I am a VP of Marketing for a mid sized company located on Long Island. I read all of your newsletters from beginning to end. Sometimes I think with some of the questions you get asked, that you have a spy in my company. I believe in trade shows, but the advertising person (don’t ask why advertising handles the trade shows) who handles the trade shows treats all of the trade shows as a test bed for a new brochure or kick off of another ad campaign. When I suggest to her that we should put more effort into the pre-show phase she said that it is too costly, and she can justify the cost of her ad campaigns quicker, than the cost of the trade shows. How can I respond to this kind of logic and not look foolish?
Scott – frustrated VP of Marketing on Long Island.
It sound like your company is in the dark ages when it comes to advertising and trade shows. They should be working together to complement each other, not trying the one up-man-ship that you are faced with. I wonder if this ad person can justify her ad campaign, and show the ROI on her ad campaign. If she is not going to make the investment in the pre-show effort why are you even participating in these trade shows? You are really not an exhibitor, but an attendee with a booth. The Pre-show effort is to tell your clients you are at this trade show, tell you list of prospects that you look forward to them stopping by your booth, and your suspects that you have something to show them that you know that will be of interest to them. You need to invite people, if you want people at your booth! Over 40% of people surveyed were asked why they didn’t go to this industry trade show, and their response was that no one invited them. It is obvious to me your ad person does not know about trade shows and she is treating them as an expense, not an investment, and your marketing effort is being jeopardized!
To your continued trade show success
John Hill, Trade Show Coach