Keith over at In The Balance Blog mentions in a recent post that trade show attendance “is not what it used to be”. I think he’s right, although I have no research or data to back it up. I think the reason is that more and more you can get the information you need without going to speak with someone at a show booth, and if you need more than you can get off the Internet, you’re going to want an office or site visit anway. Business is still about relationships, but as the industry is taken over by folks who grew up with computers there will less need for face to face contact.
This is why we at QuadTech have reduced our investment in trade shows. The big flashy booth with lots of equipment just doesn’t serve a purpose any more and it’s ungodly expensive. It’s a much better idea to spend the money on activities that give our customers more of what they need to be successful. That’s not to say we won’t have a presence at shows, just that it will be different than in the past.
Our competitors, I’m sure, will make a lot of noise about this – it’s irresistably human to point out the absense and allude to what “must be” trouble in the home office. We don’t care, as long as they do it while standing in their very large, expensive booth 😉