Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Seattle Bike Expo and Expo Costs

It's that time of year were we start travelling to Expos. One trend I have noticed these past 2 years is a rise in costs for Expo space along with a rise in fees for tables, tents, etc. Why? Well the expo admins will tell you how great the traffic is etc while claiming the drop in exhibitors is forcing the increase.

On the otherhand, many Expos are now being cancelled because there are not enough attendees.

So here's my suggestion to the Expo Industry. Take a class in economics. While it's tempting to view a successful Expo as an opportunity to raise prices, it's also important to recognize that exhibitor margins are pretty thin. A $200 increase may not seem like much, but I am willing to bet many if not most exhibitors lose a small amount of money on expos but are willing to absorb it as marketing. Every increase counts against that. And for exhibitors who travel, the cost of an expo includes staff, shipping and travel.

It is great that your event gets 200,000 people. But any smart exhibitor knows that once you go over about 2000 people, your actual touches don't increase by much. There are just too many people. So great for you that you got 200,000 people. Doesn't really help *us* out much.

For all the bling, pomp and sales jobs the high priced expos push let me share 2 of the best expos we did last year.

Seattle Bike Show and STP. That's right. Both were low cost, allowing us to offest the expo cost with sales and had a good ratio of vendors to attendees.

Update: I want to make clear that I am not suggesting the Expos are raking in cash. Like us, their margins are likely small as well. What I am trying to point out is that supply and demand doesn't care about anyone's margins.

Update II: Just to be clear; I think Cascade is doing it correctly with the bike show and STP. So yes Stoked can wear her Axley gear.


At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:11:00 AM, Blogger stokediam said...

So does this mean I should or I should not wear my Ozones and my Axley sweater when I go to the Seattle bike expo?


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