Thoughts from a trade show

The South Atlantic Jubilee was held a few weeks ago in Myrtle Beach. Like most trade shows in recent years, attendance was down and the usual theories were passed around as to why. These included: the economy in general, the sad state of the housing industry, and at the other end, “it’s so dry that everyone is out busy working.” I also heard that between the state shows, distributor open houses, and national shows, contractors are just simply weary of trade shows in general. However, the most interesting comment came from an attendee who said, “I used to come here to gather the latest product literature, but I don’t think I need to anymore. You guys have it all on the web”. True enough, but that got me thinking of all the other reasons to attend a trade show.

To begin with, if you’re there to look at product, there’s no better place. The web is terrific, but there’s nothing like looking at new products in person and interacting with the manufacturer’s personnel. You can touch and feel, ask questions, and then perhaps, wander over to their competitor’s booth to compare their products and talk to their people. The web just doesn’t provide that opportunity.

Of course, most states require some type of annual continuing education. There’s generally no better place to get that than at a trade show. It’s 1-stop shopping. This year, the South Atlantic Jubilee offered over 2 days of non-stop classes. And, the feedback that is collected every year on these came in at an all-time high.

Finally, trade shows are a chance to get away from the daily routine for a while and interact with the many other professionals in our industry. And, when you get home, the web is still there, with all the literature.

See you in Las Vegas at the NGWA Ground Water Expo.

One thought on “Thoughts from a trade show

  1. Mark’s comments concerning the value of attending trade shows are right on target. Having attended many trade shows during my career I continue to be excited to attend the next one. There is ALWAYS something to learn about new products or markets, the opportunity to get those CEU’s you might need, but most of all, time to share with many of your brethern from so many places. I never tire of learning new things from people that attend who’ve had different experiences than I. In my prior life as a contractor there were so many times something had told me at one of these shows that got me out of a real tight spot.

    Today the two greatest pleasures I get from these events is the opportunity once again see many of the friends made in my travels across this great country I seldom see except at these shows, and the chance to hopefully help someone with what I’ve learned through the years. Who knows, I might make a few new friends at the next one I can’t wait for the Expo!

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