Parry touts usefulness of live events

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Lynne Parry, trade show manager at Lancaster, N.Y.-based Apple Rubber Products, received this year's Trade Show Exhibitor Association Chairman's Award, recognizing a member who has contributed greatly to the group's purpose. Characterized as a dynamo, she has held positions at TSEA as well as the International Association for Exhibition Management, conducts seminars, judges shows, acts as a media source and mentors exhibitors and show managers.

Parry plans Apple Rubber's trade show year-14 shows, five in the Tradeshow 200-at one session. "Having all information on our options at one time is hard to get," she said. "New shows or shows that we're unaware of appear after we've set the schedule. Spending the entire budget or keeping reserves for future options is a tough decision.

"Getting necessary information to make the decision to exhibit is a challenge, especially if they don't have audited demographics and if you don't have previous costs to determine budgeting."

Parry refines strategies of meeting face to face at U.S., Canadian and European exhibitions. At events, she helps work the booth, explaining how Apple Rubber, a designer and manufacturer of O-rings, seals and custom sealing devices, provides solutions. She encourages customers and prospects to experience products and services for themselves.

"We measure success several ways," Parry said. "We look at our number of qualified leads, check the number of customers who visit, determine the percentage of leads for immediate follow-up and how many new prospects we've reached, examining requests for quotes and samples. Naturally, we measure success by orders."

Apple Rubber was the first new exhibitor to win a best-of-show award at the last International Engineered Fabrics Expo, where Parry's uniquely designed projection system drew crowds.

"I love my job. I do it all," she said. "Our owner is always open to innovation. Be friendly with competitors: Learn as much as you can from every show. -Barbara Axelson

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