2013 Is Really the New 2014!…Wait…what?

Are You Kidding ME!

Are You Kidding ME!

The show season is not winding down contrary to popular perception. More events are moving into the November/December timeframe as it seems there is a surge in “let’s get ahead” mentality. As the holidays all get shifted earlier and earlier and overlapping all over the place, the same thing has happened with tradeshows!

Organizers have figured out that hosting events November/December are no longer for that particular year – they are giving their sponsors and exhibitors the jump on the next year! Exhibitors and sponsors alike are using that platform to promote the next year’s “available soon” products; or announcing the new product taking orders NOW! The end of Q4 which tended to be the lagging month for some has now become the Q1 intro to business revenue! Garnering clients who they can get to before the first of the year!

Your booth is hanging on by its last bit of floral wire and duct tape and now you have to make it look new with little to no budget left; and make the best out of products that have been packed and repacked 20 times over and handled like unpacked toys on the toy aisle! Now we have to make things look like we are progressing to the next year with a fresh look!

Yup, can’t get engineering to give you one more thing, budgets are on lock down, and you will be using whatever you have left even if chewing gum and super glue are in the mix!

Well, here is one little idea that might help get you through this year with the shift already taking place – generate show buzz! Take a little note from all the movies that are promoted – send out short snippets through social media channels to get those teasers out there for Q1 products. Get your most dynamic speakers on that platform whether it be in actual speaking sponsorships or in your booth with scheduled meet the expert time invitations! PR needs to step it up here and get those press appointments on the show floor! Lead generation can be significant if you are targeted with your invites and promotions. Your ROI will be much more direct with this kind of promotion than if you leave it to the organizer to draw in target clients who you would like to see in the coming year.

With all of this shifting around of product promotion/placement/pricing – many will say, “yeah this has been around for years”. Well, not in every industry and market segment and certainly not as aggressively as it is right now in 2013, check out the show line-up for the end of the year in whatever industry you are in and you will find many more events in those last 2 months than ever before. 2014 is definitely already aligning with even more fever; just ask any organizer working to get a venue!

How to work with this little nuance “wrench in the ringer”? Well gypsies here we go, AGAIN! Need a new potion for this one. So we will throw in a little “new” into the mix to kindle the fires for next year until we can rearrange the graphics, budgets, new booth, marketing campaigns and that little thing we call a marketing plan! Sit down with your management, sales, BD, engineering, and marketing teams and get the word out the tides have turned and let them know that you need something to feed the restless early adopters as the holidays are not the only dates that are jumping way ahead to gather business early!

Oh, and keep track of how you make your miracle because end-of-year reviews will want to know how you made the company money! By saving them money of course!

You can do it gypsies – you are the magic-makers of the company!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elene
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 17:02:19

    I guess that’s why we’re already in the throes of the fall 2014 election season too!


  2. Rick
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 21:33:56

    This is slightly different, but one of the tradeshows we attend annually switched their dates last year from the usual November to March. So the 2012 show was in November and the 2013 show was in March. They were so close together that the attendance for the March show was way lower than usual. But the bad thing is I think people are going to remember that and moving forward the impression is going to be that’s it’s not a well attended show. I had spoke to the organizer, and they had switched the date of the show to correspond with their company’s fiscal year.

    Great article, I love your writing style.


    • tradeshowgypsy
      Jan 14, 2014 @ 09:31:34

      Thanks Rick! Yes, I can tell you from the organizers point of view they can’t be happy either and are hoping it all adjusts. But moving from Fall to Spring probably has more than just fiscal year behind it. The fall seems to have been packed with shows, and venues are a nightmare to get to host and the hotels for your exhibitors/attendees. From your side of the fence, why would people want to attend basically the same event twice and/or sponsor/exhibit? Some shows you just have to be at if you are going to keep your place in the industry – an idea that might help should this occur again is to Sponsor and get a meeting room for the events until you can guage whether this was a good idea or bad one. This might save you money, and allow your sales/BD teams to make appointments for follow-on meetings from the first show. Just an idea that might save you some money and look good on that performance appraisal of all the money you saved!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: