Brazil is gearing up to host the 9th Annual LAAD Defense and Security Exhibition in April 2013, and while that seems like eons from now, smart defense companies are already making plans to attend. In a year of tight budgets (or budget cuts!) participating in international defense trade shows begs the question: is it worth it? This, of course, depends on what your company seeks to get out of the show.
Worth it: You’re more likely to “get your money’s worth” out of a major trade show if you go in well-prepared and with realistic goals. Your company probably meets most of the following:
- You represent a large company with a significant portion of their business overseas.
- You already have lots of international contacts and make plans ahead of time to meet up at the conference.
- You’re seeking investors for a new product or R&D.
- You see the conference as a marketing opportunity, not a sales opportunity.
That last one needs a little explanation. Trade shows are great for marketing and raising the profile of your company — but not as great for generating sales. While attendees will probably include investors and international decision-makers, most of the visitors at defense trade shows are just “window shopping,” with no real to intention to buy. Shows should be seen as an opportunity build relationships, raise your companies’ profile, and market your product with a view to long-term sales.
Probably not worth it:
- Your company is smaller or just getting started.
- Most of your income is from the domestic market, and you have few overseas projects or sales.
- You want to expand into the international market, but don’t yet have many international contacts.
- You already reach international customers by participating in domestic defense trade shows.