06 Feb 12 Wal-Mart for CI

Wal-Mart for CIHow have super markets changed our lives? The concept that led to the inception of Wal-Mart, and made it the world’s largest company was “making everything available under one roof”. A one stop shop for all your day to day needs. Whatever you need is made available to you in the supermarket; all you need to know is where to find it.

Can gathering CI information ever be so simple?

Can there be a one-stop-shop where almost all the CI information needs of a company are catered to? The answer is yes. At trade shows a large number of your CI needs are satisfied at one place.

Trade shows are places where, if not all, most of your competitors get together under one roof. We can think of them as short-lived Wal-Mart’s, which last for a few days, but have the potential to cater to all the CI information you might need. All that you need to know is which is your Wal-Mart? The ideal trade shows to attend are essentially those that your competitors also attend, or those that help you get a competitive edge over your peers.

Gathering competitor information, identifying industry and market trends, profiling potential customers and suppliers, assessing technology, conducting economic and political analysis, etc.  – these are a handful of the many CI focus areas that attending trade shows can help you with. If properly organized, information that will otherwise take a long time to collect, can be gathered in just a couple of days at the event.

When everything is available under one roof we usually end up buying much more than what we really need; similarly attending a trade show can get you a lot more than what you came looking for. A clear understanding of your need is essential at any trade show. Consider this as a shopping list that you would need at the supermarket, which helps you stay focused while shopping. Else, your information gathering effort could easily go astray, given the vastness of a typical trade show.

Identify your CI needs and the trade shows which can cater to them; then CI is as much fun and as easy as shopping.

In the coming weeks we will explore how trade shows can serve as one-stop-shops for CI and other aspects of trade show intelligence.

As you figure out which Wal-Marts you want to visit also think about what do you want out of these ephemeral supermarkets.

Happy shopping!

Ashwin Susarla

Ashwin was a research analyst at ValueNotes.

  • T.Vasanth
    Posted at 15:56h, 23 February Reply

    Good insights on gathering CI info. Nice thought provoking article..

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