October 21st, 2013
Have Trade Shows Outlived Their Usefulness?
The Remodeling Show wrapped up in Chicago this past week. With the industry experiencing ups and downs over the past several years, the show has made many adjustments. It now features exhibits during two days instead of three and also has co-located with the DeckExpo show, giving it a broader base of attendees. The show also is promoted through social media, advertising and email blasts.
However, as I walked the floor this year, in my opinion, it seemed more intimate than in years past. There also seemed to be a lot of manufacturers walking the show, but not as many remodelers and home improvement companies.
It begs the question, have our industry trade shows outlived their effectiveness? I am not sure what the answer is, but I look at Fenestration Day coming up and the WDDA Forum that was this past month. Are these types of industry specific conferences, shows and seminars better suited for our industry now? Are they set to replace our industry trade shows?
Do manufacturer websites and sales representatives do a better job identifying potential clients and their needs today? Is show attendance down from the “heyday” because there are fewer home improvement companies and remodelers in business today?
I don’t know the definitive answer to these questions and time will tell if trade shows come back to “pre-recession” days. From my perspective, attendance seems to be shrinking but the interest level of attendees seems to be higher. It’s quality over quantity.
The one consistent theme I keep hearing and am experiencing firsthand is business is strong and we are finally enjoying a strong fall selling season. This trend appears to be consistent in all the markets and should continue into 2014!