It may seem that exhibiting at a show is a nightmare, logistically, costly, time wise and effort wise.  There is masses of preparation, lots of work on the day(s), tons of follow-up work, and then the cost of the space, the stand design and build, the manpower (before, during, and after), and the "on-costs" of hotels, food, hospitality.  So why would anyone do it?

Having spent days locked in an office trying to "optimise" our website, I can see exactly what the enormous advantages of exhibiting are compared to almost all other forms of marketing.  Exhibiting puts YOU directly in front of a POTENTIAL CUSTOMER in a way which no other marketing medium can.  No matter how good my website gets, I am at the mercy of someone else's way of doing things.  If my customer is looking on-line, a thousand things can upset the flow of the "interaction".  A phone, a colleague, a slow internet connection, a different way of viewing how the product should be categorised, not to mention errors made by your website builder can all put off my potential sale.

At a show I am in control of the situation.  I can retrieve the situation after a phone interruption; my software will not let me down; I can ask questions and deliver answers, making up the most relevant answers as I go.  The show or exhibition delivers the potential customer into my orbit and I am in charge. 

As I return again to search engine optimisation, I realise that despite my best efforts at learning the tricks of the trade, even if I become the web guru, I will still not be meeting my customers face to face.