Thermal spray conference attendance

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Attendance of thermal spray conference and expositions has been long been a staple of thermal spray marketing and sales teams as a means to garner more business. The costs involved in having a presence at these thermal spray conference and expositions is quite steep, depending upon the level of participation involved. Having a fifteen feet by fifteen feet booth is not cheap and neither is the cost of having four or five of the thermal spray sales and engineering personnel to man these. Add to this the cost of transporting the thermal spray booth along with its exhibits, the cost of air travel, accommodations, meals, rental cars and other miscellaneous expenses and you are talking an undertaking of tremendous magnitude. And yet quite often, companies participate in these thermal spray conferences much to the opposition of the poor slob spraying parts every day for a measly hourly rate whose pay rate increase is frowned upon every time!

Now, I am NOT against the attendance to these thermal spray conferences and exhibitions. No, not by a long shot. But I have witnessed time and again, the tremendous waste that is allowed in these and the attitude of many ( not all ) that this is just an excuse to get out of the shop and have a good time. Well, note that the good time is coming at a tremendous expense. In order to justify the attendance to these thermal spray conferences, I would suggest what follows in the following to make it worthwhile and get a decent bang for the buck that is expended.

Usually, these conferences have a seminar and technical session. If you allow for your team to attend the conference, then make it imperative that they present at least one technical paper. Ensure that they attend at least one third of all the papers presented. Ensure that they talk to potential customers and generate leads that are targeted and specific. Follow through and ensure that the leads generated result in actual thermal spray sales. Prior to the next conference, the people that attended the previous show must demonstrate in real terms the new business that was generated from the previous show. If the results are dismal, then stop attending the show. Upper management is paid to steer the business in the right direction and tough choices need to be made based upon the performance of the sales efforts.

You might find that the show really did produce new business. In that case, continue attending the next session and re-evaluate and attend again and again. If the performance is poor, turn to other forms of advertising and marketing media to get the word out about your capabilities and offerings. I was involved with a thermal spray company once where they sent in twelve people to attend a thermal spray conference and included in the list of people attending was the plant expeditor whose job it is to expedite production and schedule the running of various jobs depending upon the requests from customers. What his attendance did to the bottom line of the sales effort, I have no clue. This kind of waste needs to be aborted and focus be directed strictly to engineering and sales teams attending such shows.

If you want to throw in a good time for your employees, then do so clearly; not under the guise of attending a thermal spray conference!

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