Magazine article Management Today

Show Trade-Offs

Magazine article Management Today

Show Trade-Offs

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: Our marketing director has asked me to confirm the booking for this year's trade exhibition in Frankfurt. Although we always go, I've never been convinced it's worth the time and cost: [pound]200,000 seems like a lot of money. Should I be brave and tell him to cancel?

ISSUES: You're right, [pound]200,000 is a lot of money, and it may be better to spend the cash on something else. But if you are going to go, consider the following.

Trade shows are effective for many companies, which can measure the benefits in hard orders, leads generated or relationships strengthened. Others are driven to go by a 'we can't not do it' mentality. The fear of competitors having a field day, of de-motivating the sales force or sending the wrong signals to the marketplace are just too great. Doing things for negative reasons is seldom a good idea and isn't a great basis on which to spend [pound]200,000.

How good is your marketing director? Has he or she put forward a clear proposal articulating the costs and benefits, where your presence at the fair fits in the overall marketing strategy and confirming that it is within the budget? If marketing can't tell you the results from last year, you've got the answer. …

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