The Experience Economy: Making the Most of Your Audience’s Time, Attention, and Money

Derse | December 20, 2022

We sat down with Jim Gilmore, coauthor of The Experience Economy, to break down how the key limitations companies face when trying to reach their audiences can be overcome with a strategic face-to-face marketing plan.

In Gilmore and Pine’s 1999 bestseller, The Experience Economy, they outlined three key finite commodities which often limit a company’s ability to effectively reach their audience: time, attention, and money.

While Gilmore and Pine outlined specific examples of how these three categories impact different industries, we realized how important they are in the face-to-face marketing industry.

As you prepare for your next show or begin to re-strategize your face-to-face marketing program, consider how a lack of time, attention, and money might be limiting your ability to reach your audience. 


Your audience has a finite amount of minutes, hours, and days to visit with your brand. They need to be selective about which brands will receive their time, how much time they can afford to spend, and in what order they spend their time. This prompts audiences to create a priority list for visits; whether that’s on the trade show floor or even selecting corporate offices or experience centers to visit in person or virtually.

Consider how you can extend your audience’s experience with your brand following their face-to-face encounter with you. Whether it’s a physical artifact or a digital journey, you can optimize the amount of time your audience spends with your brand beyond the trade show floor.


Sensory overload is a common challenge we face as is the competition for digital technology in the palm of everyone’s hands. Mix in social media and its volume of short-form content that prompts a need for immediate gratification and we now face challenges in not only grabbing attention, but keeping it long enough to make an impact. If brands can’t produce new content and experiences to continually engage audiences, they risk losing relevancy. Companies are continually challenged with creating experiences worthy of investment.

Don’t assume that social media and additional technology is the only answer to grabbing your audience’s attention. When consulting with our clients, we like to remind them the goal is to be extraordinary, which is simply to be beyond the ordinary. By examining what your audience’s expectations are and choosing one key way to exceed those expectations, you’ll stand a chance in the competition for their attention.


Companies have finite budgets to invest in exhibiting while audiences have finite budgets to invest in attending & traveling. As businesses continue to evaluate and validate investment levels in various shades of ROI, pressures mount to help decipher success.

We’ve said it before and we will certainly say it again: make sure you know why you’re going to any particular show beyond, “because we always do.” Seeking out an audit of your show schedule or examining the ROI of your trade show program could be the essential piece in navigating budget constraints that your company is facing.

Looking for more solutions to the limitations your company is facing on the trade show floor? Connect with us.

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