4 Top Economic Trends Affecting Trade Show Marketing
If you're in the business of trade show marketing, get ready for one wild ride on the commodities roller coaster. Surging cotton prices and higher transportation costs are being passed on to B2B consumers. Meanwhile, the U.S. job market limps forward.
Here's how to prepare for the the top 4 economic trends affecting trade show marketing.
Rising cotton prices. Cotton prices surged in recent months, thanks to higher global demand. Although prices appear to have fallen in recent weeks, many retailers already planned 10 percent to 15 percent price hikes starting this summer summer. Gap Inc. (GPS), the largest U.S. apparel-specific retailer by sales, predicted yesterday that soaring cotton prices will increase the cost of making its clothing by 20 percent during the second half of the year. Until the cotton market cools, trade show marketers can keep their budgets in balance by replacing cotton products with rayon and Lycra items.
Prices at the pump. Middle East turmoil and rising demand from developing nations such as China drove up oil and gas prices this year. Although prices at the pump retreated in recent weeks, some economists worry consumer spending remains vulnerable to gas prices that continue to hover at $4 gallon. During the summer driving months, B2B marketers will need to be smarter about shipping costs for trade show giveaways. Place your order well in advance of an event to avoid rush deliveries.
Japanese earthquake. Immediately following Japan's March 11 earthquake, many analysts predicted the price of Japanese-produced flash memory chips would rise sharply, due to a shortage. Japan accounts for 40 percent of global NAND flash chip production, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute. Flash memory chips are used in USB drives, personal computers and smart phones. In reality, Japanese memory manufacturers recovered faster from the earthquake than expected. The price for flash chips fell in May from an oversupply. In addition, the second quarter generally is the slow period in the USB and memory card market. So if custom USB drives are part of your trade show marketing strategy this year, now's the time to buy.
Brighter job outlook. The unemployment rate dipped below 9 percent earlier this year for the first time since 2009. Companies on average added 250,000 jobs each month over the last three months, representing the biggest gain in five years. The fastest growing jobs will be fields such as healthcare, environmental science, software engineering and veterinary care. Thus, companies will need to compete more intensely to recruit and retain top talent. Review your trade show marketing strategy to make sure your booth stands out from the competition. While branded giveaways may attract potential applicants to your booth, your onboarding program, benefits and recognition program will factor more heavily in candidates' decision to accept your offer. Tout those unique aspects of your company heavily at trade shows.
What economic trends are affecting your trade show marketing strategy? Chime in on our LinkedIn group.