There are few marketing opportunities as direct and personal as exhibiting at a trade show. The amount of face-to-face communication that occurs during one day is nearly priceless, and if you have found the right event it can be a no-brainer. But how do you know that exhibiting at trade shows is the right decision for your company?
Some of the immediate benefits include:
1) Showcase New Products
Placing your latest product in the hands of professionals in your industry is an excellent way to build a buzz. Offering personal product demonstrations face-to-face can help alleviate concerns while also helping you understand frequent questions that may arise. Determine an inventive way to engage attendees, get your product in their hands to increase interest and in turn hopefully drive sales.
2) Research Your Competition
No matter how much you think you know about your competitors, there's much more to learn and one of the best ways to understand them further is by experiencing their trade show booth. Watch how they engage clients, how they display their products, and listen to their sales pitches. Also, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and network. While they may be your competition, they are also your peers and there's a lot to gain from similar experiences. Take note of any new products or services they may provide or strategies they implore, you may want to discuss them with your team to see if there may be any growth opportunities for your business.
3) Face-to-Face Time
One-on-one conversations with direct eye contact allow for building and nurturing relationships with clients. No technology can recreate the genuine connection made through a handshake and body language. These interactions create long-lasting business relationships and help strengthen brand loyalty. Carve out time before or after show hours to meet with your best clients or invite partners to seminars or breakout sessions for shared experience.
4) Direct Feedback
There are few other situations in which you receive direct, unfettered feedback as trade shows: both from existing customers but also new prospects. Since most people in attendance are professionals within a particular industry, their feedback can be insightful and beneficial. Getting a better understanding of how people interact with your products or understand your services, can be invaluable for the growth of your brand.
5) Increase Sales Leads
The statistics on trade show attendees are impressive:
- 92% of attendees come to learn about new products
- 50% are executive decision makers
- 90% have not met face-to-face with any exhibiting companies in last 12 months
- 77% found a new supplier during their last show
Attendees are motivated to attend trade shows and business expos to stay up to date on their industry, and thus are open to seeing new products and services that can benefit their business. If you can position your latest product in a way to capture their imagination and attention, the potential is high for a strong return on investment for your participation.
Sometimes exhibiting at a trade show is for the sole purpose of communicating that you are a major player in an industry. By not exhibiting at the event, you’re signaling that the industry is not a priority for your business and thus not so important to your bottom line or customer relations. Position your company as a legitimate expert in the field.
Regardless of what your company’s reason is for exhibiting at a trade show, do not treat it like a chore to be there. Put everything you have into making the best trade show display, most inventive booth strategy, and most sincere experience for attendees.