The value and merits of trade expos
In my role as Business Development Director for Smith Goodfellow, I attend some 20 plus expos and trade shows a year, many at the NEC Birmingham, some in London, some in Manchester.
I often get asked the immortal question: “Why?”
I get asked by other PR and Marketing folk… a lot!
I get asked by business owners and directors, most of them look at me with sceptical eyes, mainly questioning the value of the time involved. I always fall back on two clear reasons that determine my ‘why’.
The first is that more business is done by people who meet people, and have built some form of relationship. We are after all in the communications business.
The second is that Smith Goodfellow is a specialist consultancy and we need to know what’s happening within the industry. Who is launching what, what the new rules and regulations are, what’s happening in the BIM world, and what are the perceived developments in the future. The quality of the seminars at these shows are mostly very good value and an excellent indicator of the direction of travel and industry developments.
I also get asked by our clients to go to specific expos and report back on whether they should exhibit, which of their competitors are there, and what the event looks like, etc.
So, you could say I’ve become a bit of an expert on trade shows; what works, what doesn’t, and footfall – is it up or down? I know they all claim that it rises year on year, and we all know that they scan you if you
as go in and then again if you’ve stepped out. Even going to the loo gets you re-scanned at some venues! It’s not always about quantity, it’s much more about quality. The best people to determine the merits of an expo are the stand owners, and I talk to a lot of them.
Every month I’ll be giving my ‘expert’ opinion on the trade shows I attend. I’ll try to present a positive critique, along with some suggestions on improvements.
I also take to social media when I’m at the expos, showcasing what I think are the best stands, the nicest people, things that make me laugh, things that bring a sense of despair. I usually award at least one exhibitor my ‘Stand of the Show’ accolade.
You can follow me with the hashtag #paulontheroad
See you out there.