Another Opening – Another Show
I think that many of us feel that we need to attend another dental trade show like we need another hole in our heads. I have not been to the California Dental Association meeting in five years. I have capable staff that attend on my behalf. Something came up this year; an important client wanted to do some focused research, and I immediately said I could do it. Well, CDA Spring was to be the location. For a couple of days I dreaded: a) the long flight from NJ to California; b) Orange County; and c) the sheer volume of time, effort and energy it takes just to be at a dental trade show.
I tailored my trip so that I could get in and get out: Fly into California on an afternoon, get a good night’s sleep, conduct the research and get out on a red-eye flight back home.
So on the flight out there, it really wasn’t that bad, iPad technology kept me busy for the six-hour flight. The minute I got to my hotel, I ran into numerous dental friends, which put me in a good mood. I had coffee with a super client and then decided to call it a night. The beautiful 79-degree, sunny weather also didn’t hurt. I ran into several more clients, publication friends and KOL doctors over the next twelve hours; I actually conducted some good, new business.
I got to spend time with three of my favorite dentists, as well (individually): Dr. Jeff Rohde from Santa Barbara, CA, Dr. Tom Giacobbi from Phoenix, AZ and Dr. Marty Jablow from the great state of NJ. These three doctors have a passion for dentistry that makes me feel like a fool for dreading coming to the CDA show. These three docs are definitely geeks like me, and I found myself smiling all day with a renewed outlook on dental shows.
Sitting in John Wayne Airport awaiting my red-eye flight back home was bittersweet. My colleagues Howard and Danielle were there for the rest of the weekend to meet client needs. In a weird way, I kind of wanted to stay and spend more time with the great folks of the dental industry (granted, I ran into a couple people that I should have run the other way from!).
But now I just realized why I might have been feeling that way, I never stepped foot on the show floor! No, it couldn’t be that could it?
I wonder… how was the traffic for CDA… will companies ever pull the plug on their tradeshow presence? Is it a “company A and B are their so company C has to be there as well” attitude in the industry?
Costs aside, I think companies can in fact do wonders for their brands at tradeshows if they are smart and approach the tradeshow not as a stand alone event, but rather as another piece of their overall marketing picture. Integrating a tradeshow presence with online and offline marketing is a very successful tactic and one that I wish I would see more of in the industry.
I wonder how the tradeshows of other industries are fairing