
- Technology & Guest Experience
- Shipyard Executives
Buyers get more time on the show floor
With so many exhibitors to see (300+ this year in Miami), and so much going on around the show (conference, workshops, Speed Networking and product launches) we felt our buyers didn’t have enough time to properly shop the expo floor and connect with the exhibitors. Starting from the Cruise Ship Interiors America 2023 show, the first day of the expo will be dedicated to connecting exhibitors with VIPs! This means all of our content and activities will take place on day 2. This frees up the buyers to dedicate a full day to meeting with the exhibitors whilst ensuring they return on day 2 for thought-provoking content, product launches and Speed Networking! Visitors will notice a partial roll out of this strategy at CSIE 22 where intimate and compelling workshops will pull buyers out of the conference hall and on to the show floor.
Speed Networking becomes more tailored
We launched Speed Networking at the request of multiple buyers as a way to meet many exhibitors in a short period of time. The first edition was a huge success, and this is our opportunity to make some adjustments to make it even better! That’s why we are tailoring each meeting to ensure the buyer meets with a supplier relevant to their job function and the supplier gets to meet with a buyer who is responsible for their product segment.
The VIP Lounge opens up to exhibitors
We’ve heard from our exhibitors that the VIP lounge can ‘lock buyers away from our stands’. For buyers, the VIP lounge is a valuable resource where they can catch up with work instead of leaving to return to the office and recharge with an espresso. Our priority is not only creating a show that buyers can attend around their heavy workloads but ensuring our exhibitors have ample access to the buyers they have come to meet. That’s why we are introducing new ‘open hours’ when exhibitors can enter the VIP lounge and network with the VIPs. Access will be reserved exclusively for exhibiting companies.
CSI events only
This year we promoted an event on our show itinerary which was not open to all. This was a mistake on my part. Going forward we shall only be organising or promoting networking CSI or CSI Plus events.
A New Pre-Show Meeting App
We have been waiting to see when the market will have a meetings tool that is effective and easy to use. That app is now here!
In London this year and at all shows going forward, exhibitors and VIPs will have the ability to request meetings directly both before the show and whilst onsite.
Not only does having pre-scheduled meetings ensure your time at the event is efficient, but the data shows that buyers who have pre-scheduled meetings which they have personally requested or accepted are more likely to attend the event and meet you.
Listening to our customers
The final point I want to make is about listening to our customers. When we launched CSI back in 2019 we filled a much-needed gap in the market. Having completed our first industry show we didn’t want to fix something that wasn’t broken, so we didn’t ask for enough constructive feedback. The world is in a totally different place right now and Elite must continue to innovate and improve the platform in order to stay relevant. This means listening to our customers and bringing suggestions to our Advisory Board regularly.
For this reason, we have created a very easy way to share suggestions with the team. This can range from areas to expand into to improvements you’d like to see or if you want to share a success story then we would love to hear from you!
Simply send your suggestions to email@example.com where I will read each and every single piece of feedback.
We look forward to welcoming you to Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Europe on Nov 30 – 1 Dec 2022.