Home > Business > Service. Marketing. And a down 2010?

Service. Marketing. And a down 2010?


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Last week, I took a look at a summary analysis of the “2010 Exhibition Industry and Future Outlook” by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).  You can find that report on this hyperlink: SHAZAM!  A couple of things struck me as I looked at it.  First off, I have never told any of my friends and family that I’m in the “exhibition industry”.  They are already confused on what I actually do for a living, and saying that I’m into exhibition is only going to muddy the waters.  Second, I was surprised at how different the 2010 report was from accounts I’ve heard at various exhibit houses.

Most of the folks I’ve talked to have said that 2010 was a bounce back year for two main reasons:  A) That their existing clients started attending more tradeshows and/or wanted to grow their diminished trade show booth(s) they had been using for the last year/two years (sorry about all the parentheticals and dashes in that last sentence [sorry again for the last parenthetical apologizing for the previous use of parentheticals. Let’s move on.]).  B)  That the exhibit house had recaptured business they had lost in 2009 to a competitor that was selling on price and not offering any other services or were offering diminished services.  Those are both great things to hear and as I talk to more and more of you, I am curious to hear how your 2010 was and why you think it was that way.  In the mean time, looking at those two answers got me thinking about the similarities between marketing and service.

Marketing and service are largely intangibles.  To show an example, that’s why ROI (return on investment) reports are so important in marketing.  You need to prove to your client that the money they spent advertising themselves was well worth it, but even then, there is still some speculation and interpretation used in the ROI data.  Service it just as slippery because it is not something you can show on a quote or a receipt.  However, despite how tough it is to show the value of marketing and service on the front end, both marketing and service are noticed when absent.  Like the air we breathe, you never realize how much you miss them until you no longer have them.  The end users referenced above that either expanded their booths or were recaptured by the exhibit houses realized the value of the marketing they were missing at trade shows and the service and expertise they were missing from their original exhibit house.

So, bravo to you all that were able to grow in 2010.  For those of you still on the road to recovery, there is good news.  The same CEIR report that said 2010 was a down year, does predict an upswing for 2011.  So, I’ll leave you with two questions: what are you going to do to get your piece of the pie and what can Optima do to help you?

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