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An Age Old Question: Should We Exhibit?

May 30, 2008
Could this be the pivotal opportunity you have been looking for? You just hung up the phone mulling over all that you just heard.

There is a trade show coming to your town - it sounds like the attendees fit your customer profile and your competition will be there.

Now you are asking yourself - should we be there too? Should we exhibit is asked and answered every day in all type of companies.

But is this show right for you? Not only is there is there the expense to secure your booth on the show floor, there are all those other expenses (the booth property, marketing materials, hospitality, putting up and tearing down the booth, etc.) and then sales people out of their territories and the list goes on and on.

There are countless pros and cons to the decision -should we exhibit. The trade show and event industry has solid statistics that trade shows actually work!

However, there are numerous companies who have just wasted precious money trying to chase an opportunity. My advice to you - if you are not totally prepared for a show - don't go.

Save those marketing dollars and invest them in something that you know works. There are many companies who enjoy trade show success.

They return from the show with the sales pipeline full of leads and great press exposure. So the decision to go or not go must be carefully weighed.

The Advertising Research Foundation demonstrates the value of face-to-face events in a newly released a report. I have highlighted one of the findings from Brandweek, their online magazine.

Study: Purchase Intent Grows With Each Event (January 28, 2008). By Kenneth Hein.

"Getting up close and personal isn't just for politicians. A new survey shows in-person events can boost purchase intent as high as 52%."

What separates companies who are consistently successful at event marketing is that they follow a proven formula. Imagine the opportunity for costly mistakes and lost sales if your company decides 'on the fly' what their strategy and implementation plan is for the next trade show.

Missing collateral, the wrong equipment, poor positioning, and an incomplete or even over crowded staffing are just some of the likely pitfalls of failing to follow a proven formula.

Yet if most companies take an honest look at how they actually conduct their trade shows from pre-event planning to post show follow up, they will have to admit that there isn't much of a formula being followed.

Of course, following the wrong formula is not much better. So when deciding whether or not you should exhibit, it is crucial that you determine whether you are truly ready to compete and win once you get there.
About the Author
Joyce McKee is the author of the new ebook, 'The Secret to Achieving Brilliant Returns on Your Next Event: a Guide to Maximizing ROI and ROO'. Take a look at what others are saying about it at http://www.letstalktradeshows.com/invitation
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