Center >> September 2008
Do Trade Shows and Election ’08 Have in Common?
Launching products is just the beginning.
from AICPA Custom Media Solutions
year and as you noticed the Republican party was tight-lipped about
their vice presidential nominee until their convention, a political
trade show of sorts, to launch their star product. Sarah Palin wowed
the crowd. Not only that, her message and therefore the party’s
message has been making the rounds by the awed crowd who saw her
deliver her speech and were touched by what she had to offer. And
what do you have here? Word-of-mouth advertisement at its best.
So how is this any different from trade shows? Yes,
there are digital and print mediums through which you can announce
your products, but nothing comes close to making an impact, as when
you launch your products and creations in front of a live audience.
Take Steve Jobs
for instance. Yes, he could have shown off Macbook Air in the digital
medium. But would it have wowed a crowd and made such a majestic
show? I think not. He, instead, chose to show his newest, thinnest
laptop in front of an audience, in a trade show, for maximum impact.
To that end, incredulous consumers are still talking about how he
slipped out the laptop from a manila envelope!
political conventions where the vast majority are there because
they belong or support the party, at trade shows you have the opportunity
to not only show off your products to those who are already impressed
by your products, but you also have the opportunity to convert those
customers who have a problem and don’t realize that you may
have the solution. By meeting with these customers, answering their
queries, explaining what you have to offer, you are changing one
seemingly uninterested tradeshow attendee into a solid customer.
Change … isn’t that what everyone is harping about these
One more thing
trade show events and Election 2008 has in common.
What else can trade shows do for you? As Carrie
Freeman Parsons, Vice Chair/CMO, Freeman told American Business
Media (ABM), events are great at “bringing buyers and sellers
together in an environment that promotes live interaction, the exchanging
of ideas and the sharing of information.”
This view was dittoed by John Failla, CEO, Tesoro
Events, in BtoB magazine. “In the last 10 years, organizers
have begun developing events that target vertical product categories
in addition to taking responsibility for scheduling meetings between
exhibitor and buyer.” He also noted that this “combination
of targeted categories and facilitated meetings has proven to be
a compelling model for driving greater ROI for attendee and exhibitor.”
Still not convinced about trade shows? Oh, I get
it, like my former boss, you’re a numbers guy. OK here are
According to a recent study co-sponsored by Forrester
Consulting and ABM:
- 80 percent of b-to-b marketers build brand
awareness, generate qualified leads and reach top business decision-makers
(BDMs) at industry-specific events.
- Two-thirds of BDMs attend industry-specific
events while on the job.
- More than 60 percent of ABM member companies
are active in the business of events, which account for more than
36 percent of annual member revenue, or $11.3 billion dollars
Now you have
no excuse. Look to this year’s candidates and follow their
lead and hit the road. Meet and greet your attendees, bring on that
smile and chat with them. Tell them what products you have, what
you can bring to the table, how your products can solve their crucial
problems. Remember fourth grade? Yep, Obama remembers as do Palin,
Biden and McCain. It’s all about show and tell.