Ask marketing experts what to do in a down economy and they’ll say it’s prime time to bump up your company’s sales and marketing plan and stay ahead of the competition. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending more, but it does mean being more creative with what you already have.

NEWTON, Mass. - Ask marketing experts what to do in a down economy and they’ll say it’s prime time to bump up your company’s sales and marketing plan and stay ahead of the competition. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending more, but it does mean being more creative with what you already have.

That’s the philosophy of show management at METALCON International, the 19th annual conference and exhibition focused on the use of metal in construction. They have a reputation for always offering something new and being the best event to introduce new products.

This year show management is expanding its successful Exhibitor University into an integrated marketing package called The METALCON Exhibitor Resource Center. This value added complementary program will help METALCON exhibitors create powerful marketing and sales methods that produce high level trade show exhibiting results. “Since the show began in 1991 we’ve risen above major challenges - from tough economic times to natural disasters and national threats. But we work as a team with our exhibitors and have always found that looking for what’s good about a situation brings about a positive attitude. That’s the biggest part of the battle. If you think about how to use what you have to get better results – it works. That’s THE investment we’ve made for our exhibitors – a package of useful marketing tools to help them generate new ideas and new leads using existing resources,” METALCON Show Director, Claire Kilcoyne said.

The multi-part, multi-media program has been created specifically for METALCON by Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge, Charlotte, N.C., a company that has been designing exhibitor-marketing programs since 1985. “Choosing to offer this type of value-added program demonstrates METALCON’s continued commitment to exhibitor success. It also creates more educated exhibitors who better understand and appreciate the opportunity METALCON presents and the value they receive as exhibitors in this major event,” Davis said.

The Exhibitor University portion of the METALCON Exhibitor Resource Center offers all METALCON exhibitors 24/7 Web-access to strategic exhibiting information and practical concepts that are set up by intervals timed to the show implementation cycle. The content and the process help exhibiting companies better plan, market, staff, work, manage leads, measure and report exhibiting performance and ROI. The program addresses the top four researched behavioral problems limiting exhibitor performance and results.

A highlight of this year’s marketing program is Successful Marketing & Exhibiting In a Tough Economy, a webinar offered to all METALCON exhibitors, Thursday, April 16, 2009 or Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

Complementing these segments is a series of eight articles that identify actionable items exhibitors focused on the different planning stages. Topics include: Managing Marketing Budgets in Tough Economic Times; Lean Exhibiting-33 Ways to Get More Bank for Your Trade Show Buck; and From Leads to Sales.

METALCON International is the only annual trade show and conference focused on the application of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential construction. Now in its 19th year, this year’s event takes place at the Tampa Bay Convention Center in Tampa, FL from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Thursday, Oct. 8.

Each year METALCON brings together nearly 8,000 architects, builders, contractors, specifiers, developers, building owners, government officials and manufacturers from 50 different countries. The 2009 event will feature 300 exhibiting companies, a 47-session education program and three days of new, exciting live-action demos of application techniques METALCON International is sponsored by the Glenview, Ill.-based Metal Construction Association. In addition, 60 participating associations representing various industry segments and 25 industry publications support METALCON through their promotional efforts.

METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc., a widely recognized information resource for the A/E design industry. For more information, call 800-357-7765, 617-965-0055 or visit www.metalcon.com