Auditing in Global Market Gains Popularity

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Norwalk, CT – BPA Worldwide expects a receptive audience when it adds its expertise in event auditing to an upcoming series of training events for international trade show organizers and venue operators.

BPA formed a strategic partnership in January 2011 with the International Trade Fair Academy (ITA) in Berlin and will take part in a series of intensive training conferences this year in The Middle East, China, Africa and India.

BPA will provide content for sessions at each of the three-day conferences on gathering and using validated audience data including registration best-practices; verification; and the uses and benefits of third-party auditing,

John Mikstay, manager of events audits at BPA, said there would be an element of preaching to the choir as sessions spread the gospel of audits outside the U.S. and Europe. “It is actually the opposite of what we see in the U.S.,” Mikstay said. “The U.S. is the region that lags behind in terms of audited events.”

Audits are commonly used by many show organizers outside the U.S. Part of their appeal is that audits are required for membership by UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. And earning the UFI Approved Event seal of approval is seen as going a long way toward establishing worldwide credentials and prestige.

Better Data Gathering

The instructional modules BPA plans to offer, beginning in Abu Dhabi in May, go beyond the basics and cover the use of audits as a sales tool. They also help demonstrate the level of return on investment (ROI) for exhibitors through the use of tools such as the ROI Calculator.

“We’re pushing in these regions to educate show organizers and venue operators about the importance of using demographics in sales efforts,” Mikstay said. “And that involves the kind of data they are gathering and the way they gather it.”

Mikstay said the international market offers an interesting contrast between nations that have become very tech savvy — particularly in the use of mobile phones — but at the same time, still use registration methods of hand-typing information from business cards into a database. In addition, Mikstay said, some international shows count their attendees differently than U.S. organizers. Crowd counts may not always be based on registrations, but often on a turnstile basis in which the same person entering the exhibit hall on three different days is counted three separate times, leading to a misleading attendance count. “That’s why better data gathering is core to their outcomes,” Mikstay said.

“We want to help create a better view on technology and how they can do this,” said Mikstay. “With so many different options available,  including mobile apps, it only makes sense that they look into using them for registration. It is already happening here in the U.S.,” he said.

Reach John Mikstay, at (203) 447-2881 or jmikstay@bpaww.com