A Red Flag for Show Organizers?

LISA GOELL SINICKI, SENIOR EDITOR
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Washington, DC – “We need to understand the mind of the customer — what senior level marketers like and dislike about trade shows,” said Gary Slack, CEO, Slack Barshinger during “Trade Show Value Perceptions,” a session at the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) held May 19 at the Washington DC Convention Center.

Slack recently conducted an informal web survey in which he asked senior marketing executives, “What are trade shows the most effective at achieving?”  He also asked how their participation in trade shows is changing.

Slack’s respondents showed a high level of agreement that trade shows are an effective way to build awareness, generate industry PR and achieve branding initiatives. However 18% responded that trade shows are not an effective way to generate qualified leads. Slack warns that an increase in this percentage will be detrimental to the trade show industry. If more companies find trade shows ineffective in generating leads, budgets for lead generation vehicles will be reallocated to other marketing media and trade shows will be grouped with advertising and other awareness building media.

Should this happen, it will have a dramatic impact on companies’ exhibit budgets and show selection, says Slack.  “Because advertising and media directors allocate awareness-building  budgets, they will want audits and more quantitative information,” says Slack. The cost efficiency of trade shows will also fall short in a comparison to advertising.

Reach Gary Slack, Chief Executive Officer, Slack Barshinger at (312) 970-5858 or gary.slack@slackbarshinger.com.