With a lot of talk about PC trade shows waning and slowly losing traction, thanks to overexposure and market saturation, it’s high time organisers tried a different approach to spice things up. Lines Exposition and Management Services (LEMS), better known as the body in charge of churning out the PC Show tech expo/bazaar annually, has created a special area on the show floor that helps newbies and fledgling shoppers to get on-site knowledge on all things tech. You know, in case they couldn’t just flip open their phones and do quick research on the interwebs.
The zone is called “Know Your Tech” and is divided into four segments: PC, digital imaging, consumer electronics and games. LEMS Project Manager Gillian Loh said to e27 that this is the first time they’re attempting such an endeavour. The keyword here is “hands-on”; users can enter the zone just to get a personal experience over new and upcoming (in Asia anyway) tech like the Google Glass and the Xbox One.
Fancy laptops like the HP Pavilion x360 n007TU with its ‘360 degrees versatility’ concept and the Lenovo Miix 2 11 with its detachable tablet option get the limelight in the zone. It’s the kind of service that writers and journalists take for granted, something that the consumer who has never set foot in covering news stories would enjoy partaking in.
The ‘Know Your Tech’ concept was a direct result of exhibitor feedback from past PC Show events, as well as from a study of other Singapore trade shows like SITEX and IT Show. “It’s a sales-free zone,” said Loh, “We want to engage visitors to let them interact with exhibitors, as well as playtest and understand the majority of the products. They can make informed decisions that way.” Those who want to playtest the Xbox One can check out the Stuff.TV Ultimate Tech Lounge where part of the enclosed zone is dressed up like a living room.
Loh said “I believe it’s something show visitors would like since it’s a different experience from looking at best bargain pamphlets and signs. Ultimately, it’s still a technology show; people still want to know more about the things they want to buy.”
So is the PC trade show business waning? Loh said that oversaturation of trade shows in a year could happen, but there’s no sign of trade shows slowing down. “Last year’s show had over 950,000 visitors and S$53 million (US$42.17 million) in sales. Year on year, we hope we can do better, but it really depends on the products and their profiles.” She said that laptops and smartphones are the most popular items in these events, with companies like Asus and Samsung keeping tabs on what visitors want so that trade show experiences can be improved.
Currently, the organisers aren’t planning to expand beyond Singapore, specifically in Malaysia and Indonesia, as they have their hands tied in making their annual show big and relevant. However, it’s something they’re planning for the future.
The PC Show 2014 is held at the Singapore Expo Halls 5 and 6, from June 5 to June 8 (this weekend). New exhibitors who joined in the fray include Challenger, Funz Centre and Digital Hub.