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DEBATE: “In the wake of the demise of IDMF, do marketing trade fairs still play an essential role in the buying process for new marketing products or services?”

The marketers' role has changed in recent years as they have had to become more technology, web and digital savvy. They must get to grips with a far more complex set of solutions; compare and contrast various pros and cons; and meet with the teams that will provide support.

When faced with finding the best suppliers for CRM, data, marketing analytics and campaign management software, through to content management and search optimisation, an exhibition is the best place to do it. Plus it can be done in the most time efficient.

Many involved in traditional DM will still have to source print, fulfilment and mailing solutions, and with the increasing demands and capability to carry out complex segmentation and targeted messaging, marketers can't rely on a preferred supplier list to source solutions.