How Conventions Drive the Future of Business
By: Daniel Perry | December 30, 2022
With CES just around the corner and my desk piled high with ideas, demands, and all manner of issues requiring attention, I realize again just how much work and planning go into event preparation. Not to mention the costs — conventions are expensive, even prohibitively so for some. I’m left wondering what value real-world events like CES can bring to businesses in an age of internet meetings and digital spaces when everyone prefers to do things online. Are we getting something out of this, or should we just stick to virtual events?
Hi, I’m Dan Perry, the Marketing Manager for NexiGo. Today I’ll talk about the importance of conventions and why NexiGo continues to invest in them despite the heavy cost.
What value can a convention provide to my business?
Conventions need a ton of time to plan for, they require a lot of resources, and generally speaking, are challenging to assign direct value to. Though you may have introduced yourself to a new potential client at a convention, all of the hours devoted to making phone calls and sending emails to that client will take even more time. So at the end of the day, where do you assign the value to all the time, resources, and energy for some clients who will never reply?
But as has been pointed out to me numerous times by the state lottery board, if you don't play, you don't win. Conventions are much the same. It’s easy to say that if we skip the convention we can still find new business opportunities, but that is not necessarily the case. If you’re offering a product that’s very similar to the competition, it will be difficult for clients to differentiate from the sea of existing products. That is why it’s all about making the right impression.
Above all, this is the value that conventions provide. And while it’s true that networking, conference calls, and free giveaways can all be done online, there’s no sacrificing that face-to-face interaction. When someone can get a first-hand look at the value your company can bring to the market, you can make a way better impression when you’re in the same room with them.
Is there a better way?
This is a somewhat loaded question. There are other ways, but there really is no better way to ensure that potential customers think of your products when there are already a ton of companies who are offering the same thing. But, to be frank, the actual question here is not whether there is a better way; rather, as with everything in business, the real question is whether there’s a more cost-effective way to achieve the same objective.
CES is pricey, and though it’s one of the more spendier conventions, all conventions are expensive. At CES, it’s possible to spend a quarter million just to rent a space and design a booth. To compare, high-bandwidth internet prices at many offices are hovering around $1,000 per month — so you could get a lot of high-speed internet for the price of a booth.
But as previously mentioned, would you be able to capitalize on the same results doing so? You could pay for a lot of advertising with a quarter million. You’d be able to target specific groups of business professionals, work with agencies that have publications specifically targeting the markets you work with, or even create your own online convention where your company makes every single product that you showcase.
But as with all advertising, it only works if people see it. At CES, unless visitors only plan to visit a single booth, they will have to walk the floor at some point. And as they’re doing so, your booth will eventually wind up in their path, giving you the chance to introduce them to your company and your products. If they’re at work or at home, they may see your advertising, but you can’t make the same impression as you would if you spoke with them face-to-face.
So, while there may be alternatives, they are not guaranteed, and it would most likely require a similar or even larger investment to achieve the same objective. Taking these considerations into perspective, there really is no better way to ensure that you’re making the right impression than connecting with the most ideal distributors, retailers, and customers who may be really interested in your product! These are all the types of contacts you’re missing out on when you aren’t attending a big convention like CES.
The bitter pill to swallow is that conventions are expensive, time-consuming, and draining. It’s undeniable, however, that they also provide a real-world value that is unlikely to be obtained in other ways — at least not without some risk. And even though it may sometimes be worthwhile to just roll the dice, if you want concrete results, conventions are key.
But what do you think? Has the expense of conventions finally outweighed their value? Is there another, better way?
If you’re also going to be at CES 2023, feel free to stop by our booth #18474, and I would be happy to chat about your thoughts on this subject. Have a great day!