Exhibiting at the World's Largest Marine Conference

In March 2002 G.S.I. took an exhibit stand at Oceanology Internationals London conference (OI 2002, London). This is the leading international marine conference held every second year. It attracted 600 exhibitors and around 7000 attendees. G.S.I. was happy to parade the results to date of the Irish National Seabed Survey to this enormous audience and we were delighted with the tremendously enthusiastic response we received from all. We also availed of the opportunity of booking a presentation room in order to present the survey and its results to a specially invited audience of key international contacts.
Conference attendees discussing our exhibit

Pre-Conference Promotional Activity

Prior to the conference we undertook a lot of pre conference promotional activity to generate as much interest in our exhibit as possible. This included. listings and profiles in the Exhibitors List, on the OI website, in the Conference Catalogue given to all registrants and in the Show Preview - a document sent out in advance to over 100,000 selected individuals. We also got a comprehensive review of our November 2001 Seminar placed in the International Ocean Systems magazine and an information summary in Hydro International Magazine. We also got a website link from the OI website. As an additional means of generating traffic to our stand an e-mail was sent to our entire client database (350+) inviting them to visit our stand at the conference. This database includes all our contacts from a 2001 British Market Seminar which we held in Reading near London.

Dr Peadar McArdle, Director GSI. addressing an invited audience at OI 2002

Presentation to invited audience

For the third day of the conference we had booked a hospitality suite for a mid-morning coffee break and presentation. During the course of the previous two days (and during pre-conference activities) the conference team had all been involved in inviting specific attendees to attend a short presentation on Ireland's Seabed Survey. The event was attended by about 30 key international opinionĚleaders who listened to a short address by the G.S.I.'s Director, Dr. Peadar McArdle and a project summary by Project Manager Mick Geoghegan.

 

At the stand itself we generated considerable quirky interest through the "admiralty" look of our attire! We also collected business cards for the chance to win, in a raffle, replicas of the uniform jersey! The handout of special shamrock pins just in advance of St. Patrick's Day met with widespread approval and so we managed to add more than 160 organisations to our ever-increasing client database.

Pictured opposite are members of the Irish Seabed Survey Project Team, from left to right, Archie "IT Whizz" Donovan, Sean "Shoot the Breeze" Cullen, Mick "Backscutter" Geoghegan and Enda "The Executive" Gallagher!!!

Archie Donovan, Data Manager; Sean Cullen, Senior Hydrogropher; Mick Geoghegan, Project Manager: Enda Gallagher, Marketing Executive

Review

From a marketing perspective we believe that OI London was very successful for us. The whole objective of attendance was to create a profile for the Irish Seabed Survey, to make this huge potential client base aware of the survey and the data being produced from it. Our exhibit was hugely popular with a virtually continuous stream of attendees visiting the stand and asking for information. In marketing parlance our exhibition there fulfilled three of the four components of the "Marketing Mix."

1. Product: we went to the marketplace with a strong product concept - we know the products we wish to sell. However, we are also willing to be flexible in that we are looking for feedback from potential customers as to the other uses we may not have considered for the data.

2. Place: we chose an exceptionally strong platform at which to showcase our products - the world's foremost marine conference.

3. Promotion: in this case we chose a conference as our promotional vehicle. This conference and the accompanying publicity we earned (see above) allowed us to promote the results of the Irish National Seabed Survey to a huge potential customer base. This we did with gusto and at this early stage in our Marketing Strategy we cannot imagine a more useful promotional tool than this. Leaving OI 2002 we've had several queries to follow up on, an additional 160+ contacts to add to our client address database and we have consolidated our relationship with several important industry players. This conference was indeed a success for both the G.S.I. and the Irish National Seabed Survey.

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