April 22, 2016 — I’m guessing there is a lot of excitement, anticipation and perhaps some trepidation building up this week as the attendees make their final arrangements and soon head off to Hollywood, Fl for the annual ARDA Convention running May 1st – 5th. Conferences are always a great idea, an exciting place to be and can be the avenue for F2F meetings with the opportunity to generate some new business. And though InsideTheGate.Com (ITG) will not be attending this year we do have some ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground that will be reporting back to us so we can keep our audience, whether attending the convention or not, up to date including any breaking hot news stories as they happen.
So Here’s The Scoop: Now beginning our 8th year of publishing timeshare news stories and industry press releases six (6) days a week, 52 weeks each year including specialized weekly columns and opinions exclusive to ITG AND hosting the #1 organically ranked (by Google) Timeshare Blog (The Gatehouse) in the world we’ve always supported not only the big annual ARDA convention but all the industry ‘hook-ups’ worldwide, including all the non-ARDA events throughout the years.
But an amazing if not downright stunning fact about the annual ARDA Convention is that each year Bill, in our promotional department, reaches out to all the mostly new Exhibitors to let them know they can submit their PR’s to ITG leading up to and during the conference, and without cost to them ITG will publish their PR’s and keep our audience, their target market, informed about their company, products and services, etc.
Astonishingly, as in previous years, the lion’s share of those new Exhibitors ignore that most gracious offer and from my perspective, and perhaps showing my age, turning down free promotional space in any of our industry publications just blows my frickin’ mind!
That and because for most new Exhibitors the expense of just traveling to, staying and setting up and then tearing down their ‘displays’ for what amounts to about a 13-hour and 30-minute event when the Exhibit Hall is ‘Open For Business’ is not ‘chump-change’ — especially when, I believe, the smallest display area is about 100 square feet and that alone can cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars.
Then, on top of the rental space are the costs of round trip airfare (or driving) for staff members, the round trip shipping costs of their products and displays, nightly hotel rates for all staff members that can run hundreds of dollars each night plus car rental expenses, food, beverage and entertainment, etc. and some Exhibitors will invest $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 and more for the sole purpose, and I might be going out on a limb here, to connect with decision makers and hopefully generate some business (aka: sales).
That is a fantastic idea that all of us at ITG encourage and support 100% even though — using my highly scientific guestimating calculator and formula — with the average cost for a new Exhibitor being about $12,500 for that 13 ½ hours when the Exhibit Hall is open, breaks down to about $900 (+) per hour with absolutely no guarantee any ‘deals’ will close or there will be any other results for that matter.
Hmm, $900 (+) per hour sounds like a great selling ‘gig’ to MOI, so if anyone in ‘the biz’ wants to pay me to market and sell for them at that rate they can count me in and, hell, I’ll come on board today and even cut that hourly rate to only $623.89. As a team player I’ll take the hit and no need to thank me in advance because that’s how I roll!
Putting aside my peculiar sense of humor, I honestly don’t understand why these new Exhibitors, without any cost to them, won’t submit their PR’s to InsideTheGate.com (ITG) which is the industry’s most widely read online daily timeshare news and information publication with an ‘average’ verifiable monthly audience of 100,000 sets of eyeballs that includes the very ‘market’ (aka: decision makers) they’re after.
Perhaps they don’t yet understand that they are in a 24/7 digital and news era that the distribution of information (aka: content) is power and that ‘their’ market is accessing their electronic devices around the clock, from early morning during breakfast, around noon while attending a meeting or luncheon or late at night when the ‘chime’ goes off and they reach for the nightstand to find out whatzup.
So here is our ITG ARDA World 2016 challenge for all you C-Level Executives and other ancillary business owners at this year’s convention whether you are a new Exhibitor or simply an attendee roaming about the halls from meeting to meeting.
During the few short hours the Exhibit Hall is open or at any time during the 4-5 day get-together, whether on the golf course, killing time before you head off to another meeting or hitting a restaurant for a quick snack, when you see other attendees whipping out their ‘hand-helds’ because they just received a news-feed ‘buzz’, an update or a bulletin etc. from InsideTheGate.com and while their eyes are focused squarely on their screens ask yourself – Are they seeing my PR? Are they learning about my company, previewing my products/services and reading about what my company can do for their company?
If the answer is a resounding ‘nay’ – not to worry; there is always 2017.
Have a great and successful ARDA World 2016 and if anyone needs to keep in touch with the industry deciders when the dust settles after May 5th rest assured ITG is standing by to deliver your message 24/7/365!
Good Luck Out There
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