Monday, March 23, 2009

Are Trade Shows on the Decline?

The 2008 results from Trade Show Trends’ report will be in soon, and I am predicting exhibit performance is on the decline. This is probably not a shocking assumption given the state of our economy, but I feel trade shows are still very important for a variety of reasons – demonstrating, learning, networking and educating.

The 2008 results will probably be the report that begins to illustrate a decline. The 2007 report was relatively in line with that from 2007 – both were good years for the trade show industry. Granted, the exhibitors have to pay to attract each attendee, but that is simply a sign of the times. With 82% of attendees having power in making or recommending purchasing decisions, and each attendee spending about 8.3 hours per show visiting exhibits, the power of these shows is undeniable. But with marketing budgets on the chopping block and companies scrambling to put their money towards tried and true methods, I think these stats will be forgotten or overlooked.

My suggestion? Don’t give up on this personal form of company promotion. When you have a great product or service and are proud of what you have to offer, you have the chance to show others while creating an unforgettable first impression. Trade shows open the door – you could have hundreds of attendees stop by, each one of them being a potential customer.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to the Future of Long Term Care

There is one trend in long term care that has been a long time coming, and that is improving the overall atmosphere of the facilities. Whereas the term “nursing home” might conjure images of drab interiors and equally drab food, the past couple years have illustrated a trend in the right direction. Long term facilities all over the nation are opting to bring more life into the homes through spa-like services, home-like d├ęcor and gourmet foods, all within a neighborhood setting.

We work with many healthcare companies, and one of the most important things these companies can do is serve each resident with dignity and care. The trend toward a more resort-like setting is simply an extension of this. Establishments that have made these upgrades report positive changes in residents’ behaviors — they are more likely to engage in activity and maintain a level of optimism. And that sense of optimism is contagious, making life within those walls more enjoyable for everyone.

I think this is one trend where everyone wins. Companies that can move past the hospital-like model and evolve into one that embraces modern luxuries will gain appreciative residents, and who doesn’t want that? Living in a comfortable, accommodating environment should be a given — I am glad to see things shifting this way.