Events slowdown likely temporary

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Like most top executives in any industry this year, I am sure you are busy sending memos to staff to cut back on travel expenses and reduce costs at trade shows. Even more important, you are probably examining the viability of your own trade shows and conferences over the next year, and you may be having second thoughts about your existing events and wondering whether to launch new ones. Regardless of this year's clampdown on corporate travel, events are always going to be one of the best and most important ways for marketers and sales teams to reach customers and prospects. And while marketers may cut back on events in the near term, they will be back. Events in general have outpaced the revenue growth of other traditional media in recent years. And they proved more resilient last year, declining just 3.7% through the first three quarters from the year-earlier period, according to American Business Media. That compared with a 5.9% decline in b-to-b magazine revenue. Late last month, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research released a telling study that bolstered the case for events. It showed that companies on average spend $215 to make an initial face-to-face visit with a prospective customer at a trade show, compared with an average of $1,039 identifying and contacting a prospect in the field. Clearly, events are still one of the most important places to be looking for new revenue over the coming years. So don't let the slowdown change your plans for investing in events in the future. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at [email protected]
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