- Posted by WTA Secretary
- On February 10, 2014
- 0 Comments
The World Trade Association started off 2014 with an excellent presentation and round table discussion on Why Trade Shows are Important. Incoming President, Franz Kolb, welcomed the 47 attendees and provided a presentation discussing the benefits of trade shows and the 3 Stages of trade show preparation. A copy of the presentation can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fxowc5tac29t83f/efNsY26GDM
Franz also discussed the STEP Grant program which allows Utah businesses to apply for a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration and GOED to help offset expenses related to exhibiting at trade shows. Program details can be found here: http://business.utah.gov/international/step.
Bottom line: timely follow up after the event is critical.
Key messages from the presenters were:
David Murrell – KOSMO Corporation. Dave mentioned the first trade show he attended was in 1991. Prior to attending his first event he did some pre show marketing and sent out post cards to the event attendees. After the event, he spent 10 days in the country driving around and visiting with the people he met. This proved to be very successful and it put the company on their way to success. He has been participating and attending trade shows ever since.
Mark Stevermer – La Crosse Technology. Mark shared with the group that they have a very small sales team and a small number of reps which makes it challenging for them to have a broad reach and one reason why it is important for them to attend trade shows. His message also focused on consistent attendance. The first time you attend people don’t know who you are and every year businesses come and go. If you are seen at the show year after year you become a staple product. He has attended 28 shows and his booth is always in the same spot every year.
Jeff Tackett – Gator Sports. Jeff shared that they also have a small sales staff and trade shows are a big part of what they do to help obtain customers they otherwise would never know about. He feels it is very important to have a presence and meet face to face with companies as this interaction will help develop relationships that last for years. His other key message was to really understand your market and make sure you are attending the right trade shows.
Brad Peterson – Utah Outdoor Recreation. Brad provided attendees with many statistics of how important the Outdoor Retailer Show is to the State of Utah. The show attracts 27,000 people and the direct benefit to our economy from the show is around $40 million. We have learned that it is tough to get first time visitors to the State, but once they have visited 79% will come back again. As far as the industry, he mentioned that for every $1 that is spent on hard goods such as ski’s there is $4 spent on the “playground” so the $2 billion this industry generates there is an additional estimated $8 billion benefit to the economy. Another key message from Brad is that Utah partners with industry very well and is one reason why businesses are attracted to Utah.
Shelby Peterson – U.S. Export Assistance Center. Shelby focused on resources that are available to U.S. Companies at U.S. Government supported trade shows, both domestic and international. Below are links to the trade show programs the International Trade Administration supports. She also emphasized that exhibiting at international trade shows really demonstrates a company is serious about exporting.
About the Trade Fair Certification Program (International trade shows): http://export.gov/tradeevents/eg_main_018560.asp
List of certified International Shows: http://export.gov/eac/trade_events.asp
International Buyer Program (domestic shows): http://export.gov/ibp/eg_webcontent_022146.asp
List of IBP 2014 Shows (2015 schedule released in March): http://export.gov/ibp/ibp.asp?ReportID=IBP
Coke Mead – DBM Contractors. Coke shared that over his career he has promoted 50 trade shows in 10 different industry sectors. His primary message to the attendees was to really understand the shows target audience and make sure that it is aligned with the company. He stressed the importance of understanding who the show organizer is, their ability to promote the show professionally, and attract attendees annually. He shared that if you are not certain about a particular show being the right fit he suggested you go the first time as a professional visitor to check it out.
The presentations were followed by a lively discussion and afterwards were invited to network.