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Trade shows – All about contacts

Audra McCarthy,
Executive Director Industry Development


I recently attended the Euronaval trade show as part of the Defence Teaming Centre team


The decision to exhibit at a trade show is complex, and requires careful analysis of the costs and benefits. In addition to the financial outlay for travel and the cost of a stand, one has to take in to consideration the opportunity cost of being absent from the business. These costs are related to the number of staff at the show, and who needs to attend should be considered carefully.

As for expected benefits, these include brand awareness and exposure to new markets. If anything, the strategic objective for attending a major event should be contacts and not contracts. The single most valuable benefit of attending a trade show is the ability to attend multiple business meetings with interstate or overseas businesses in the one location. This simplifies an
organisation’s business development process and costs.

For those new to the decision-making process of whether to attend or exhibit at a trade show, it is extremely rare for a contract to be signed or a purchase order to be issued whilst there. If MOUs are signed and corporate announcements are made at these events; they are simply market announcements made at a time and location that gives both parties the significant exposure and
media coverage associated with these large events.

For the Defence Teaming Centre, the decision making process to attend an event like Euronaval is not too dissimilar to that of our members. The only difference is, the DTC not only has to consider how attendance promotes the brand, but most importantly, how the DTC’s presence adds value to members who are attending the event, and the wider DTC and Australian Defence Alliance membership community.

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