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The amount of effort that goes into four days of being crammed into a 10x20 square of carpet in a sea of signs, salespersons and attendees is incredible. I think that perhaps it is easier to pack up a house and move it from the East to the West Coast. The work involved in exhibiting at tradeshows is not glamorous. Even when I travel with the sales team to attend the shows carefully planned, it is long days on concrete slabs in flat shoes and sometimes disingenuous smiles. Vegas, Chicago, Florida, or any tradeshow business trip can be exhausting.
The question then comes to mind; why bother with trade shows? Perhaps the leads and new contacts made could be found through a campaign to increase digital traffic, or carefully targeted emails. The answer is they can’t. There is no replacement for doing business face to face.
Some things can only be found out in person. Like an interview, the process is not perfect, but there is a reason why we don’t hire people without meeting them first. When it comes to projects that are a sizable portion of your company’s budget, checking the right boxes is primary but the gut check happens face to face. Yes, while you want a company to be ISO certified, to respond on time, and have done business with major brands but when it is time for big decisions, there is no substitute for that extra bit of information you get from shaking a hand or looking someone in the eye.
That extra bit of information makes all the difference in the world because you might be spending a significant portion of your time with this company. Your job might depend on how well a vendor can deliver. You want to understand if a company can stay on its toes and pivot quickly with unexpected requirements and needs. You want to know if a business trip to spend an evening out with these people is a good idea. Primarily though, a consideration for any business partnership is that your organizations success is tied to the successful abilities of your vendors.
There is also the matter of keeping business fun and interesting, which is a less professional way of saying you want high engagement with corporate partners. Numerous studies show, high engagement numbers lead to high performance numbers. It all translates to more desirable numbers in the end, but I like to say let’s keep business fun and interesting.
When attending HIMSS18, or you next trade show, remember that building relationship value builds business value. Take some time to validate your gut and “kick the tires” of that big-ticket company purchase. If all else fails, at least get some free show swag to take home to the kids.
We would love to get to know you better and have you come “kick the tires” of our 2018 lineup of medical computers. Stop by Teguar booth #11929 between March 5th-9th and say hello to Jacob, Philipp, Tom, or Jonathan. We promise, they will keep it interesting, and maybe fun.