Now is a good time to break the mold for your show. Many other shows are being labeled as a waste of time and resources by both attendees and exhibitors. Be different, stand out from the crowd, place yourself outside the box.
One strategy is to build on your unique strength—a show provides a face-to-face marketing opportunity. As consultant Francis Friedman says, "We are the only medium where the customer pays to hear a sales presentation." Capitalize on this by:
Aggressively playing up this unique attribute in your sales presentations.
Proactively helping your customers by matching qualified buyers one-on-one with appropriate exhibitors (see Profit Tip 127).
Another unique tactic is to make attendees apply to attend your show, similar to what controlled circulation trade magazines do. Set appropriate criteria which define buyer demographics. Then apply these consistently; non qualifiers can attend, but they have to pay.
And how about actually limiting the size of your exhibit so that you maintain an appropriate ratio of attendees to exhibits (which pleases the exhibitors)? This also creates the impression that you have a blow-out success, which helps exhibit sales for next year. Retain your profitability by raising your exhibit rate—the law of supply and demand.
Don't just keep doing the same old, same old. Act now to set yourself apart.