January 24, 2018 - 20.06
Why should I attend a Trade Show?
by Dan Marvin
If you haven't attended a trade show lately, you're missing out on a great opportunity. Trade shows are a great way to discover new trends, products, and solutions to problems. Increasingly, trade shows are combined with educational sessions, live demonstrations, and technology that can teach everything from how to better run a business to installation tips and tricks to making the most impact with social media and so much more.
MAPEI attends dozens of trade shows every year from small regional venues to large venues around the world. In fact, since MAPEI is an international company, our trade show season really starts in September in Bologna, Italy with Cersaie
the premier tile and stone show and then it’s on to Domotex
in Hanover, Germany focused primarily on the resilient and carpet flooring industry. In the Americas as I'm writing this post, we are about to kick-off trade show season, we have a huge contingent of our people at World of Concrete
, the largest event for concrete professionals. MAPEI's diverse product lines have led us increasingly into concrete additives
, and restoration
. WOC allows us to showcase these products as well as Below Grade Waterproofing
and even Tunneling
to a receptive audience. Next week, many of us hop on a plane and head to Surfaces
, the premier show for all sorts of floor and wall surfaces. And with just enough time to catch our breath it’s off to Tampa, Florida in April for the NWFA Expo
, highlighting the latest in the wood, bamboo and cork flooring industry. And finally wrapping up the tradeshow season, in May you will find many of us in Atlanta at Coverings
, the tile and stone industry's main event.
Typically I will come to town a couple of days early to attend technical meetings. Invariably I will stop by the convention center to see how the booth is progressing and to chat with our great team who pulls off miracles to get everything done on time. I am amazed at how a convention center floor can go from utter chaos one day (the HVAC is usually off, adding to the joy of setting up a booth) to aisle after aisle of beautiful booths, ready for customers to stop by the next.
MAPEI's involvement typically goes much deeper than you see at the booth. Because we employ so many subject-matter experts, we are almost always asked to present educational sessions
on a wide array of topics. We are always willing to provide materials and sponsorship for the Certified Tile Installer
certifications held during Coverings, for example. We sponsor design showcases
and industry happy hours, sponsor dog houses
and give away off-road vehicles
to celebrate our anniversary. We also give tours and interviews to the media
to highlight our products and systems.
A major feature of our booths at the major tradeshows are our live product demonstrations. Every 20 minutes, we demonstrate a new product
so that customers walking by can see how it applies and learn about the features and benefits. The show itself is a whirlwind of meeting customers, discussing products and solutions, and meeting with vendors. It is exhausting but exhilerating. As soon as a trade show concludes, we are already planning for the next one. We have a committee that meets at least monthly to discuss what worked at the booth, what didn't, and how it can be improved.
As you can see, trade shows are a big investment of time and resources for MAPEI but they more than pay for themselves by letting us talk directly to you, our customers. If you haven't attended a trade show lately, what's stopping you? Chances are we'll be at one near you soon.