I would obviously agree wholeheartedly with Alan Percy that face-to-face meetings are essential for business to get done. Yes, there are more tools than ever like blogs, twitter and social networking which allow people to keep in touch electronically and I have found these tools are great for keeping in touch when I am not meeting with my colleagues in a live environment.
They also help me in setting up efficient meetings at live events.
Moreover, I have found companies are much more receptive to becoming a customer after a face-to-face meeting.
So if your competition is not going to be at a show where your potential customers will be - take it as an opportunity to be there and outsell them.