To Attend or Not Attend

db USITT 2009 Set Up1 To Attend or Not Attend

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To attend or not attend, that is the question.  Tradeshows across the country are seeing a decline in the number of exhibitors and attendees.  What should your company do?  There are a few things to consider before making this decision.

What is your return on investment?  Is attending or exhibiting at a show going to increase sales?

Neil Devereaux, a sales manager in the woodworking industry regularly attends the IWF show with his company, George Guenzier & Sons Inc.  Many large manufacturers of woodworking equipment have opted out of this years show and Neil believes this is a mistake.  He argues that it forces customers to spend more time and money traveling to multiple locations in their decision making process.

Is having a permanent showroom a better option than attending tradeshows?  Perhaps, and you will certainly save money on travel and show expenses, but you will also lose potential sales by not being there.  Making the decision to go or not will require tracking your tradeshow results over the past several years to see how successful  it has been for your company, and estimating how valuable tradeshows will be for you in the future.

Another option is to downsize your booth and presence at shows.  Only you know the minimum amount of space, booth and product required to show your wares.  Also, consider the message it sends to your customers.  Will they appreciate that you are being cost conscious in trouble times?  Or, will they wonder if your company is experiencing financial troubles?

The economy will get better.  Where do you want your company positioned when it does?

Mike Ferguson

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