Are trade shows still relevent?

There is a great post over at Labeling News on the role of trade shows in today’s marketing world. Here it is in full:

Tradeshows – Should YOU Go?
by Linda of Labeling News

You may have read about the upcoming area tradeshows featured in Labeling News, but in this slow economy, should you bother investing the time and money to attend one of these shows?

Manufacturing a quality product, understanding your customers, and excellent customer service are all key business ingredients. But to maintain success and grow, you must also understand the changes and advancements in the technologies that can improve your processes right now. Emerging trends, different approaches, and the latest products and processes are on display at a trade show and will help you change or improve your manufacturing capabilities.

Visiting a trade show like the upcoming Electronics New England and Eastec gives you access to many new things that are happening in your industry. New products and services are on display, industry leaders are there to talk to, and ideas are there to inspire you. Making contact with suppliers, learning about new products, and attending seminars can help you plan effective strategies for your future.

To make the most of your trade show experience, be sure to plan ahead. There will be lots to see and not enough time to see it all. So sign up early. Make reservations for workshops or lectures that will give you the knowledge you need for your job responsibilities, and learn how the future is shaping up for your industry.

Take the time to talk to suppliers. As scary as that may be sometimes when they greet you in the aisle, this may lead ou to some important insights on improving your manufacturing processes. Besides finding out about a new product or service, you can get ideas about how small changes might mean big improvements to your bottom line.
Networking is another benefit of getting out of the office. You might find contacts who can offer new business opportunities. This may be a vendor or someone who attends the same seminar track.
Tradeshows are a valuable way to learn about what is changing in your industry, and gives you the knowledge to use these changes to remain competitive and strong.

Not everyone can afford a day out of the office. So look for shows in your area. When we go to a tradeshow, we always have our list in hand, who we want to see, and what we need to learn or solve and that helps make the experience worthwhile.

So if you are in manufacturing, we hope you will join us at one of the upcoming shows. Learn more here

I left this response on the site:
I believe the role of trade shows has changed in recent years. I’m old enough, even though I don’t look it :-) to remember the days before Al Gore invented the Internet. Back then, tradeshows were an important event – the time when new products would be introduced.

Today, there is so much information available on-line to everyone, that there is no need to travel to a show to find out what is new in your industry.

I believe there are two things that contribute to trade shows still being relevant.

The first is that sometimes we tend to forget that doing business is still a people thing. It is important to meet clients, potential clients, vendors and competitors (yes over the years I’ve always had good relationships with my competitors) face to face. There is really no substitute for this and I always enjoy trade shows and seminars for this reason.

The other factor is that the on-line experience can never replace the “touch & feel” of actually seeing real solutions.

So I would encourage potential clients to do a lot of on-line research, check forums and find out what other companies are doing to solve similar problems to yours. But still make time for tradeshows and seminars to keep the personal touch in your business relationships and see real solutions first hand.

Cheers!
David

See the original post here

Comments

  1. says

    There are some people who underestimate the usefulness of trade shows.
    Many have given up on them. In fact, more and more business owners are pulling out
    of trade shows. This is a wrong strategy. Instead of pulling out, they should think
    of various ways of improving their trade show displays and their booths. This way, they would have better shot at attracting
    potential customers.

  2. Jenkins says

    There just something to be said about the face to face interaction you get at a trade show. The Internet just can't come close to that, yet.

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