There has been a lot of talk about trade shows this week with a couple of major companies changing their exhibition plans for LDI.
What are your thoughts on this? I'll tell you mine.
I think most trade shows should be every other year. Period. There are too many shows and too much money is being spent on exhibiting. I really believe this. The trade show folks will parade out reams of data showing that everyone who is anyone who is even considering buying a product is at a trade show. I think it is true that most trade show attendees would say that. Some of them are even being truthful!
I have no data, no stat's. But I have a strong gut instinct that the shows in the lighting biz are out-of-whack with the reality of the dollars earned. It is really difficult to calculate ROI on the trade show scene. We cannot really say how many of the prospects that visit our booth make purchases because of their visit. It is a good place to introduce product - but we have proven we can launch product without a trade show.
The web has changed everything as it relates to marketing. Customers can find out much more about products without visiting a show. Most of them will get demo's after a show anyway. The best part about a trade show is meeting customers who are planning projects you don't yet know about. On the other hand - we have reps. We pay reps to find out about these jobs and know what is going on in their territories.
Both Martin and High End are "refocussing their efforts on smaller more personal events." I applaud their efforts to do this! I also agree with Martins comments about their "name and customer base being well established." This is a good reason to focus on a different medium to reach customers.
Back to the beginning -- LDI, Lightfair, PLASA -- you should be every other year.
What's your idea?