By  Matt Lutz, Exhibitions Sales Manager

I was privileged to participate in the IMTS Spring Training tour that the Exhibitions group recently completed. It was a 2 ½ week whirlwind tour of Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Providence and Cincinnati. Mark Kennedy led the effort and was accompanied at various stops by Michelle Edmonson, Lee Anne D’Amato, Ian Stringer, Peter Eelman and me.

The intent of the tour was to spread the word on the benefits and advantages exhibitors see when they use the IMTS Exhibitor Passport app. We were joined by more than 70 exhibitors throughout the tour who were looking to increase the marketing efforts around all of their events.

I was amazed at the reception we received and the enthusiasm from those we met for the manufacturing industry and their respective companies. Some were current Passport users, while most were evaluating the app for the first time and determining how it could help their companies. While Mark had a lively and entertaining presentation prepared that hit on all the benefits, the best part for me was when the current users chimed in during the discussion on how they use and benefit from the Passport app. At times it was more of a user’s group discussion with current exhibitors advising other exhibitors (and in some cases competitors!) on the benefits and advantages of the Passport app. There is no better endorsement of an organization’s product than that of a current user, and it’s obvious to me that Passport is helping our exhibitors increase their exposure to the manufacturing industry market and is providing them hands-on control of their marketing message.

There was ample time before and after the presentations to mingle with exhibitors, and we received wonderful feedback regarding all things IMTS. One of the nicest responses I heard was when I asked an exhibitor what they hoped to get out of the session, and they responded, “Well, I want to learn more about Passport, but more importantly I just wanted to see the IMTS staff in an off-show year.”

We saw direct results from our exposure, with some people emailing us the next day inquiring how to order. We also received many requests for one-on-one consultations with exhibitors curious as to how the IMTS show data can be used to increase the value of their participation in the industry’s biggest and best-attended event.

As part of the Spring Training tour, we also discussed some important key dates and events that will further prepare our exhibitors for IMTS 2016 including, exhibitor workshops, webinars, IMTS TV and even the IMTS Balloon Farewell Tour.