Why a Trade Show Might Be Worth It

April 14, 2011  |  

(Businessweek) — Although webinars and virtual online trade shows have become popular in recent years, and serve a marketing purpose, they are not replacements for face-to-face events, says Bill Sell, vice-president and general manager of CrossTech Media, a Boston company that owns and manages 20 business and professional conferences. “People have been doing in-person selling since the medieval village marketplace and it’s never going to be wiped out.”  There are about 2,200 trade shows and industry expos held in the U.S. annually, down about 25 percent in the past three to four years, Sell says, but new events have cropped up this year, discontinued shows are coming back, and attendance is expected to improve. “People are recognizing that there is no serendipity factor in webinars. You market to the audience you know and have invited; you can’t expect to run into someone you don’t know or find new opportunities at a virtual event,” he says.

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