June 04, 2012 | by Robert D. Holland
The concept of the trade show is an age old tradition. Vendors show up to sport their latest wares while customers and participants visit the trade show to see what's on display and get ideas on potential future purchases.
The trade show concept works, obviously, because trade shows are a booming business throughout the United States, and they also play a critical role in helping industries expand - not to mention the networking opportunities that trade shows provide to the vendors and participants.
However, NurseShow.com is venturing to take the trade show concept one step further by bringing the trade show directly to the web.
Whereas the traditional trade show will force participants and visitors to travel to a specific location, NurseShow.com believes the trade show industry could work more efficiently on the web where exhibits are on display 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online, and where participants don't have to deal with the logistical constraints of travel.
NurseShow.com is a virtual trade show website that strives to highlight the latest products, services, trends and opportunities within the nursing industry.
The organizers at NurseShow.com are also reaching out to the nursing industry and opening up their site for contributing content. Professional nurses are invite to add their own blog posts and share their expertise from working within the industry. Manufacturers are also encouraged to write and submit articles about their latest products and equipment. Ultimately, NurseShow.com strives to be the platform for choice for both professionals and customers within the nursing industry.
Some other great features that NurseShow.com will offer are up to date information about nursing careers and job opportunities currently available. And nursing professionals can even sign up for alerts via email to be notified of new articles and jobs postings.
Ultimately, NurseShow.com is attempting to redefine the meaning and purpose of the trade show and bring it to web, thinking it will ultimately create a more efficient professional experience in the nursing industry.
I'm afraid, however, that NurseShow.com neglects one key element of the traditional trade show - and that is the networking opportunities among the participants that traditional trade shows deliver. One of the greatest benefits of the traditional trade show is the networking opportunities. Professionals, new businesses and products, and other more established people within a particular industry are all able to come together at the traditional trade show. Ideas are shared, people talk and get introduced, and new relationships are struck. This all happens because the traditional trade show facilitates participants to physically meet and greet each other.
So the biggest question that looms for NurseShow.com is whether or not they can successfully build the community and networking opportunities that are inherent with the traditional trade show concept. Because NurseShow.com is open to professional nurses and manufacturers contributing content to their site is a great step forward in helping break the physical networking barrier that is present on the web. The only thing we'll have to wait to see is if this is enough to draw the visitors and pageviews that NurseShow.com needs to take off.
What do you think? Can NurseShow.com successfully break the tradition of the trade show by bringing it to the web?