Here is the IRE link if you would like to register. Also, the floor plan of exhibiting companies.

John Stortz & Son will not be paying for a booth this year. The costs of exhibiting do not meet the payoff especially when considering the foot traffic is down, while the costs continue to rise. The internet has wildly changed the appeal of trade shows because in days prior, trade shows were the best place to do product research, and this can now be done online.

However, if you look this chart provided by the IRE, you’d come to the conclusion that even though attendance seems to be rising, total booths keep increasing.

This can be a bit misleading though because the actual amount of exhibitors is not 1,206. If you go to exhibitor list, you’ll see 48 pages of 10 companies per page, which is 480 companies. When you consider ABC supply may purchase 10 “booths”, you really have no idea if more people are exhibiting. Notice too, the attendance is exactly the same as it was in 2006. More people aren’t going to trade shows.

I’ve heard numerous reasons for why company owners exhibit and they mostly key on “if we’re not there, people will think something must be wrong.” This doesn’t seem like a great reason to shell out thousands of dollars. However, there still are benefits of trade shows and I will be attending.

  • Face to Face – As much as it appears people are buried in their phones, there is no better way to get to the know the person you are dealing with than meeting them in person
  • Educational Seminars – There are 42 educational seminars that can increase your education.
  • New Products – The newest gadgets and info is brought to the trade show.
  • A Vacation! – Everyone knows people use trade shows as an excuse to party. You didn’t read that here.

If you did happen to read this far and are attending the IRE, send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll buy you a beer. Look forward to seeing you there!