How One on One Meetings Compare to Trade Shows

How One on One Meetings Compare to Trade Shows

As the industry continues to grow, many of the known organizations have come up with new ways for distributors and suppliers to meet face to face. Everyone knows about the trade shows our industry has to offer, but the new trend seems to be organized One on One meetings, set up similarly to speed dating events, where suppliers and distributors get to meet for a set amount of time throughout the day.
Testimonials show that both parties absolutely benefit from these types of meetings and see a huge potential in them for building and strengthening relationships. As many professionals may still be new to these events, we have taken our experiences to provide an informative overview of traditional trade shows compared to one on one meetings.

Trade Shows (Traditional)

Examples

ASI Orlando
PPAI Las Vegas
Expo East Atlantic City
Regional Trade Shows

Format

Suppliers from all over the country set up their booths, with sizable differences, attempting to draw in distributors so they can build relationships and get the word out on new products. Distributors walk the trade show, either stopping at booths that succeed in attracting their attention or ones they planned on visiting.
Trade shows vary from one to three days. Regional trade shows are usually a one day show whereas bigger, national trade shows can go up to three days.

Cost

There is usually no cost to attend any trade show except for being a member or prospect member of one of the organizations (ASI, PPAI,..), however there may be expenses depending on what trade show you are planning on attending and where, which could involve air travel, lodging and meals.

Advantages

  • A considerable amount of suppliers tend to exhibit at the various shows.
  • The distributor can choose which supplier to visit and how much time they want to spend at their booth talking to them.
  • Distributors have the chance to meet many new suppliers in the industry, or veterans they might not know yet.
  • Each trade show offers many free educational seminars for the distributor to attend.
  • You are your own boss and can walk the trade show based on your own pace and schedule.
  • If you need to take care of business matters during the trade show hours, no one will stop you from doing it.

Disadvantages

  • The cost involved in traveling to the specific show and paying for meals and lodging can add up quickly.
  • It can get very crowded and crazy at trade shows, and suppliers may not have a lot of time to talk to you in detail about your specific needs.
  • Walking the trade show floor can be exhausting, especially if you are carrying a lot of catalogs, flyers and samples.

One on One Meetings

Examples

ASI – fASIlitate
Promo Marketing
EME – The EME Event

When

Each organization hosts several events in different cities throughout the year.

Criteria

For a distributor to participate, there are certain criteria and qualifications that have to be met depending on which organization you choose for the one on one meetings.

Format

The event takes place over a three to four day period during which the distributor will network and meet with each supplier one on one during a 20-30 minute presentation. A list of suppliers is provided to the distributors (and vice versa) so they can prepare for each meeting. In addition to the meetings, there are networking events each day to further build relationships.

Cost

No cost for the distributor! Suppliers cover all expenses (airfare, hotel, food, etc.)

Advantages

  • The distributor can meet and build relationships with new or existing suppliers.
  • During the 20-30 minute private and undisturbed meetings, the distributor can learn more about a supplier than at any trade show.
  • You can ask detailed questions, work on special deals with the supplier and get an in depth look at new products.
  • The networking events during breakfast lunch and dinner allow the distributor to connect with other professionals in the industry, discuss the newest trends and build unforgettable relationships.
  • If the distributor has further questions after the one on one meetings, they can always meet with the supplier during the networking events and continue their conversation.
  • All events take place at first class venues without the distributor having to pay for anything.

Disadvantages

  • As the events take place for three to four days, it is very time consuming and does not give the distributor much time to take care of other business matters. There isn’t much leisure time, so you have to be committed to the event and their schedule.
  • The distributor may meet with vendors that may not be a fit for their business, but the 20-30 minute meetings are mandatory.
  • It is also important to note that not every distributor can attend these events based on the different requirements and qualifications.

 

Based on this article you can see how one on one meetings compare to trade shows.

Trade shows have always been and will continue to be a great opportunity for everyone in the industry, especially for those new to promotional products. As a distributor, you dictate how you spend your time. Check out our blog post on How to Prepare for a Trade Show for an in-depth look.

As the power of the consumer continues to rise, one on one meetings are becoming popular because building relationships is as important as ever. Not only for the supplier, but for the distributor as well.

Our suggestion is to take advantage of both events as you can benefit from them in different ways.