For a US-based IBM-Lotus Business Partner, that's at least a $15,000.00 question this year, and for those coming from further afield it could easily be a $30,000.00 question or more.
For me, the answer unfortunately has become a resounding NO, even though the thought of not exhibiting still wrankles somewhat. But the economics of exhibiting at the Product Showcase simply don't make sense today.
Attendances at the event have been declining for many years while the costs of attending have been steadily rising. Attendee's at the conference have increasingly been regarding the Product Showcase merely as a place to gather "trinkets" to take home for the kids and I know of at least 5 different vendors who came home with less than 250 new "contacts" and way less than 50 that could in any way be regarded as genuine sales "leads".
That comes out at $300 per lead for a US Business Partner and $600 per lead for say, a European Business Partner. It simply doesn't make sense at that level of return!!!
If I had to spend $600.00 for every sales lead I generate I'd go out of business really quickly for sure. I'd be better off simply buying an iPod for every genuine sales lead and an iPad for every qualified prospect that I generate. [Note: I said "qualified" prospect].
Hey ... That could be the basis for our next social media campaign. I may just have to work up some T's & C's for that one!!!