It's trade-show time. Should it be?

How often should industry trade shows take place? Do you see value in having them yearly?

We're but weeks away from SGIA 2011, set for October 19-21 in New Orleans, LA. For the editors of Screen Printing, it's a chance to meet face-to-face with printers, manufacturers, and distributors. We drum up story ideas, hear input about the magazines, and make new industry connections. But the experience is different for the vendor and printer communities.

Vendors spend considerable amounts of time and money to attend trade shows. Shipping equipment can cost a fortune. Staffing is an expensive proposition as well, and that's not even counting the scantily clad models who sometimes adorn the booths. All of these costs become exorbitant if sales are off at the show.

On the printer side, decisions makers, managers, and key staff take valuable time away from the shop floor and front office to see what they hope will be the best equipment to take their businesses to the next level. For smaller shops, a trip to a trade show may mean putting everything on hold.

It's a gamble for just about everyone involved.

That being said, how often should trade shows take place? Do you see value in having them yearly? Do you attend annually?

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