If you’ve attended the same tradeshows over the years, no doubt you’ve seen an interesting phenomenon: some companies attend for years and then just stop.
Why? What caused them to disappear?
Certainly, there are a thousand answers to that question, and much of those answers likely have a lot to do with internal dynamics as much as the show itself.
But I’ve seen it happen frequently.
I’ve worked with some companies that have exhibited at the same show for years, only to decide after seven or eight appearances that they weren’t going to get anything useful out of another appearance.
Why’d you stop going? I’ve asked that question and received a variety of answers:
“We’ve pretty much maxed out our ability to get new distributors, which is why we exhibited at that show. Our focus is on working with those retailers one on one to get more focused on giving them better products based on what their customers want.”
“The show moved a couple of weeks. Meaning it fell into a different fiscal year. And once the new company owners saw how much their tradeshow budget would be increasing for the fiscal year, they got to looking closer at all the marketing. We’ve decided to pull back and re-examine our entire marketing strategy.” This company did return to the show a couple of years later.
“We kept getting lousy locations which we couldn’t overcome. We put our marketing dollars elsewhere.” In this case, we wondered if they couldn’t have done better to market their appearance in spite of the bad location. It’s been done.”
“Our company has matured to the point that this particular show no longer works for us.”
And so on. There are a thousand reasons to continue exhibiting at a show. And as many to decide not to exhibit again, or at least for a couple of years.
Tradeshow marketing is expensive. For companies that are investing in this marketing channel, it behooves them to make sure the dollars are well-spent. And one of the questions that should be asked is: should we really be at that show this year?
It’s worth talking about.