Which tradeshows are right for you?
Here I am, sitting on a plane once again, headed to see my industry friends and associates to conduct business, catch up and embrace this crazy and wonderful lifestyle known as the audio/video world. I often joke about the A/V industry sucking you in with its gadgets and intriguing advancements, almost like a disease. Once you get the bug, you are in it for life.
As I embark on this latest journey, I’m caught pondering the importance and validity of meetings and tradeshows. It seems as if they’re stacked throughout the year, one on top of another, all begging for our attention.
So what do they really offer? Which ones do you attend? Which ones should you?
I am lucky enough to have a diverse perspective on tradeshows because of my career path. I attended as a dealer, worked the show floor on the manufacturer side, and played host while employed at my buying group post.
Times have changed, and although technology has improved, there really seems to be no replacement for the traditional gathering of people that we’ve mostly enjoyed.
A few years back, the virtual trade show came about and everyone thought it was going to be a game changer. The idea was great: Attend the tradeshow on your terms, in your office, have those meaningful conversations, get educated and still be able to run your business without the travel or added expense. Although the idea was great, it just didn’t work out that way. Even with perfect implementation, it simply cannot substitute a face-to-face meeting, the learning experience of training with your peers, or that invaluable conversation you end up having while at the bar. Despite being expensive, time-consuming and sometimes a nuisance, these gatherings are invaluable to all parties involved.
I often hear complaints from business owners that there are too many tradeshows to attend or that they cannot afford to get away. Although it is true that we are inundated with options, you can choose the few that are most relevant to your business and stay committed to attending. The reason is pretty simple: You need to be there so you can be competitive and stay on top of your game. The short time you are present adds immense value and relativity to your business. New relationships are formed, staff is educated on current trends and products, and your customer appreciates the dedication you have to creating the best experience for them. That’s really it too: At the end of the day, you’re doing this for your customer, to be the best at what you do.