The Good News about Bad Times in the Trade Show Industry
Written by Barry Siskind
In difficult times we are forced to take a serious look at what we are doing and focus our attention on finding exhibit practices that make sense. Whether you are managing a budget of a few thousand dollars or millions here are some questions you...
If you have ever attended the world’s biggest car show in
This year it was different. Opulence was replaced by austerity. A struggling industry was now exhibiting to the bare bones. Some companies like Nissan pulled out completely.
Yes, it’s true that when times are tough we all need to tighten our belts a notch or two and yet when times are good we seem to forget the basics and throw gobs of money into the air hoping for some sort of a return.
So, in the difficult times we are simply forced to take a serious look at what we are doing and focus our attention on finding exhibit practices that make sense.
We can all learn from the automobile industry. While the current recession will affect us all, some will feel it more than others. There are challenges and opportunities for those forced to relook at their exhibiting practices because of shrinking budgets. For those who are still doing well and spending without regard to a return, this economy is a reminder that your good times may not always be there.
The economy is cyclical so rather than waiting for the economic hammer to land on your trade show budget take a serious look at what you are doing now. Does it make sense? Are you getting a positive return on your show investment? Could you get the same return or better if you made some changes? These are the gut wrenching questions that savvy marketers mull over constantly. They don’t wait until the market forces them to address these questions; they act proactively so that when economic times shift, the landing is much softer.
No matter what the size of your company the same principles apply. Whether you are managing a budget that is as little as a few thousand dollars or millions, the need to focus on your return on investment is paramount.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking now.
· Is my exhibit schedule of shows still relevant?
· What have you learned from your previous show participation?
· Do I know what my return on investment is for each show?
· Do I set specific, focused and measurable objectives for each show?
· How will cost cutting effect my exhibit program?
· Have I worked with my show organizer to find cost savings and return enhancement ideas?
· Is my staff getting weary implementing our show schedule?
· Is my booth hardware up-to-date?
· Does my booth staff fall into negative behaviors because of the long hours of a show?
· Do I have senior management commitment to our exhibit program?
· What will be doing differently?
The list can go on but you get the point. This current economic downturn will turn again. If you want to be well prepared to deal with the good times then use the bad times as your opportunity to fix your exhibit program.
For further information contact Barry Siskind firstname.lastname@example.org