How’s That Working for You?

I’m recovering from attending two amazing trade shows - the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas and the ASI Show in Orlando. We are launching our sales generating SuccessFit4Life! program and it made sense for me to go to both. Suddenly I understand what some suppliers feel like!

These two industry events are stacked on top of each other. And having done the January traveling industry road show circuit that moved from the west to the east, it makes me appreciate our suppliers even more. I wrote about this before in a commentary I dubbed, Salute to Industry Heroes. I just can’t express my respect enough for these road warriors.

During our time at the show we put together a few videos to share with our audience. Special thanks go to our video sponsors, Webb Company, Hirsch Gift, Showdown Displays, Evans, Quality Certification Alliance and Bankers Advertising Company.

All the video was posted to the FreePromoTips Facebook Page. If you want to stay on top of industry news and see cool stuff from some great suppliers I invite you to like our Facebook page.

In a video with my friend and editor Glenda Stormes-Bice, I learned about the eye opening number of minutes on the PPAI Expo show floor and how quick that can go by. We need to make that time count. You can see that video and some great trade show tips here.  

At trade shows, there is SO much going on, it’s important to stay focused on accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. There are opportunities for great education, seeing new products, connecting with suppliers, and networking, which offers many benefits.

I am always curious about how suppliers choose to market at trade shows and what specific goals they have. We all get those “personal” e-mails from companies we’ve never heard of that want a piece of our time: You know the ones I am talking about.  I wonder how effective these ongoing pre-show e-mails are for suppliers?  

While many suppliers are great at connecting with distributors at trade shows, others aren’t. Thankfully, it’s not my money, but it seems some waste dollars. Both the PPAI Expo and The ASI Show Orlando were busy. At any trade show there are going to be times in an aisle where there is a lull. Suppliers need to choose what to do with that down time.

Long ago, when I was an exhibitor, I learned that you never sit in a booth. I saw many suppliers sitting in a booth. I understand, these can be grueling days, but they are called trade “shows”.  I guess the show is always on. I’m not likely to disturb a supplier who is sitting even if I may be interested in their line.    

While some suppliers are very good at showing products others are unable to explain how their products provide a marketing/branding solution for end-user buyers. It's always fascinating to see how each booth succeeds or fails at their efforts.

In this evolving marketplace it seems that suppliers are challenged as to how to effectively share their line. I’m a bit jaded here. For over 10 years the PPAI award-winning program has enabled suppliers to cost effectively reach distributors through our content driven, relationship focused program. Some suppliers seem to be comfortable doing what they always have done, even though the industry has changed radically.

When I see suppliers miss opportunities to maximize their trade show investment, I’d like to ask, how’s that working for you?

On the distributor side, I understand that there are many reasons it’s not possible to attend these major events in January. There are other business building options though. Regional Associations produce beneficial events. The ASI Roadshow travels the country giving you the chance to connect with suppliers on an intimate level. PPAI and ASI offer great online education opportunities you can take advantage of.  

There are many benefits to attending trade shows and using the business building tools that are available. In today’s competitive, changing business environment if you are taking advantage of these tools, I’d like to ask, how that’s working for you?

© 2017 Jeff Solomon, MAS



I've noticed a lack of interest by many suppliers working trade shows these days. I think they are tired, but it looks BAD. Like you say, you really don't want to disturb these people when they are doing other things.

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