We all have time constraints, we all have the unexpected come up, and there is a lot of preparation involved in attending industry events; including large trade shows, and even smaller on campus product shows. So when push comes to shove and you think you need to cancel, you should do so only after carefully considering the consequences of the cancellation:
The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for your company's brand to withstand the impact of a "no show".
Questions to ask prior to canceling should include:
- How important is this market to our sales goals?
- Will this market benefit from having face-to-face customer service?
- Will this market benefit from having product demonstrations?
- Will product samples being available help with corporate sales goals?
- Have we already been included in the event publicity - if so are our customers expecting us there?
- What will be the effect of cancellation on my company brand?
- Will my competitors be there?
- How much will I receive as a refund/ How much is the total cost of cancellation?
We can’t speak for every event in the tradeshow business, but when a company “no shows” to our events, here’s how they are impacted:
Since your company is already on the publicity, including pre show invitations, department invitations, and web site links, the researchers will be expecting you. When we hand out invitations on campus, researchers show active interest in coming to the event based on who is registered to attend. If they come and you are not there, they will be disappointed. Then they will do what you really don't want, and look for someone else who can answer their questions. Yes - your competitors will do a fine job of answering the questions they had in mind for you. These competitors will be more than happy to start a relationship with a new client, and if they are good they will carefully nurture that relationship and grow it. Soon you will be the "I used to use them" company. The concern here is that you would lose market share to your competitors - and it's a very competitive market.
What about the sales cycle, and downstream pipeline?
How can the show management help you have a presence there - even if you can't attend?
Some ideas include:
Exhibit without a rep: Ship your literature and booth to the event site ahead of time, and ask show management to set up a literature display. Hold a drawing for a high value giveaway to gather leads. These will not be as good as having the leads that your trained rep can get, but they can be a great starting point for referrals.
Get a science sales exhibitor for the day: Does show management know of a contract/ consulting research sales specialist who would be available to man your booth, to answer basic questions, and gather leads? They often do.
Be a Sponsor: Catering, bags, a special drawing, or select a tiered sponsorship program so that you still have an active presence at the event.
Do Advertising/Product Inserts: Provide show management with product samples or advertising inserts to place into all attendee bags (there is usually an additional charge associated with this) so that at the end of the day as the researchers go through their samples and literature, they will see your brand/products. Be sure to attach specific contact information to these inserts, as well as a compelling reason to contact you.
Carefully consider the consequences and the impact on your business when you cancel a tradeshow. These consequences can include:
- Loss of existing business to competitors
- Loss of opportunity to gain new business
- Loss of deposits/ direct costs that are non refundable
- Loss of networking and recruiting opportunities
- Loss of product demonstration and Q&A opportunity
- Loss of referral business
- Damage to your company brand/reliability of "no show" experience on targeted science research audience
If you are interested in learning more about Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. and their BioResearch Events, take a look at these Show Videos:
For a list of all our shows taking place in 2013, click the link below: