A friend of mine who runs one of the top tech PR firms in the UK asked me today if I thought that trade shows were dying.
A good (and complicated) question.
If you are asking if the "salad days" of sky's-the-limit, over the top trade show blow-out la-la-paloozas are over, then I think the answer is unmistakably yes. I was at CES again this year (about my 15th in a row -- I've kind of lost track), and attendance and extravagance were both greatly diminished.
But this is probably a good thing. It allows us to focus on what we are all there for in the first place: to promote our business (in our case, our clients' business) to those who are most likely to be our customers. To quote the Wikipedia entry:
A trade fair (trade show or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent trends and opportunities. Some trade fairs are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade) and members of the press.
It's time to re-think the trade show.
Getting more from your trade show requires a strategic approach that will attract prospects and generate interest in your company and your products.
Drop me a line if you want to know how we are successfully doing this for clients in a broad spectrum of industries.