My firm, Marketingsage, helps data storage and data management firms market to enterprise customers. One of our lead generation services is trade show support so we see a lot of shows. We also use trade show-timed PR to launch products and to seek quality speaking engagements for our clients. Therefore, we though it might be useful to maintain a list of top trade shows for marketers of enterprise storage and data management products.
The following shows attract the same vendors year after year — a good sign that the show produces results for them. They also attract a reasonable number of like vendors. That’s important because sales lead results are often better when a firm is among a cluster of competitors rather than on its own.
The list is far from comprehensive. There are a host of vertical shows that would be of interest to platform-specific or industry-focused vendors. I’ve just listed the bigger, more well known, shows frequented by enterprise storage and data management firms.
Note: The start dates and locations listed can change from year to year.
4Q USA: October, November, December
- Interop - Early October, New York, NY. Billed as “the most comprehensive IT conference and expo.”
- Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) – Early October, San Francisco, CA. Billed as “most cost-effective and efficient way to stay ahead of the technology curve.”
- Storage Networking World (SNW) Fall – Mid October, Orlando, FL. Billed as ” transforming the information infrastructure.”
- PASS Summit – Mid October, Seattle, WA. Billed as “the premier conference for SQL Server professionals.”
- SC Conference – Mid November, Seattle, WA. Billed as “the international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis.”
1Q USA: January, February, March
- Storage Networking World (SNW) Spring – Late March, Dallas, TX. Billed as ” transforming the information infrastructure.”
2Q USA: April, May, June
- FOSE - Early April, Washington, DC. Billed as “the choice for government IT education.”
- National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) – Mid April, Las Vegas. Billed as as the show “where content comes to life.” Listed as one of the Top Trade Shows (see below) with the highest Net Buying Influence (91%) and highest Total Buying Plans (59%).
- COLLABORATE - Late April, Las Vegas, NV. Billed as “the technology and application forum for the Oracle community.”
3Q USA: July, August, September
- VMworld – Late August/Early September, San Francisco, NV. Billed with “Your Cloud. Own it.” Listed as one of the Top Trade Shows (see below) with the highest Net Buying Influence (91%) and highest Total Buying Plans (55%.)
Top Trade Shows Notes for NAB and VMworld (4/12 update).
Exhibit Surveys Inc. produces an annual Trade Show Trends report and highlights are usually published in the April issue of Exhibitor Magazine. The report compares various industries so it’s limited in its coverage of any one industry, such as IT. The IT-centric events in the 2011 survey included CES (consumer electronics), NAB (broadcast technology), RSA Conference (data security), Supercomputing and VMworld (virtualization). These are all good shows, but hardly representative of all good shows frequented by IT buyers.
The Trade Show Trends report looks at many factors, but the two most useful are the Net Buying Influence and Total Buying Plans statistics.
The Net Buying Influence number indicate the percentage of show attendees who have the power to recommend or make final purchasing decisions. The average Net Buying Influence for High Tech shows was 84% in 2011. That’s 3 points above the overall average of 81%.
The Total Buying Plans number represents the percentage of attendees whom plan to buy within 12 months of a show. High Tech shows rate better than most in this category with an average of 46% in 2011, just below the overall average of 47%.
About the Author
David X. Lamont is an accomplished marketer of IT products and a partner at Marketingsage, a PR and lead generation firm that specializes in marketing data storage, data management, and enterprise software products. He can be reached by email at blog [at] marketingsage.net. Fellow marketers and IT professionals are invited to join his network on LinkedIn and to subscribe to this blog (see sidebar).