Death of the Tradeshow, transitioning from shallow to deep relationships

One of my LinkedIn connections, Dave Mendlen has a post on why the tradeshow is dead.

Senior Technology Marketing Leader/CMO, Former Microsoft Executive, Speechwriter for Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer

I know David from working on speeches for Bill and Steve and when David moved to Visual Studio Marketing.  David’s post on the death of the tradeshow makes excellent points that I am sure many of you will nod your head.

The next time you are at one of those trade shows, watch the engagement model. You will see that almost every customer spends less than a minute at any given booth. They pick up literature, scan their badge to enter the raffle and maybe ask a question or two. In exchange what do you get?

An unqualified lead. I'd argue that the customer likely was interested in winning a free iPad or whatever it is you were raffling off and is not a good, qualified lead. So in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing spend you now have a list of hundreds of unqualified leads - the sales team will call them garbage and they are not wrong.

We’ll see if other marketing companies try to change.

It's time to try a different approach to engage customers. This surface connection to customers is a bad use of marketing dollars and doesn't move the needle.

It's time to drive deeper conversations with customers.

There are exceptions to this, but is it worth the huge marketing spend?  

There are a number of ways to get closer, deeper conversations. It's time to try something different.