Snell & Wilcox to snub IBC2005

June 19, 2005

While most companies are currently preparing new product announcements and interactive demonstrations for the upcoming IBC conference — held annually in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in September — U.K.-based Snell & Wilcox said it will not be attending this year. Although Europe represents slightly more than 50 percent of its overall sales, Snell and Wilcox said, for this year at least, the NAB convention, was the more important of the two major industry gatherings.

On a telephone conference call with reporters, Joseph Zaller, Snell and Wilcox’s vice president of marketing and product management, said the company is making a series of significant changes to its European marketing strategy, including the decision not to exhibit at IBC2005.

Zaller called trade shows in general very time-consuming and an inefficient use of the company’s resources. He said the significant costs associated with exhibiting at the RAI Center — nearly $1 million last year (including $150,000 for hotel rooms and $125,000 for on-site equipment rentals) — was wasted money that could be better used for customer product and technology roadshow events and smaller regional shows that bring Snell & Wilcox and its sales force closer to customers. In fact, Zaller said he could exhibit at up to 15 regional trade shows (in places such as the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, India, Japan, Russia, China, Singapore, Dubai, Australia, and South Africa) for the same price of five days at the IBC conference.

The bold new marketing strategy, which was explained to customers in a letter from Zaller, also includes more ad spending and marketing activities, using the same capital budget spending as last year. The difference is no IBC show floor booth and related trade shows costs. Snell & Wilcox will, however, send approximately 30 employees to maintain a presence at the event.

While still committed to the annual NAB tradeshow in Las Vegas, the company said it would evaluate its IBC participation on an annual basis, with the possibility that it would attend IBC every other year.

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