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Get Out There and Mingle

August 11, 2010 By: Michael Browne

Trade show season is approaching in the travel industry, a time when agents are being besieged with invites and speaker announcements and last chances for  early-bird registrations. While many travel agents working at home may feel that they don’t have the time or simply don’t see the benefits of such meetings, the business world actually sees quite a bit of value in trade shows. Despite the e-revolution in the way we do everything we do for business, none of the old- fashioned methods have disappeared. (Remember the concept of a paperless work environment? I think  I use way more paper today than ever before.)

This week, Veronis Suhler Stevenson issued its annual VSS Communications Industry Forecast 2004-2014, which provides a five-year forecast of spending for revenue streams across 20 segments and 100 subsegments across communications. Trade shows—a subsegment of Business-to-Business Media, which in turn is a subsegment of the Targeted Media category—are expected to show a slight gain through 2014.

“Face-to-face marketing, broadly defined, has always been a good business, and we believe it will continue to be,” said Hal Greenberg, partner, VSS Structured Capital Funds, in a published ad. "There has been growth in e-tradeshows but they are still a small component compared to exhibit or attendee dollars.”

Still, many travel agents working at home are struggling to rebound from the recession of the past two years and don’t feel that registration and travel expenses are a good investment at this time for agents working at home. But it actually could be a very good investment, provided they choose the right show for their business. It’s important to get out there and see the folks you know and show them that you’re still around—let’s face it, a lot of your colleagues may not have ridden out the storm as well.
Just as important is the chance to meet new contacts at CVB offices and hotels and attractions. All of these suppliers are eager to get the word out that they’re still open for business as well. So get out there and mingle.

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