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How Bad is the Tradeshow Industry Being Hit By the Recession?

While show producers keep the number close to the vest, we can use a few indices to help us guage the marketplace.  Most notably is the event contract attrition rate.

In a recent article on TSW, Show Organizers Do the Attrition Dance, several event planners describe the drop in attendance and the impact on the event’s contract.  When ever a hotel or convention center enters into a contract, the renter must guarantee a certain number of registrations.  It they don’t reach their numbers, then fees and penalties start kicking in.

What does this mean for you, the exhibitor?

Your negotiation position has improved…dramatically.  For a while there it seemed like booth space rental prices were increasing faster than California Real Estate.  With fewer registrations and booth space reservations, you now have the ability to find AMAZING deals.

With lower registration comes lower show attendance, but if planned for, the lower attendance can be a plus.  Busy shows mean attendees pass you by because they don’t want to wait.  Fewer attendees, more time.  How many of you wish you had more time with a pre-qualified consumer?

Tradeshows are still the most effective lead generating activity.  However, cost cutting is critical.  Rather than investing tens of thousands of dollars in a new exhibit; re-use your old one with new graphics.  Add a few retractable banners or a new header.  Little, inexpensive, changes can make a huge difference.

Remember, booths don’t sell–people do.  With less competition (fewer exhibitors), more time with your prospects and inexpensive booth improvements: trade show exhibiting during times of recessions could be your most cost effective marketing strategy.

Ed Bejarana
Zenith Exhibits, Inc.
(503) 709-1454

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