Over the last 45 years I’ve heard repeatedly a conversation that goes something like this:
Party of the First Part: This trade show/conference/meeting was such a waste of time.
Party of the Second Part: How come you’re here this year?
Party of the First Part: Oh, we always attend. We always have.
If the Party of the First Part happens to be a tradeshow exhibitor, this line invariably is included:” You know, if we don’t show up people will think we’ve gone out of business.”
Trade shows and conferences are terrific resources…if you participate in the right ones. Which are the right ones? That depends on what you want to learn and who you want to meet. What’s right for me may not be right for you.
Selecting the wrong conference or trade show imposes very harsh costs:
- You have wasted your organization’s money.
- The time that those attending invested could have been put to more productive use.
- With some research, you might identify an event that is a better investment of your time and money.
As it has been said (generally misattributed to Albert Einstein), the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
This may cause some to question the very idea of participating in conferences and trade shows. Should it? That’s the subject of another post.