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Foot Traffic as a Measure of Success

Garrett “Father of the Smithies” Smith is peeved at the Pulver organization because he feels that traffic was down at the VON Expo this year, and probably a little miffed with me for indirectly suggesting that his organization might have been unprepared for VON. 

My apologies Garrett.  I don’t know what you guys did to prepare, and it was improper of me to suggest that you didn’t. 

Having said that, I will stand by my previous post, and observe that foot traffic on a show floor is one of the least predictable ways I know of to generate business. Personally, I spent less time on the exhibit floor this show than I ever have previously.  It wasn’t for lack of interest, but rather that my calendar was full of other activities. Unless you had set up an appointment in advance, it was unlikely you would see me at your booth.

Unless you do the pre-show mailings, stuff the bags, have great giveaways, and/or flashy talent driving people to your exhibit, it’s tough to know what’s going to happen. If you were at VON, you saw what AOL did to drive traffic to their booth — all those t-shirts and pens were expensive, not to mention the press conferences, and speaker sessions.  Most companies can’t do that. Most have to rely on good old fashioned elbow grease, which is why a show like VON, in my opinion, is best regarded as a networking opportunity.  Better to have the meetings lined up before you even get there, than try to make them at the show.

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