What trade shows are really about!

Do you work with exhibitions, conferences and what I am eager to call face to face marketing? I do and have done so for more than 20 years now. Back in 2009, when the crisis was at it’s peak, we noticed a number of changes in the market place and I am not talking about the insecurity and apathy deriving from the said crisis. I am talking about the urge and need TO DO BETTER. New players, such as CEO’s and CFO’s started showing an interest in the returns on face to face marketing. In my opinion that came as a bit if a shock to most of us, because we have always been exhibiting, we have always done quite well in doing so… – or have we? No doubt, for hundreds of years, now and in the future, we need to trade, we want to establish or nurture relationships and we have up until now preferred to do so – yes, face to face. PAINS! Over the last 3-4 years I have more and more often listened to complaints, if you will, from both exhibitors and visitors. Both were saying that the quality of the meeting was too low: The exhibitors showed poor skills and commitment “on stage” and the visitors were regarded by the exhibitors in somewhat the same way. If we are to believe this, why are we then investing in meeting face to face at fairs and exhibitions? Even if the above is a rather blunt generalization and exaggeration it does point to some challenges. I call these challenges PAINS! No objectives, no insight in...