No shows for some

Local News
- 5 Mar 2009 ( #400 ) - International
3 min read
CVS will not be attending shows this year
CVS will not be attending shows this year
Materials handling companies are reassessing their attendance at international tradeshows this year as the economic downturn forces them to tighten their marketing budgets.

Last week, Italian-based CVS Ferrari Group announced it would not be attending any tradeshows this year. It anticipates lower attendance levels at industry events this year, with reduced opportunities for exhibitors. "CVS has decided to take a more direct approach in 2009 and we will be spending our time visiting all our existing and prospective clients," a company spokesperson says.

"We will be reviewing this policy for 2010 and if attendances come back to previous levels, we will be attending all the exhibitions as normal," the spokesperson explains.

Visitors to this year's Intermat exhibition in Paris will notice the absence of some of the world's big name manufacturers including Manitou, Terex Corp and JLG.

Terex Corp will not be exhibiting at the show, saying its decision is a continuation of the policy announced in early 2008 to reduce participation in regional shows. Terex plans to support shows that are managed by global trade associations where the revenue generated is used to promote the overall interests of the industry.

"In 2009 and beyond, Terex will continue to evaluate our marketing investments and judge them by how effective they are in driving customer relationships and satisfaction," says Katia Facchetti, Terex senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Terex is always seeking to control costs and maximise efficiency and expects to continue to consolidate its trade show presence, sharing space and investments over multiple business segments. "We will maximise efficiency by bringing as few machines and team members as necessary to meet show objectives and we will develop alternative events where we can hold a more meaningful dialogue with our customers," Facchetti says.

Terex says there are other more effective ways to engage with customers than attending a broad array of shows with overlapping attendees and exhibitors.

US telehandler supplier JLG Industries is another company missing from Intermat.

Wayne Lawson, JLG's managing director
Wayne Lawson, JLG's managing director
Wayne Lawson, JLG's managing director for the EMEA region, says the decision to step away from Intermat was difficult. "However, during this period of market stagnation, we believe the right decision is to focus our limited resources on activities that directly support our customers such as technical support, field service, training and online services."

Caterpillar Inc acknowledges how important tradeshows are, but says it will be assess the viability of each show before participating in the current economy. "There are some (shows) that we may be downsizing our presence at and others we are choosing not to participate in for this year," a company spokesperson says.

Jim Malvaso, president of the Raymond Corporation, says it will have a presence at targeted tradeshows this year. "But expenditures of this type are always evaluated on the costs versus the benefits. This year has interjected new variables in that evaluation."

Event organisers such as Deutsche Messe are feeling the pinch and have noticed numbers are down from previous years. Brigitte Mahnken-Brandhorst, CeMAT spokesperson for Deutsche Messe AG, says the event organiser is feeling the effects of the crisis. "As a trade fair organiser, we reflect what is happening right across the industry.

"We are noticing that quite a few companies have become more cautious and are deferring a decision about whether or not to exhibit at tradeshows."

However, Tom Carbott, vice president of sales and events for Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), encourages "companies not to dig a foxhole and withdraw from the market".

He says companies should look at the cost of a quality face-to-face interaction with a prospect at a trade show. "They may find that getting a prospect into a booth to see a company's staff, equipment and what is on offer in today's environment might be one of the best new business development opportunities available today.

"My question to a company that is considering pulling back from marketing in a downturn is where will your new business come from?" he adds.

CONEXPO Russia was the first industry event to be hit by the economic slowdown after being postponed by a year. Event organisers announced late 2008 the event would run in 2010 instead of 2009 as originally planned ( News #390).
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