Well, I am back in the office this week after spending an exhausting week in Atlanta at the GlassBuild Show. Was it worth it? Well, I am comparing my pile of leads vs. last year’s Vegas show. The pile is measurably higher and the leads are definitely stronger!

Face it – this is why we do these shows. It’s all about the leads. But, the majority of the leads I get from this show are people and companies with whom I am already familiar! So, why is it necessary to go to a trade show in Atlanta in order to get them interested in one’s product or service? Why can’t it be done by simply visiting them? What is the magic in a trade show?

The answer lies in the venue. When you visit a customer in his manufacturing environment, he has a daily agenda – answering calls, emails, operations responsibilities or daily meetings, of which you are just one. Your meeting with the customer may be cut short when his or her phone rings or someone from the plant calls to report a problem. Even if it isn’t cut short, do you really have the customer’s undivided attention or is he or she oftentimes preoccupied with what else needs to get done that day? He or she is like a computer running with 10 applications open, taxing the RAM. The one application which involves you, the sales call, is therefore slowed way down!

This is where the tradeshow venue works like magic! The customer is out of the office, away from all of the daily distractions and more free to focus on what you have to offer. The customer on the trade show floor is ready to focus on three things–one, to see what you have to offer, two, to see how you stack up against the competition, and three, to decide (or at least develop a mindset) as to which technology, service or machine is best suited for his or her company.

When it comes to equipment decisions, customers who may be pondering equipment purchases all year long, oftentimes go to the show to make their final decision. Think about it- If you’ve been thinking about investing in new equipment, but are undecided about which machine to buy, it would be quite expensive to fly to various places to see each machine in operation. So, what a great opportunity it is to be able to go to one place to see them all operating within the same building. For this reason, I sell more machinery at or just after GlassBuild then I do all year long! And this year, customers seem ready to buy new machinery with all of the latest technology, instead of waiting for the next equipment auction, as they did several years ago!

So, however exhausting this show may be, I am always excited about going and always even more excited when I return!



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