With the first major trade show of 2012, CES, opening the week of January 6, 2012, in Las Vegas, Forbes recently quoted Gary Shapiro,president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.” Although Shapiro had a lot of good things to say about CES, the trade show that CEA puts on each January, he made some very positive comments about trade shows in general:
"Marketing executives at businesses across industry sectors understand the value of tradeshows. In a recent study conducted by the nonprofit organization Center for Exhibition Industry Research Foundation (CEIR), 99 percent of surveyed executives said exhibiting offers unique value not offered by other marketing channels. Business executives understand tradeshows’ importance, because exhibitions drive business. In another CEIR study conducted by Oxford Economics in 2010, findings uncover that each of the top exhibitions in the United States created, on average, $82 million in business-to-business sales among exhibitors and attendees.
"The U.S. business-to-business exhibition industry is alive and well, and it offers companies a gateway to reaching their markets. The 2010 CEIR Census documents that there are approximately 9,000 business-to-business exhibitions in the United States. The CEIR Index estimates that approximately 1.5 million companies exhibited in 2011 and roughly 60 million people attended.
"The power and purpose of tradeshows in our rapidly connected world continue to grow with each year. Far from being a relic of a bygone age, today’s trade show remains the premier event to learn, interact and maybe even strike a deal with America’s next generation of innovators. So get on a plane. Go to a tradeshow. Think outside the box. Be open to new ideas. And have a bit of fun along the way."
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