By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Jackie James is Vice President of World of Concrete, owned and produced by Informa Markets. She has been involved in the exhibition industry for more than 30 years, working primarily with leading for-profit business media companies and trade show producers.
Jackie and the WOC team produce World of Concrete, the largest annual international construction show in the U.S. specifically for the commercial concrete and masonry industries, ranked 14 by TSNN Top Trade Shows in the U.S. in 2019. WOC was also awarded the Grand Award for the “Fastest Growing Annual Show in Sheer Numbers” by Trade Show Executive and was awarded the “Rock Star Award,” which honors the exhibition that led the high-powered field of events in 2015. World of Concrete continues to be an industry-leading event, with WOC ranking in both TSNN and TSE throughout the pandemic, and most recently a nominated finalist in TSE’s 2021 Gold 100 Awards & Summit.
Jackie is also involved in the international business development for the World of Concrete brand. International events such as World of Concrete Asia and World of Concrete Europe have been successful in building brand recognition throughout Europe and Asia by successfully partnering with various international trade show producers and associations, as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Trade Show Partnership Program for the last 20 years.
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Informa provides marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience, and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services, and actionable data solutions. It connects buyers and sellers across more than a dozen global verticals, including Pharmaceuticals, Food, Medical Technology, and Infrastructure. As the world’s leading market-making company, Informa brings a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. Visit www.informamarkets.com for more information.
Here, Jackie shares with CEIR how she and Informa apply CEIR research to help meet their 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?
Jackie: We collect a great deal of data from each show through our extensive registration process, post-show surveys (through an independent, third-party firm), and from our email and weekly newsletter sends. We track many demographics such as exhibitor and attendee retention, nsf (net square feet), type of business, title/function, years in business, number of employees, years in the industry, etc. We use this data to market various targeted content and offerings to groups we want to target specifically, as well as offer a variety of marketing opportunities to our exhibitors using the data we collect.
CEIR: How have CEIR’s various reports supported your business actions?
Jackie: We use them for benchmarking and learn from them what worked well for other events or what exhibitors and attendees prefer. The reports also allow us to validate the things we are doing from a promotional and onsite experience standpoint are what exhibitors and attendees want from their trade show experience.
We use some of the data in our sales strategy to let exhibitors know the habits of the typical attendee, and how pre-planning and pre-show promotion can potentially affect the attendee and have an impact on their visit and future visits to the show.
CEIR: How do you use CEIR’s other research tools?
Jackie: We enter our data into the Event Performance Analyzer and, more than anything, it helps to see how your particular show compares to others in a similar industry segment. It is also a good resource for keeping all those numbers updated in one place. We use our lists to email information for CEIR in order to collect data for industry surveys and for the CEIR Index.
CEIR: Where does the industry need to focus research efforts and/or to apply research available more effectively?
Jackie: Today, we/Informa Markets are very focused on sustainability in our construction industry, at the show, and throughout our company. It would be great to know how the exhibitors and attendees view this focus and learn more about their thoughts on how this movement affects their business, their staffing and their bottom line.
The use of data is also a huge focus since the pandemic, and we would like to make sure our first-party data is as complete as possible in order to serve that data in a variety of digital options to our manufacturer/exhibitor customers (not all our customers are just exhibitors since the pandemic). We expanded our reach beyond the actual show days with content to have more of a 365 focus on serving the industry with a separate content site and weekly e-newsletters, etc.
This has brought many new customers who may or may not exhibit, as well as many new potential attendees through digital offerings and capturing of data on those individuals who may never attend but are in our industry “universe.” We are doing extensive research in an effort to better understand how our customers use and access data and content, and how it impacts the decisions they make in sourcing and purchasing.
CEIR provides industry-leading, objective research on the exhibitions and events industry. Find out more about its mission, past and current research, and how you can maximize your business goals and objectives through CEIR research here.