Trade Shows Still an Industry Favorite
Even during the age of the Internet and electronic communication, there is no better way to get industry news and information about the latest products than through a trade show.
The results of a new industry survey indicate the impact of the Internet, e-mail and multimedia disks has not replaced graphic arts trade shows as sources of information. Major expositions, such as Graph Expo and Print, are still viewed by printers as important events in the industry. Regional trade shows, however, were not rated as high.
The survey was conducted by MAN Roland's marketing agency, NAK Marketing Communications, which sampled 1,000 MAN Roland users and 1,000 graphic arts executives and managers. Of the 150 respondents, 54 percent said smaller expositions offer little when compared to national shows, while 10 percent strongly agree that regional shows lack the value national shows offer. When asked to rank their preferences in live media, most selected a live demonstration at a trade show as the top answer, while running new equipment, an association presentation or seminar and conversations with a fellow printer were also high on the list. Ranking last on the list of 10 was an interactive Web site presentation.
The respondents also indicate they rely on articles from trade magazines, visits from their local sales representatives and product brochures to get information about the industry. A static Web site and e-mail ranked ninth and 10th on the list.
"This survey was not meant to be scientific, but to provide a snapshot of how the industry feels about its trade shows," says Yves Rogivue, chief executive officer of MAN Roland Inc. "We wanted to know what our customers and the industry at large thought about these expositions, so we can do a better job of allocating our communications resources."
The survey also asked if Print 01, an industry exposition, met expectations. Only a third of the respondents answered the question, with 74 percent indicating the show met expectations, while 16 percent said the show went beyond expectations. Of those who skipped the event, 43 percent said they didn't have the time to attend while 39 percent responded that the show wasn't in the travel budget. Only 7 percent said they could get the same information over the Internet.