Original insights in international business and marketing
Trade shows are fast becoming an antiquated and outdated form of classical, outbound marketing. I’ve never hidden my disdain for them and so I wanted to at least share some of my experiences as well as some rationale for why they no longer belong in the marketing repertoire, at least not in their present form.
Like many of you, I’ve attended, exhibited and sponsored a number of industry congresses and trade shows over the years. Some have been massive productions with over 5,000 attendees while others have been much smaller, more intimate affairs with only a few hundred delegates. Although they undeniably provide value and benefits to the exhibiting companies, the costs and hassles have grown considerably out of proportion with the actual value and quality these shows provide. Perhaps they may have made good sense two or three decades ago (prior to the digital era) but today, they increasingly feel like a relic of the analog age.
Trade shows and congresses are increasingly losing their appeal and value to organizations looking to forge a sustainable dialogue with customers/partners. Here are the main reasons:
Net, while the idea of interacting with customers and partners at a single event is a perfectly good one, the realities of trade shows today have convinced me that this is fast becoming a dying marketing model. The ROI is simply too hard to measure or just plain horrible.
In a separate article (10 Strategies to Fix Your Trade Show Problems) I have outlined alternatives and ways to help make the most of trade shows that are still too important to wean ourselves off of completely.
In the meantime, do you agree or disagree? Do you have others beefs with trade shows? Any experiences you want to offer? Share your comments below!