Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Do You Show?

Tom Inglesby

Photo: Jack Moreh/Freerange Stock

Do you Show? I mean do you go to Trade Shows, like NAB or CineGear? Some industries are totally dependent on trade shows for getting the news out about innovations and upgrades to last year’s innovations. The construction field, for instance, has several major shows that draw tens of thousands of visitors; the electronics industry—or perhaps it’s better to call it industries—has a show that brings in more than 100,000 visitors each year.

One complaint about trade shows is that they are too far away. Doesn’t matter where they are held, it is too far away for those from half the country. New York? Long way from LA. LA? Too far to go for those in Atlanta. Las Vegas? “Well, we might make an exception for that show…”

Yes, Las Vegas draws better than almost any venue for a trade show, regardless of industry, and I suspect it’s not because it’s centrally located. It’s not. So what is the draw? If you have to ask, you’ve never been there.

In the days before near-universal Internet access, what the computer geeks call the “green screen days,”  there were few ways to find out what was new in your field. Weekly, monthly and even daily newsletters and magazines showed up in your mailbox or in-basket, festooned with ads and articles on what was available. A trip to the store, a few calls around, and you felt you were on top of it. Then, plan the trip to the annual trade show! Meet the vendors, network with your friends from all over the country, and at the end of the week, trek home with literally bags filled with literature.

Now? Turn on the computer, scan a few websites, and you have more information than most people can digest in a day. And this is every day. Data overload! It’s becoming a case where going to a trade show is a good way to get away from too much information. Never thought walking all day would be so relaxing….

And you get to actually touch stuff! That’s the real advantage of a trade show: you don’t just get information, you get tactile stimulation. Hold it, play with it, and discuss its features. Hard to do on the Internet when you are talking about “stuff.” No matter how many pictures you see, they don’t give you the same sense of understanding that you get looking through the viewfinder or turning on the light panel.

Markee 2.0 goes to the shows and we like to meet our readers there. But there are so many competing events. Where do you Show? We’d like to know more about your trade show plans. What shows are the most important to you and your segment of the market? How much time do you spend at a show? Where do you prefer to go—or prefer to not go—to attend a show? Why?