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DEALS HAPPEN IN VEGAS and not just at the black jack tables.

Mike Edwards, contributing editor

If you are attending The International Surfaces Event this month, your objective will be to play your cards right and come back to Canada with a winning hand.

That’s why we go every year.

As we pointed out 12 months ago, one of the first things your suppliers want to know at a trade show is where all the Canadians are.

And you can’t blame them.

This is significant, because the time, energy and money that suppliers budget for marketing is proportional to their perception of the market. And Canadians are notorious for disappearing in a crowd.

Trade shows are critical for marketers, since, while no show will attract every potential buyer in the market, those attendees that do show up are clearly energized, responsive and motivated.

This leaves the exhibitors at a loss if they know you are motivated but don’t know you are there, so marketing resources for Canadians get diverted to address others at the show.

On the other hand, as we noted last year, Canadians don’t all want to have a target painted on their badge to attract aggressive pitches for products they don’t want. They have spent their own resources to attend, and they don’t have time to engage in every offered conversation. More than anyplace else, time is money at a show, and business owners and managers must budget their time carefully.

We at Coverings magazine have been battling this problem for years, and our solution for the third year in a row is Canada Night — a Canadians-only chance to sit down after the show on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at The Border Grill, right outside the trade-show doors.

Have a beverage and snacks on us and put your own eyes on the surprising number of Canadians that actually make the trek to Vegas.

Canada Night is a designated safe space where you can rest and talk without having to be “on” for pitches or pressures. You know where you can find those later.

Ultimately, we see this as our chance to fly the flag. Americans typically can’t see Canadians, even when we’re carrying a Tim’s coffee or wearing a Blue Jays jacket. We feel it is best if we help educate the Americans, and this is a great chance to do so.

See you (again) in a few weeks!

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