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Exhibitors Become More Strategic About Which Conferences to Attend

June 21, 2005
To show or not to show. That is the question marketing and sales executives have been asking as they decide which conferences they should attend and which are not worth it.

In the late '90s, when budgets seemed bottomless, most companies chose to exhibit at any and every conference. Now, however, firms are being more strategic in deciding which events are musts for them, says Elrond Lawrence, a spokesman for HR Marketer, a Capitola, California- based public relations and marketing company serving the human resources industry.

In particular, smaller companies are deciding against having booths at the larger trade shows, such as SHRM's annual conference, because they are worried about being lost in the shuffle, Lawrence says.

ConnectedCare, a Baltimore-based company that helps employers transition to consumer-directed health care plans, has chosen not to exhibit at big trade shows like SHRM's in favor of a strategy more focused on public relations, says Teresa O'Keefe, director of marketing. "We believe decision-makers for employers don't attend conferences—not ones that vendors are invited to,” she says.

Read the rest of this story and learn about more trends coming from the annual SHRM conference in the Daily Conference News microsite.