Attending tradeshows, whether as exhibitors or attendees, is certainly expensive. Add up airfare or mileage, hotel expenses, dining costs, attendee or exhibitor registration and any additional expenses—and there are always additional expenses—and you will come up with a sizable number. In a world where everyone is looking for smart ways to save money, cutting back on tradeshow attendance seems like a relatively simple way to save not just money but also time.
But cutting attendance to industry events will end up cutting more than expenses. It will also cut your reputation and standing within the marketplace. It is not always easy to track the return on investment from tradeshow participation; there are a range of intangible benefits that cannot be quantified. In fact, the events that you may be tempted to cut from your schedule and budget may actually deliver the greatest benefits in the long run. Here are some reasons tradeshows are worth their seemingly hefty price tag.
There is simply no better way to become more integrated into the industry. Tradeshows, especially national ones, bring together a variety of people who would never meet otherwise, but have similar experiences to share and from which to learn. Whether through contacts made on the tradeshow floor, connections with peers created in educational sessions, or friendships forged in after-hours receptions, the relationships harvested at tradeshows and other industry events often prove valuable for years to come.
Name and Brand Recognition
Chances are you keep your eyes open at tradeshows to see who is new and who has not returned, and others are doing the same. Especially in tough times, just being seen and demonstrating that you are still “in it” is itself a statement. Tradeshows are a snapshot of the marketplace—make sure you are included in the picture.
Your customers consider you the expert and expect you to be up to date on current issues within the industry. Staying home from a valuable tradeshow is like skipping school—the short-term benefits may seem worth it, but it does not seem like such a wise decision when you find yourself behind the rest of your peers and struggling to catch up. Regulatory updates, continuing education opportunities and information about new technologies will serve you well throughout the year.
One of the year’s must-attend shows is the WQA Aquatech USA 2010 tradeshow, coming up this March in Orlando. The WQA projects 4,000-plus attendees and 300-plus exhibiting companies this year. To help you take full advantage of the show, we included in this issue an abbreviated schedule of events, as well as a guide to the must-see exhibitor products.
The Water Quality Products team will be there, and we hope to see as many of you as possible. Visit us at Booth no. 746.