How to Blow $200,000 On A Booth (IDIS)

By John Honovich, Published Mar 26, 2015, 12:00am EDT

The industry has more than doubled in size in the past 10 years yet trade shows are struggling to get the attendance numbers they once achieved a decade ago.

But one manufacturer is betting big that a mega booth at ISC West 2015 is going to make them a 'game changer'.

In this note, we examine their flawed approach.

IDIS

You probably do not know who IDIS is and that's a big part of the problem right there.

Nonetheless, they have bought one of the 10 biggest booths at ISC West 2015, next to Axis, Bosch, Dahua and twice the size of Genetec, as shown in the floor map below:

IDIS has a 2800sqft booth (35' x 80'). By contrast, a 2400sqft booth cost $141,000 last year and that's for the floor space, not the booth itself, the dozens of people to staff it, the cost to send it and set it up, etc.

IDIS is excited:

“We are here to really be a game-changer in the industry. Just the size and location speaks to that. We’re going to be bringing … upwards from 40 people into the booth. Many of those will be executives coming from our headquarters in Korea.”

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Problems

Especially in North America, IDIS is literally unknown, save for the unfortunate similarity to the name of the ISIS terrorist group. They have never sold directly in the US before, so they have essentially no direct customers. Without customers and brand recognition, what is the point of a huge booth?

Such booths can make sense sometimes. Axis has even a bigger one but (1) they have lots of customers, (2) super high brand recognition and (3) sublet stands to their partners.

IDIS could have saved $100,000 easily and invested that in advertising or direct marketing to actually get US buyers and integrators aware of who they are. For that money, they could have bombarded every industry professional targeted on every social media website for months.

Avigilon Way

It's not the size of the booth that counts, it's how packed the booth is.

Consider Avigilon's 2014 ASIS booth, which so many people raved about. It was 66% smaller than IDIS', and because of its small size and Avigilon's actual customer / partner base, was packed all the time. IPVM members generally agree - a packed booth is better than a big booth, because it better signals strength / interest.

Empty Booth Danger

IDIS faces the additional danger that the people who go to Axis, Bosch, Genetec booths et al, walk past it and say, "Who is this weirdly name company with the empty booth?"

Btw, leading the charge for IDIS America is former presidential candidate and BRS Labs refugee Keith Drummond.

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