With the Computer Trade and Comms Channel shows in Birmingham recently, and with the InfoSecurity show starting at Olympia tomorrow, it is easy to see why Comdex and CeBIT are slowly dropping off the exhibition radar of the tier-one and tier-two vendors.
Comdex, having been cancelled for two years in a row after a 25-year run, has now died a death. Speaking to VARs that actually braved CeBIT this year, it appeared most experienced a very German-dominated trade show, so it can only be a matter of time before that show becomes purely country-specific.
Perhaps surprisingly, it is the very same focused element that is proving to be the winner with vendors. Why exhibit at a show that is so broad and so wide that there is little business benefit, when a focused show, be it regional or, even better, technology-specific, can reach a more precise audience?
At a more focused show, not only is business conducted with a visible return on investment but vendors are able to reach their existing customer base in one fell swoop, saving sales people the time and trouble of having to travel round the country visiting each of their customer locations. On top of which, the business proposition of being able to reach up to half of your customer base in one hit is something that most marketing directors revel in, and that financial directors will happily provide funding for.
Vendors are not just using the more specific shows to target end-user customers, but also their channel partners. At InfoSec tomorrow, many vendors are not simply launching new products, but also using the shows to recruit more resellers and introduce more reseller programmes.
For VARs attending these shows, it means they can often speak face to face with vendor partners they previously had little direct contact with. Not only that, but the more specific shows can provide a very valuable insight into a sector, helping VARs to understand and decide whether to expand their business into a new market.
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