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editorial




 
n a recession, the temptation is to assume you can fix your financial problems yourself. I know from personal experience this is not the best approach. In one case, a friend of mine and a pillar of his church thought he could manage his financial problems alone. When he discovered otherwise, he left his car at the airport, assumed a new identity, and vanished off the face of the earth for two years. When he came back, the IRS was waiting.

I discovered a more successful approach in 1970, when a friend and I bought a used Volkswagen van and drove overland from Germany to India and back. We were two people in a slipstream of hundreds of others, all taking the same journey, traveling on the same road, crossing the same borders, all facing the same political and economic uncertainties every day for seven months across such countries as Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, with no special language or cultural skills.

We discovered one simple survival technique: Each evening, we sought out returning travelers with fresh, firsthand intelligence on the conditions ahead. They were more than willing to share their knowledge. And because they had already experienced what we were about to encounter, we were alerted to what conditions to expect at the borders, where to find drinkable water, what areas had cholera outbreaks, and a million other pieces of information without which the trip could have quickly become a nightmare.

Bottom line, by turning to our peers and learning from their experiences, we were able to sidestep some of the potential potholes in our path. And here's why this is all relevant to you: The economic events of Fall 2008 have dramatically changed the agenda for exhibit- and event-marketing professionals. The future looks very different than it did just a few months ago. Most of you are starting to downsize your programs. Many are cutting budgets and shows. Some are cutting staff. And every week we get calls in the office from people who have lost their jobs.

In this challenging environment, exhibit and event marketers are searching for new strategies and specific solutions that will allow them to survive and take advantage of the sales and marketing opportunities trade shows and events provide. The fastest way to find those solutions is to reach out to fellow professionals, to hang with people who have either been through or are currently going through the same trials and tribulations as you and are willing to share their survival techniques. And the best place for such conversations is EXHIBITOR2009, the world education conference and exhibition for trade show and event marketing professionals.

But EXHIBITOR2009 is more than an educational event: It is an oasis of ideas to help you survive and flourish. Think of it as your own personal overland trip to India, where you have access to the highest concentration of firsthand, industry-relevant survival intelligence on the planet.

This year, we are anticipating thousands of exhibit and event professionals from 29 countries and all 50 states. Many will come with one overriding agenda: to discuss the economy's impact on our industry and the techniques necessary to survive and prosper in this oppressive environment. And best of all, the educational and networking opportunities available at EXHIBITOR2009 come with a risk-free guarantee - learn what you came to learn, or your money back.

So come connect with your peers at EXHIBITOR2009. Find out what they're doing to overcome the economic obstacles in their path. Learn cost-cutting strategies from our expert speakers. And discuss efficient solutions with nearly 300 suppliers in the exhibit hall. You've got nothing to lose and a lot of critical knowledge to gain.

I hope to see you there!e

Lee Knight, editor in chief;
lee@exhibitormagazine.com

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