It started inNorth Americawith a site called Groupon. Simply the site offered retail merchants an opportunity to offer a product or service at a discount. A notification was sent by e-mail to its opt-in members. Consumers could print out the coupon and redeem it at the store. The results have been amazing with some retailers reporting their inability to keep up with demand.
The group buying sites are popping up quickly and it won’t be long before what began as a local phenomenon has spread globally.
Will the group buying sites ultimately become another tool for the exhibition industry to use to fill exhibit halls with paying attendees?
It seems that most opt-in members, for now, are consumers. But it is inevitable that the group buying sites will turn their attention to the business community and that’s when the exhibition industry can reap the rewards. For now this may be just the beginning of an idea whose influence can spread into all aspect of business. It’s worth our time watching it mature.