By Randi Altman
Issue: April 1, 2005


Well, it's that time of year again. And Las Vegas in April can only mean one thing, well two things: Wayne Newton in impossibly-tight spandex and the NAB convention.

To post pros, NAB is like the biggest candy store in the world. For manufacturers, it's an opportunity to get their candy, I mean product, in front of over 100,000 attendees, but that kind of exposure comes with a hefty price tag. While most bite the bullet and exhibit, others have made the decision to sit the exhibit floor out and find other ways to reach their targets.

Alias has been sitting out NAB, exhibit-wise, since 2001. That is when they started booking meeting rooms just off the exhibit hall to see customers, potential customers and press. This year they decided on a suite at a nearby hotel instead. "Every year Alias reviews the business reasons as to why we attend a trade show, including NAB, Macworld, Game Developers Conference and SIGGRAPH," explains Donna Teggart, director of global communications for Alias. "As a company, we want to ensure we're meeting our business objectives both financially and strategically. Alias has designed new strategies to market to our customer base and reach new prospects through exciting and engaging initiatives."

Boxx Technologies, an NAB regular, has also decided not to exhibit this year. "The benefits of displaying at a large show like NAB are there," explains Reese Gautschi, director of marketing at Boxx. "From the PR and customer interactions that we've had to the ability for us to show our wares to the community as a whole, NAB has provided a rich platform to communicate Boxx's messages to potential customers, press and analysts. As we exit the strongest quarter in Boxx company history, this decision had little to do with financials and more to do with our focus on re-positioning the Boxx brand and how we support our key ISV partnerships.

"We will have our systems and our people in our partners' booths," reports Gautschi. "I've learned that having a Boxx booth at NAB creates a significant resource drain on our ISV partners to help 'man' application areas. We prefer to have our support and sales resources join them in their booth[s]. My philosophy is ISV apps lead and workstations follow - no one buys a workstation and then chooses the app to run on it."

Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a booth at NAB, Boxx will focus on demand generation, promotion and new customer acquisition strategies. Our savings from the booth, says Gautschi, "allows us to designate a greater focus on key account business development."