Trade show marketing has been a mainstay for many manufacturers during the past 30 years. But industry observers report that marketers are allocating fewer resources for these often lavish events. New research outlines the outcomes marketers are seeking from trade shows and how operators can increase business.

Because trade show events typically take place at large conference centers or exhibition halls, marketers often work with on-location third-party contractors to set up their booths. Marketers are primarily concerned with saving time and money when they work with these contractors. Specifically, marketers want:

  • Ease of ordering trade show services
  • Knowledgeable customer service touch points such as a single contact person with the answers
  • Services delivered on time

Because the investment in a trade show occurs annually or semi-annually, marketers may not maintain in-house expertise on how to cost-effectively produce these events. As a result, marketers often seek outside expertise to manage their trade show activity. Most turn to partners such as event marketing agencies or exhibit houses. As marketers make decisions about trade shows, they want:

  • An account team or executive with proven experience to manage the entire process
  • Experience and efficiency in their specific industry, for example, healthcare or aerospace
  • Advice on which shows to participate in

The bottom line is that marketers are looking for a way to maximize the value of their trade show investment while minimizing costs. For the trade show industry to succeed in the future, show managers must provide better information on trade show attendees, a full listing of costs – in advance, and guarantees on attendee quality.

[Source: Saef, David. Aligning for Success. Global Experience Specialists. June 2011. Web. 15 Jul 2011]