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Trade Shows: A task for sales, or marketing?

Posted on October 27, 2006

By Peter LoCascio

Sales and marketing people tend to have different personalities and, depending on management's philosophy, can either work together or challenge each other. The latter approach, though, often hampers efforts at successful trade-show exhibit participation.

Much of marketing’s personality is based on strategic thinking, and tasks often include market research, competitive analysis, product introduction, program development, and the design of communications and advertising campaigns. Marketing has more time to adjust its efforts to market trends, purchasing cycles, and various product issues. 

In contrast, a sales team’s performance is judged on an annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis, creating an atmosphere of immediacy.

Simply stated, marketing people are usually strategic, long-term thinkers, while sales people are tactical , short-term thinkers who tend to be impatient with almost anything that fails to deliver immediate sales and help them make their numbers. So their approach to manning a trade-show booth is going to differ drastically from someone in marketing.

The challenge for many trade-show exhibit managers is to create a cooperative environment where the dynamics of tactical sales and strategic marketing personalities can complement each other in order to have trade-show  sales success.


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Phil Hine

The key for any trade show, whether in sales or marketing, is to have clear objectives. Of course it needn't be about sales at all, but whatever it is, it really is important that everyone has a purpose for being there.
Ever been to a trade show where the exhibitor says to you "I don't even know why we're here!". Amazing, but it happens all the time.

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