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December 9, 2011
Trade Shows Resisting the Digital Tide
 
Industry trade shows — a key PR and marketing venue — have been in decline because of competition from the Internet and search engine listings. Now the exhibitors' association has raised over $1 million "in support of its public relations campaign to increase awareness about the long-term benefits of face-to-face exhibitions and events." That's truly an intrepid resolve.

Last spring, the Association of Business Information Companies (American Business Media) reported that while business-to-business media companies took in $10.2 billion from trade shows in 2010, those earnings represented a 6.4% decline from 2009, the highest in the categories tracked and contrasted to a 1.3% decline in print revenues.

The $1 million-plus trade show promotion fund has been amassed by International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), which notes that "this project is a drive to raise funds to support the campaign's goal, which is to tell the industry's story while strengthening the exhibitions and events industry's reputation as the preeminent medium for conducting business. No other media brings buyers and sellers together as effectively."

Well, at least not in person. This represents a dramatic — and, we trust, not desperate — response to digital's spreading influence.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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