A fair trade?

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According to Decent Marketing, a story I missed in last week's New York Times was a doozy for the trade show biz. The NYT writer characterized your basic expo as: " ... stale air and fluorescent glare, ... ghastly food, the long lines ... throbbing feet from walking the show floor, exhausting marathons of schmoozing and wheeling-and-dealing, the tedium of listening to long-winded lectures in windowless rooms ..."

Ouch. The truth really does hurt, doesn't it? While events (including trade shows) are second only to direct marketing in terms of perceived return on investment, according to the recent joint study by MPI Foundation and The George P. Johnson Co., anyone who's ever limped the never-ending aisles or manned a booth on one of those "bowling alley" days knows, trade shows could use some improvement.

Otherwise, it may just be a matter of time before the Decent Marketing prediction comes true and companies flee the trade show floor to host their own shows. The trend has already started as more companies have figured out what blogger Katherine S. Stone says:"Given the ungodly amounts of money companies often spend on trade shows, they could probably afford to host something in their own backyard, keep it short and sweet, foot the bill for the travel of the attendees, and come up with a compelling alternative to long-winded lectures."

My last post asked you to envision a whole new industry--let's start with trade shows. What can we do to make them more experiential, more meaningful, less stressful, and more profitable for attendees and exhibitors alike?

To receive a weekly blog update, e-mail Sue.

According to Decent Marketing, a story I missed in last week's New York Times was a doozy for the trade show biz. The NYT writer characterized your basic expo as: " ... stale air and fluorescent glare, ... ghastly food, the long lines ... throbbing feet from walking the show floor, exhausting marathons of schmoozing and wheeling-and-dealing, the tedium of listening to long-winded lectures in windowless rooms ..."

Ouch. The truth really does hurt, doesn't it? While events (including trade shows) are second only to direct marketing in terms of perceived return on investment, according to the recent joint study by MPI Foundation and The George P. Johnson Co., anyone who's ever limped the never-ending aisles or manned a booth on one of those "bowling alley" days knows, trade shows could use some improvement.

Otherwise, it may just be a matter of time before the Decent Marketing prediction comes true and companies flee the trade show floor to host their own shows. The trend has already started as more companies have figured out what blogger Katherine S. Stone says:"Given the ungodly amounts of money companies often spend on trade shows, they could probably afford to host something in their own backyard, keep it short and sweet, foot the bill for the travel of the attendees, and come up with a compelling alternative to long-winded lectures."

My last post asked you to envision a whole new industry--let's start with trade shows. What can we do to make them more experiential, more meaningful, less stressful, and more profitable for attendees and exhibitors alike?

To receive a weekly blog update, e-mail Sue.

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An eclectic mix of news about meetings and events, hospitality, and business travel, along with helpful hints and the occasional rant.

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