By Barry Siskind, President, International Training & Management Company
CEIR’s report titled, Trends in Use of Exhibitions, (F05.12) is a must read for show managers and exhibitors alike. One of the many findings focused on attendees reasons for participating in a trade show. Surprisingly the number one reason hasn’t changed in the last thirty years – “look for new products and vendors.” I think this finding points to an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
You have to ask yourself why anyone would go to a trade show to find a new product or vendor when all of this information is available at their fingertips without ever leaving their desk. The internet has made shopping easier and safer. There’s not a product or vendor out there that hasn’t been reviewed by someone on social media. So, for someone looking for a new product or people to do business with there is an unparalleled access to data and testimonials.
So, the question is why do they come to a trade show and identify their number one reason is to find new products? My guess is that it gives them a chance to do what the internet doesn’t allow them to do – experience.
At a show they have a chance to touch and feel, to question and judge the vendors. In my opinion, that’s why trade shows are still so relevant and the number one place to see new products and find new vendors.
If I’m right then I believe it points to the need for a different approach to marketing a trade show, one that involves both the manager and exhibitor.
Do you agree?