Monday, January 5, 2009

Why We Go to Shows

A story in today's Dallas Morning News Business section spells out a few reasons why we chose to market via trade shows.

The story focuses on CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, opening in Las Vegas this week and the 30-plus Dallas-based companies attending. Big or small, these companies see the value in being at a nexus of their business and markets.

"I'm not sure what to expect. I just want to explore the scene and learn as much as possible," said William Ross of Industrial Gaming Peripherals.

This is the heart of why you want to exhibit: you not only get to sell in the environment, you get noticed and get to notice others. You get to have conversations that you wouldn't have on the typical sales call or sitting in your office. You get to notice what your partners and competitors are doing. You are the beneficiary of the "buzz" in the industry. And with with a place as big as CES, you get to be part of several "things."

"I tend to think we'll get lost in the crowd, but if a buyer from Best Buy stumbles across us and likes what we have, we could double our revenues on the spot. It's a roll of the dice, but there's not much downside," said David Freeman of Gemini Consumer Technology.

Now, there is a statement from a real business person and savvy marketer: it's a risk, but it's worth it for the one contact. Sometimes the math doesn't add up, but it could.

"We're not going to the show to exhibit what we already offer," said Karen Raskopf of Blockbuster. "We're going there to walk the floors and meet with the most innovative people we see. We want to find the next big idea.....for our customers."

Not exhibiting can work--if you can use the show as Blockbuster is doing. They are veterans and know where to go and who (and what) to look for. It's all about the face-to-face and the customer.

Lesson Learned: know how to use a show to your best advantage and take a risk to promote your company.


Special thanks to the reporting of Andrew Smith of the Dallas Morning News

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