by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional
“Making The Most Out Of Your Trade Show”
We just returned home after attending the DEMA Show in Las Vegas. DEMA is the largest annual gathering of diving professionals that we have in the business. Businesses in the industry use the show to connect with their current customers, reactivate their former customers and meet new customers. Depending on the type of business you are in and who your target market is, you have three options to achieve your planned outcomes at the show. 1) Treat the event as a Trade Show and purchase a booth in the exhibit hall. 2) Look at the show as a Professional Development Conference and conduct seminars and workshops. 3) Consider that many people think of DEMA Show as a party, so conduct some type of social gathering. Whatever you do, make your plans according to your target audience.
This should be the Year of the Smart Business Person. Trade and Consumer Dive Shows are run by businesses. Get to know the businesses and the people who run them. What are their goals and how do they make their money? Now think about your goals and how you make your money. Knowing more about the show vendor and understanding your needs, can help you create a plan that will make their show work for you.
Trade and consumer shows are too expensive and time consuming to participate in without a plan, yet so many businesses do just that. The majority of exhibitors don’t have a show special or a defined CTA (call to action) while at the show. And believe it or not, statistics shows that over 85 % of exhibitors don’t follow-up with leads they receive at the show. Rhonda Abrams, owner of The Planning Shop and author of Trade Show In A Day, says that “Trade shows are a multibillion-dollar industry for a reason: They work.”
This year, make shows work for you by having a plan.