Making the Most of CEDIA
Times are tough and money is tight, so maybe you’re thinking this would be a good year to skip the CEDIA EXPO.
But before you throw in the towel and stay at home this September, maybe now would be a good time to put a pencil to paper and take an objective look at the business reasons for attending your industry’s premier event. If you’re willing to spend some careful planning time, I can assure you that your trip to CEDIA will be well worth the expense—even in a difficult economic time.
Consider your return on investment
In business, everything comes down to return on investment. As the old adage goes, “You need to spend money to make money.” The trick is determining where to spend your money. After all, resources are not unlimited and you’ll need to choose carefully. A trip to CEDIA can either be a boondoggle or a great investment—depending on how you manage it.
If you take the approach that CEDIA is an investment like any other and should generate a return, you’ll be well on your way to making it so. When approached in this fashion, you will naturally become more attentive to how much you are spending (investing) and what you’ll need to accomplish to make an acceptable return. Don’t just leave it to chance; understand beforehand exactly what you plan to spend (your budget) and what you need to accomplish to make a return. From there you need to:
Set Clear Objectives
In the past when there was more business than you could handle, a loose approach to trade shows was just fine. But when times are difficult and every penny counts, a more focused approach is required.
It becomes even more important to have clear and well-defined goals and objectives. Align those goals and objectives to your return on investment calculations by doing some simple math, i.e., if you need to spend X dollars to go to CEDIA, how much do you need to generate via new sales, cost savings or knowledge base to make your trip worthwhile? Once you know what you need, break it down into measurable things you need to do that can be documented and tracked to ensure you stay focused on what’s really important.