We get called about 10-20 times a week from various shows who want us to sponsor them, buy a booth or otherwise do what is considered by all accounts an ad-spend. Great - we're always up for hearing about ways to improve our business and those of our customers'...and we're willing to invest in success. In fact, the way we have success is to have real dialogue with our customers and those that influence customers.
Real dialogue rarely happens at a booth, sometimes happens at a dinner or networking event, but mostly happens at a session. For instance, we give a well-received presentation on 'the Dangers of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Green Fallout. In these discussions, the audience is always engaged and we leave them with actionable, useful things they can take with them.
After we speak we always have great, meaningful dialogue with smart, interested people trying to move the needle in their organization. That dialogue is what we want out of a conference. The problem is, most every call we take about 'working together' on an event with someone, the pitch we get will neither improve our business nor that of our customers. Here's how you can be successful if you're looking to work with us on an event. -----
BTW, you should take a look at how your customers have evolved their marketing spend. If a growing percentage of that spend is moving online, it's not because they like technology - it's because the model works better the marketer. CPC and (better) CPA are the new spend and getting nearly all of our marketing budget. We're not alone. Chances are that we your intentions of the show and we'd like to help...but it has to make sense for your attendees, you and us.
Welcome your thoughts.