Snell & Wilcox Drops Out of IBC2005

Broadcast equipment manufacturer Snell & Wilcox has decided to skip IBC2005 and redirect its marketing dollars on regional tradeshows and roadshows.

The Hampshire, U.K.-based company, which has maintained a major presence at the European show for years, announced its decision this week to its customers in a letter from Joe Zaller, vice president of strategic marketing. Zaller emphasized that the move only affects the trade show--to be held in Amsterdam, Sept. 9-13--this year and that it doesn't mean that the company is cutting back its marketing budget.

"We're not looking to spend less, but to spend smarter," Zaller said in his letter. "We plan to use the $1 million that we will save by not exhibiting at IBC to enhance our marketing activities in a variety of ways."

Snell & Wilcox will emphasize its presence at approximately 15 smaller, regional trade shows throughout Europe and Asia and South Africa and plans to launch a product and technology roadshow to destinations yet unannounced. Open houses throughout Europe are also expected to be held.

Zaller added that the decision to opt out of IBC should "not be interpreted as a wholesale rejection of major trade shows," and that the company is still committed to exhibit at NAB, the industry's largest annual trade show, held in Las Vegas. He was also non-committal on whether the company will return to IBC in 2006.

Snell's decision doesn't seem to have rattled IBC organizers, however. Avid Technology, another major exhibitor at broadcast trade shows, skipped the show several years ago but has since returned, albeit in a reduced presence. IBC spokesman Michael Crimp acknowledged Snell's decision as a sign that the company wanted to try a "different strategy."

"We wish them well," Crimp said. "They've been a good customer." IBC has since resold the space and in fact, has a waiting list, according to Crimp.

"People seem to be spending more with us, not less," Crimp said, adding that he thinks that Snell's decision is "bucking the trend." Crimp added that he didn't think exhibition rates were an issue in Snell's decision to drop out, and that any increase in exhibition fees represented only "inflationary" costs.

Although it's still three months out, Crimp says registration is ahead of last year.