As we come off another CES and head into some of the more active imaging industry trade shows (Imaging USA, WPPI, NAB and photokina, to name a few), one question always comes up. Are trade shows worth it?
There’s always the downside—primarily the cost, both from the corporate side and from the attendees’. The cost of putting together a trade show booth continues to escalate; when you add in travel and hotel expenses, personnel costs and days out of the office, the ROI tends to look bleak.
However, the flip side might just turn the tide. With people becoming more and more dependent on their various screens, and less and less on personal interaction, the advantages for attending a trade show take on a different meaning.
Whether it’s purely a trade event, or if consumers are invited, there is very little that can replace one-on-one conversations. Laying out an entire product line for all to see is also impressive to a customer; and the interactions can also lead to new ideas and sales.
If trade shows want to continue to be viable though, they have to offer their attendees more than a convention to get lost in. Educational programs; networking events; awards ceremonies; as well as VIP access to key executives are all good reasons for someone to get on a plane.
Moreover, keynote addresses that are relevant can drive attendance. And for suppliers, it’s a way to strengthen your brands; you benefit by offering the expertise and knowledge that come from “living and breathing” your products.
So, are trade shows worth it?
It’s all about making your investment worth it.