12/29/2011 11:13 AM
Year end creates the artificially appropriate time to fill out your annual event marketing scorecard, so here goes. (Please rest assured this will NOT include any New Year’s resolutions!)
If you listen to the financial pundits, despite the troubles in Europe and the stop-and-start economy, the US market has rebounded prey well in 2011. Housing prices hit bottom in most markets and actually started bouncing back somewhat. Manufacturing inventories started to fall as the consumer market picked up, even showing an improvement over last year’s holiday shopping season. The stock market showed a 2500 point swing, but has held at or above the 12,000 mark for most of the 4th quarter. The tech community in New York City is showing signs of resurgence, and angel inventors have come out of their cocoons with check books open. It’s all good…mostly.
Unemployment is still high as the US economy continues its migration from a manufacturing to service basis, with jobs continuing to stream overseas. Until new industries emerge the specter of unemployment will hover over all sectors of the economy dragging both long term manufacturing activity and consumer confidence.
The long term outlook points to a generally good trend until 2014. Economic cycles that used to take 8-10 years to evolve are now condensed into 3-4 year dizzying spins.
So, what about trade show marketing in 2012? Companies that have weathered the 2009-10 economic downturn are returning to the practices that made them successful in the past (i.e. trade shows, thank God), but are clearly looking for new ways to reach their prospects and customers. Consumers are the early technology adopters. Businesses are now sorting through all the currently available marketing platforms (trade shows, web, traditional print, PR, virtual media, etc.), and slowly defining what are acceptable ways to communicate and engage their business audience. Herein lies the opportunity for truly innovative businesses and those who serve them with these marketing tools. First ones to figure this out wins!
Finally, what may be the biggest determining factor for the economy in 2012…it’s an election year! The incumbent will do everything possible to pump up the economic conditions and, when the media tells us we’re doing better, we usually do better. As former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan once said, “irrational exuberance” goes a long way to group hypnosis. If we all take the bait 2012 could be another bounce back year. So hold on tight, work hard, seize new opportunities and enjoy the ride while it lasts. Trade Show exhibiting should be on your radar for 2012. The opportunities to exhibit in New York and across the country and globe will be abundant so do your research and make smart decisions based on the data you’ve (hopefully) collected in 2011. And don’t forget, there’s no reason to go it alone, we’d be happy to help you develop a trade show marketing plan for the new year and help you plan for success.
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