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Modern Tradeshow Intelligence

2009 Trade Show Super Heroes

Posted by Lew Hoff on Jul 13, 2009 3:58:00 PM

Heroes? Not at AIG. Not at Merrill Lynch. Not at GM.

You might want to start looking for business heroes by looking at WEPCO Plastics of Middlefield, Connecticut.

Wally Parmelee, President of WEPCO, not only knows a thing or two about custom plastic injection molding, he knows a lot about business, including how to operate when the going gets tough. When the going gets tough, Wally Parmelee gets going.

When asked if he is reducing his level of trade show participation because of the recession, Wally responded, “I’m increasing the number of trade shows where we exhibit in 2009.” He recounted that after 9-11 he did cut back on WEPCO’s trade show participation, for which he paid dearly. This year WEPCO is exhibiting at seven trade shows, up from five in 2008. Wally explains that he can generally count on picking up one or two new customers at every trade show. In his business, that can mean very significant revenue. He points out that in addition to garnering new business, a trade show is a very efficient means of meeting up with current customers.

When asked for a memorable trade show success story, Wally said, “That’s easy. Following our very first trade show in Marlboro, Massachusetts 27 years ago, we received orders for 47 new molds within four weeks after the show.” To put things in perspective, the plastic injection molds that Wally produces for his customers cost from the low five-figures up into six-figures. Each one is used to produce tens or hundreds of thousands of plastic parts for those same customers.

Speaking of perspective, one more point of interest. The U.S. plastic injection molding business has been battered by Chinese competition, Despite overseas competition and a recession here at home, WEPCO has prospered through face-to-face trade show marketing and providing service that overseas competitors cannot match. Wally Parmelee is an American business hero.

Exhibitors can get the most of trade shows and improve their return on investment by capturing, tracking, and qualifying each potential lead generated on the show floor. Bartizan Lead Retrieval has brought buyers and sellers together for nearly 40 years.

Topics: Lead Generation, Trade Show Sales, Why Exhibit at Trade Shows, Top Reasons, Exhibiting at Trade Shows