Where Are Trade Shows Going?
Generational differences are a factor. Some age groups connect differently than others. Features and benefits may be more important than seeing the newest stuff to some. This challenge of course extends beyond trade shows. Communication styles are changing, but our industry may not quickly be adapting to these changes.
Who wants to be the organization that takes a risk to change how a trade show is done? What if there weren’t all straight rows? What if the trade show took a midday break for education, team-building or whatever? Of course that would be unthinkable! Suppliers are paying for booth time or are they paying to build business relationships? What about shorter shows? Can a two-day show be done in one day?
Chances are things will stay the same. Any changes, good or bad, will be hard for organizations to make, even if the market will benefit from something different.
People complain about the number of shows and the quality of prospects. I understand that and it’s a valid point.
Suppliers and distributors only get out of a show what they put into it. Maximizing results for a supplier requires more than just setting up a booth. For a distributor, it’s about coming to the show with specific goals. Savvy distributors will use a trade show as a marketing tool ]asking their clients about upcoming projects. This is a win for exhibiting suppliers and distributors. The show then becomes a sales generating event. What a novel concept! I think that’s what it’s supposed to be.
Some exhibitors working booths are better trained than others. It’s been my personal experience that many suppliers are more prepared to simply show their products than provide marketing solutions that distributors can share with their clients.
It’s difficult to calculate ROI on a trade show. Some suppliers follow up with prospects and others don’t. What makes a successful trade show for a supplier? Badge scans or business connections?