The ballyhooed TechCrunch Disrupt is this week. When I went to its site, I saw that it costs around $2,000 to exhibit/attend. Let’s say you can afford the $2,000 because you can take it out of your marketing budget. Is it worth it to reallocate that money and exhibit at a major tech conference like Disrupt? What are some of the benefits? Will the ROI be higher than traditional channels?
In my experience exhibiting at conferences are not useful unless I have several meetings already scheduled and even then only if i have something to show of interest. Otherwise you end up spending a lot of money with no real plan on how to make it back.
I don't have direct experience with TechCrunch Disrupt but, echoing what Johnathan Lightfoot said, trade shows are generally useful if you have done a lot of pre-planning with scheduling meetings.
One approach we've tried in the past is the so-called LobbyCon approach. Worked sometimes, and failed other times, but it didn't costs us hard cash to try.