Last week I attended SC08 with our partner, SMC Networks. Our DNF Security group headed to Vegas, with a portable server in tow at the Global Gaming Expo. Last week was one of the prime tradeshow weeks, with a million other relevant tech shows happening at the same time (like Storage Decisions). With the economic uncertainty, travel and marketing budgets are decreasing, and attendance is down so we are all looking for ways to get out there and dig up some new business. Unfortunately it is getting more and more difficult to justify these large events, when we are all looking for more revenue now.
Here are a few ways to reduce your tradeshow expenditures, and still increase your awareness.
1. Share exhibit space with your partners. You can exchange co-marketing funds leads or future space at another event.
2. Use your local channel partners to help you staff your booth. Do you have resellers that are local, or a short drive from the show location? Send fewer of your employees and offer your best partners the opportunity to work in the booth with you. They’ll appreciate it, and you can bond in the booth.
3. Get in on the partner pavillions for your strategic partners. These partner pavilions typically offer a lower cost of entry than standard space, and also help you get into a really high traffic area. You’ll look well-aligned, and meet more people.
4. Buy smaller spaces. And find more ways to present yourselves in other booths. Exhibit with all of your partners, sending representatives in each booth, and your prospects will find you in multiple places!
Tradeshow Organizers, read here:
Dear large tradeshow organizer,
We are looking for ways to exhibit more shows, without killing our budgets. Please help us out. Here are my requests, to reduce costs and help us with ROI.
- Create standard discounted packages with carpet, electrical, lead scanners, vacuuming, etc so we can save money, and make our preparations easier.
- Create more ways for us to interact with the attendees pre-show. Do a mailing to your pre-registered ist on our behalf. You will be sending out 10 or more mailing before the show. How about section off your exhibitors into groups of 20 (or whatever depending on the size of the show) and list us in one of your emails.
- Give us access to the pre-registered list, as part of our exhibitors fees and not a separate cost.
- Create more smaller, lower cost space. Quick and easy kiosks would be ideal. You can pack in more exhibitors, and more exhibitors can afford your show. Create multiple focus areas, on the main floor, near highly trafficked areas with these kiosks, for 10-15 lucky exhibitors.
- Make your tradeshow maps (the online ones) easier to use. I haven’t found one I like yet. It takes way too many clicks to find a vendor. And half of the time, when you zoom in enough to read the map and the actual exhibitor, it is really blurry. I love Mondo Maps for my city. I wish tradeshows had the same.
Thanks for your help organizers.
And here’s another post on tradeshow behavior.