Jan 25, 2022

Dave Lacaille Examines the Value of Trade Shows in Podcast

Dave Lacaille, Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), joined Ed Kammerer, OPW Retail Fueling, in a podcast with marketing firm DeanHouston+ to discuss the value of live trade shows in the fueling industry. Both experts in fueling and convenience store solutions, Dave and Ed offered unique insights on the 2021 PEI Convention at the NACS Show, as well as the future of industry trade shows post-COVID.

Dave Lacaille Examines the Value of Trade Shows in Podcast

A Return to Greatness

The PEI-NACS Show is widely regarded as the premier trade show event of the year, emphasized DeanHouston+’s Colton Stombaugh during the podcast. The show brings together the smallest companies, largest household names, international players and influential media pundits. The show floor is a popular place for striking deals with partners and distributors.

After a nearly 2-year hiatus from this in-person event, people were itching to reconnect with colleagues and partners. Dave and Ed agreed: there is no virtual version of a trade show that can replicate the personal connections formed in-person during and after PEI.

Despite predictions for lower show attendance, the energy at PEI in 2021 reached an all-time high. Dave observed a considerable jump in the number of C-suite leaders and decision makers in place of administrative or HR teams. This unexpected but positive turn offered higher quality leads and more time to engage with stakeholders.

Dave and Ed enjoyed unparalleled media coverage and social media content creation opportunities at the PEI Show. Trade show organizers captured significant video footage of the show and documented much of the event for social media. PEI, NACS and media outlets conducted numerous interviews, delivering heightened media coverage for the exhibitors represented on the floor. Several international trade publications were present, offering a global perspective when many of the usual international attendees couldn’t be there.

Dave’s determination to go all-out with new products created traction at the show that led to post-show results. Dave’s team leveraged the climate of elevated virtual presence. DFS representatives filmed inside the booth and interacted with attendees each day. He and the DFS team produced and published more social media content throughout the show than in past years.

Dave and Ed said the work and energy never slowed down, even after show hours were over. They were grateful for the chance to nurture relationships both on and off the floor, and look forward to sharing the valuable content they gathered at the show.

Future Looks Bright

When considering how trade shows will look in years to come, Dave predicted that the administrative presence at shows like PEI might continue to drop while social and media coverage will grow. Moving forward, companies offering technical products and services can offer the same tactile, hands-on product experience on the show floor and delve into educational, interactive media and tools online for those who can’t be present. Video and livestream capabilities offer a unique opportunity to capture the magic of the physical display and duplicate it digitally.

Dave and Ed closed the podcast with optimism, asserting that the return to PEI represents hope for the industry trade show – and a chance for growth. DFS has already embraced the many benefits and learning moments the show yielded, leaning into the chance to share solutions in-person and online.

Dave Lacaille Examines the Value of Trade Shows in Podcast

About the Podcast Speakers

Dave Lacaille is Senior Director of North American Sales at DFS, having been with the company for 31 years and spending the last 15 largely on the commercial side of the business.

Ed Kammerer is the Director of Marketing and Global Product Strategy for OPW Retail Fueling, a Dover company.

Colton Stombaugh is Vice President of Digital Innovation at DeanHouston+, a global marketing firm experienced in handling industrial corporate communications channels.

Dave Lacaille Examines the Value of Trade Shows in Podcast

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