Do Financial Trade Shows & Conferences Represent a Waste of Resources?

In many cases, yes; however if you choose the right meeting and execute the appropriate strategy, they can be an enlightening and engaging environment.

By Kelly Williams
Trade shows are expensive: booth creation, exhibit fees, shipping, travel, employee time, promotion, entertainment and more make your participation in a conference an important proposition.  It is your expectation and strategy that determines:

  1. If the show is worth attending
  2. What resources should be applied
  3. What objectives equal success

The financial industry has seen conferences come and go. Remember Futurebanker or NOAC?  And it has seen rise to new events, such as Money2020. We have also seen an increase in smaller, highly focused events, such as those by Bank Director, SourceMedia and niche or regional associations (EFTA and TAG FinTech for example).

Frankly, deciding which show NOT to attend is as important as the ones you do.

The Power of In-person vs. Virtual relationships

David Nour author of Relationship Economics told me recently that there is a substantial difference between “contacts” and “relationships.” The use of social media tools, which represent the greatest shift in communications ever, do not equate to developing valuable relationships. The outcome we should be looking for of our show participation is in establishing, expanding and understanding the potential of our relationships with prospects, customers, media, employees, potential employees, business partners and the host organization.

It may sound old school, but events offer our best opportunity to further our business relationships.

What does booth size say about our business?

It is true that large booths attract attention, suggest financial stability and enable companies to make bold statements. Sizeable booths also accommodate multiple demo areas, product presentations and large gatherings (assuming you have something interesting to share).

We are, however, seeing more companies shift their investment into a multipronged approach to conferences. That includes suites for one-on-one demos and sales meetings, high-touch customer/prospect dinners, media outreach and promotion.

We also continue to see a growing number of companies sharing their booths with strategic partners.

Your success is not evaluated by the number of business cards you collect or followers you have, but rather results, which come from connecting in a meaningful way with people. In an effort to assist our friends in the financial industry, we have created our 2014 Financial Trade Show Directory to provide the information you need with links to conferences, dates, locations and the hosts. You can download our free directory here

See you at an event soon.

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