In this the modern age are trade shows relevant? In a country as vast as Australia if a trade show is held in Sydney people from the other side often cnnot get across to see the show. It is not always a matter of economics but also finding the time. I occasional attend trade shows and the money to attend comes out of my pocket, the people I work for think trade shows are not really important of cannot afford to send me across. So who are they relevant for? Is it a way to sell more product? A ntworking oppurtunity for people and suppliers? Is it a way to get hands on with gear your venue is unlikely to buy?
We can get so much information from the internet, look at online brochures, watch video and find the specs. But is this enough information to make decisions on purchase of equipment? most of us like to actually get hands on experience of a piece of equipment before we make the decision to purchase. Even if the specs for two pieces of equipment are similar and therefore should do the same job, this is oftened not the case. So based on this trade shows are still important. There is also the oppurtunity for people to network. but it seems that some companies are not attending trade shows to show of their gear. Have these companies decided that they are not getting the sales that they use to? Is the cost of putting on a display to high? Have decided the main market is around the head office? It seems to me that they are going to what they percieve to be the cheaper option and that is the online sale. But as I pointed out earlier people do like to get hands on knowledge of what the equipment does. Now if you are not in one of the major towns, like Sydney or Melbourne, and you want to see a piece of equipment in person you have to hope the suppliers will send across a sample for you to play with or a local company happens to have one in stock. Now I know a couple of venues in Adelaide that have had to buy thinkgs without actually trying them out, and these have been major purchases. This is a crazy state of affairs. Now one manufacturer is now touring a trade of the products they sell and manufacture, JANDS, and this is a great step, taking the equipment to the people. This is like a mini trade show.
Now the major trades shows that Australia has are often only once a year and usually in one major city, would it be detrimental if the actually moved the trade show from city to city? So at least every few years each city gets a chance to see what is around. Maybe venues etc could become proactive and make sure that their staff can attend these events. Maybe we as a group of consumers and users need to become more vocal to the suppliers and the event organisers. We could demand more shows, easier access to the gear we want to test. Manufacturers and suppliers need to realise that for the 10 tyre kickers there is also one potential purchaser, and networking is also really relevant in this industry.