Our account executives have been on the road since January – attending trade shows – walking, talking, and analyzing the atmosphere. Returning this month from Inter Solar and Semicon in San Franciso and ComicCon in San Diego and Cosmoprof in Las Vegas. We attended BIO and IDDBA in Atlanta and IFT in Anaheim. First half the shows were smaller – however, half were the same or larger. The industry sets the tone. Second attendance was smaller, again, however, now the real buyers were there – no hangers on, lookyloos, or just a bunch of extra quasi-buyers from the same company. The attendees that were there came to buy.
What seems to be the result of the economic downturn is that each and every industry is serious again. Trade shows are not just one big party – significant business is being done. Another set of conversations with exhibitors is peeling back the tradeshow budget. Not necessarily on the show floor – but in the amount of shows they plan to attend. Focusing on the right shows, not just a massive push to be every where and every thing to masses of attendees. Once again, keep your same size exhibit and decide what you need in your exhibit space. We have found our lounges seem to be the trick – for 20’x20′ or above with great signage, reception counter/serving bar, some tables and chairs, and room for some products. You become an uncluttered oasis for attendees to sit for a minute, drink a bottle of water, and talk with your non-attacking sales people. [Lounge] – take a look for as little as $12,000 in Las Vegas or southern California – you are complete and look fabulous!
You cannot change your industry however you can change your approach. Not showing is a serious decision. Being there and paring down may have to be your angle for this year. A new testing of the waters – believe us … everyone large or small is doing it.