An Alternative to Trade Shows

I interviewed Michael Owens, Director of Production for CraigMichaels Inc., an event production company that produces business summits for the construction industry. These business summits are an alternative to the traditional trade show. See what Michael had to say about their programs:
1. What is CraigMichaels? What do they do?

Michael P. Owens: CraigMichaels is an event production company based in lower Manhattan. Since 2002, we have been producing high level business summits primarily in the real estate & construction industry but have since branched off into technology and environmental events as well.

2. Who attends?

MPO: Since we run about a dozen different summits and forums each year it is hard to generalize who attends. But if we were to summarize all of our events I would say “senior level decision makers” would be the best summation of our attendees.

3. What type of results do attendees see?

MPO: Attendees of our summits leave with the “take-away” that is pretty much non-existent at most of today’s conferences and trade shows. Our unique summit format not only allows attendees to get actively engaged in the conference program but it also allows them to have a true dialogue with the suppliers/vendors as well. Attendees at a CraigMichaels summit have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with the companies of their choice in a relaxed environment. All of our summits are held at 4-star resorts which creates a relaxed environment for proper relationship building and networking with like minded individuals.

4. Why do this instead of (or should it be in addition to) a major trade show?

MPO: I know this may sound self serving…but the trade show format in our opinion is dead. In this economy especially, we believe that investing in most trade shows is not the ideal investment of time and money for those that serve the buildings marketplace. The buildings/ construction market is very complex, therefore communicating the value of your products or services in a thirty second pitch is not the most logical approach. In recent years, especially this past 2, we have heard from numerous clients that they have abandoned the trade show format because it was not providing a true return on investment and they are now only participating in our events. Below is a video of testimonials from our most recent Healthcare Facilities Summit which sums this up quite nicely: