Tip of the Week #120 – Trade Shows – Are They Worth the Expense?

Tip of the Week #120 – Trade Shows – Are They Worth the Expense?

Sales Manager John Mullins shares his thoughts in this week’s tip.

Print17 is quickly approaching – this is the largest trade show specific to the print industry here in the US.  Each year as we get closer to it, we wrestle with the question all small businesses have—is it worth it?


Obviously, it’s great exposure to a large audience that is totally focused on print…it’s not like a lot of pet food companies and steel mills will be coming to a print trade show.

You get to encounter the most up-to-date technology the industry is offering…it’s easy to see what Xerox, Heidelberg, Canon and others all have to offer, and the convenience of walking across the hall to see what’s new can have much more impact than reading a press release or visiting a show room.

You also get to see what your competitors are up to – it’s always nice to reaffirm that your product is still just as good as anything else out there and actually better than any options in the market today.

You can really make a splash and show off your product…if your latest release is new and cutting edge—there’s no better place to let the world know it.


The expense—Booth, power, internet, carpet, marketing material, people, hotels, meals…. the list goes on and on (and so do the costs).  These are the sunk costs—there is of course the lost revenue cost that you must factor in.  If I send a person to the show then I cannot have them out on a billable job.

With the on-demand world we live in and the easy-to-use technology (like Skype or GoTo Meeting), do you really need to wait for a trade show to allow people to see what you offer? Technically, you could make every day a virtual trade show if you wanted to.

ROI-will you make any money from leads at the show? Would they have found you otherwise?


In summary, I think that it ultimately comes down to what you want to get out of the show – and that’s determined largely by the effort you put into it.  While I am on the fence on their use as an exhibitor, it is great to attend and network and see the print industry put its best foot forward.

Thank you John!

As an addendum, we have a stack of exhibits passes to give away, compliments of PrintVis.

The complimentary exhibits-only pass is a $40/55 value, and when you click the link below to sign up you’ll also find you have the option for a $50 PRINT 17 seminar registration discount (including the OUTLOOK 17 conference). Admission to the exhibit hall is included with the seminar badge. Just click below to register with no obligation.

PrintVis will be in Booth 252 – GO HERE to MAP YOUR SHOW!

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