“It is always better to be seen at the convention, than the flea market”, says Liz, a gift and souvenir stores owner. Incidentally Liz imports novelty and gift items from China. Liz is on the road most of the time and conventions are the places where she feels she is able to drum up more business and get to add new ones to her rolodex and eventually to her shipping list.
Conventions add value
Conventions are better organized and it is much easier to set up the show and it takes much less time to get the word out to potential customers. It brings in a touch of professionalism to the business – especially to the one-man-army-bands. It helps to get to know the different market conditions. The reps are there who bring in their new lines. Networking with the other players is easy.
Do conventions cost more?
Though at the end of the day, booth rentals and advertising costs, flyers, bill boards add up to overheads, there is also the cost of the give-aways to count. The get- to-know-dinners do add value to the relationship though it adds up to the costs. But then they are all evened out by the business one does. Out of towners obviously need to factor in their motel rents and parking charges. Some of the convention centers charge additional fees for power and phone lines but then according to Peter Brown, a small business coach, “every dollar spent here is worth it. You get a place, you get your buyer and he’s got the money. You get to know the right guy who calls the the shots. So it is that much easier and quicker to close the deal. Everything under one roof and that includes your press-bureau too. I always advise my sellers to plan their presence. That way they can keep their own expenses down”.