Strictly Sail Show - Chicago
As a small part of my overall responsibility for the company I work for, I too am responsible for trade shows. Our business is not retail like yours but, the same principals apply. Many believe that there are far too many trade shows today, as a matter of fact show attendance is off by 15-20% nation wide, regardless of the venue. I believe that the economy will implode if the Texas cowboy invades Iraq (and I voted for this guy) so this very discussion may be moot, I regress. That said, we don''t attend all of the venues offered by the trade show promoters in our industry either. One must carefully choose the shows they participate in but, don''t believe for a moment that your show success is measured by the number of "fill in the blanks" you sell. A lot of good will can be made by pressing the flesh and meeting in-person the people you sell to. Your mere existence at a show can dispel rumors about the financial health (some were floating around at the show) of your company. As it is said "you may be conspicuous by your absence". Sailnet was in the program, I realize that this happens well in advance of the show, I feel you probably should have been there. I’m certain you know the demographics, maybe the customer base doesn’t exist in the Midwest, this much I do know, there are **** load of boats in the Great Lakes. Michigan has more state registered boats than any other state in the country, California and Florida are number 2 and 3 on the top ten list, Illinois is number 9.
I don’t suppose you’d like to buy a one and a half million dollar Swiss Machine Tool would you?