Thursday, September 18, 2008

Orange County Chamber proves Trade Shows are Still Alive and Well

There were over 200 Exhibitors at yesterday's Orange County Chamber Trade Show, held at Anthony's Pier 9 in Newburgh, and for a long-time Chamber member, I've found that walking through the show gets to be more fun every year. 

Each year there are more and more familiar faces. And, sometimes, you run into people who you may not have seen since last year's trade show! But, more often than not, the people who are involved in the Chamber are also involved in other community events and organizations. Having been involved in the Orange County community for over 20 years now, I have had the opportunity to meet a good number of my fellow Chamber members and community leaders. Orange County is lucky to have a very strong Chamber, under the direction of Dr. John D'Ambrosio. The benefits of membership are many, and businesses of all sizes should check it out at

Being in the field of advertising, I know how trade show attendance is slipping in recent years. But you would never guess it from yesterday's show. It is a bit hard to navigate from room to room at Anthony's, but with some determination (and help of the floor plan that's handed out at the door) you can make your way through the 5 or more different rooms... and it is well worth the effort.

I always enjoy meeting new people and learning about new businesses in the area. There are so many resources for your own business, as well as for your home and personal needs. I also find it very interesting walking through the show and observing how some exhibitors really engage attendees and make the show work for them, while others just sit back and almost seem unapproachable... even if you are interested in their product or service. I often wonder why these businesses even bother making the investment in the first place, if they're not going to invest in the training of trade show staff.

For those of you who had booths at the show.... make sure you take the time within the next two weeks to follow up on all those leads. You should be categorizing your "hot leads" from your "not so hot leads" during the show, to make follow-up more fruitful. There's no sense in just gathering a bunch of business cards and then putting them in your desk drawer. Develop a follow-up system, and stick to it. A good follow-up system will make your trade shows well worth your investment. 

June Bisel
BBG&G Advertising & Public Relations

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