As meeting planning professionals, we need to have a good return on our investment (ROI) when we attend a hospitality industry trade show. Our objectives are simple.
- Meet with the suppliers of currently sourced programs
- Meet new destinations/venues for future events
- Network to grow contact base
- Attend educational sessions that will enable us to grow as professionals (a solid education format attracts the best attendance)
Choices of Current Tradeshow Formats:
- Traditional – a supplier sets up a booth and works to attract customers to visit them.
- Appointments (within the traditional tradeshow) – a supplier sets up a booth and works to attract customers to visit them. They add a new twist, by making appointments with key customers (asking them to stop by at a specific time).
- Reverse tradeshow – with this vehicle, it is the reverse of the traditional show. The customer sets up the booth and the supplier visits the customers they are interested in doing business with. .
- Hosted Buyer – a vehicle that brings qualified meeting buyers and sellers together with a high likelihood to book real business with each other through pre-arranged face-to-face meetings at the show. The meeting planners are sponsored which enables more qualified planners to attend.
- Combination of a few of the above
For me, the best ROI has been the trade shows with set appointments whether attending on my own or as a hosted buyer. To ensure the best ROI, I prefer trade shows that enable the following:
- Open time to explore
- Education / Training
What do you prefer?