93 percent of face-to-face marketers believe in the effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing medium. It’s no wonder that US exhibitors spend a staggering $24 billion per year on trade show displays.
Trade show venues offer you the opportunity to unveil your innovations in a collaborative and engaging environment. It’s a professional experience that every marketer needs at least once in their career. If you’ve yet to experiment with trade show marketing, this comprehensive guide will tell you all you need to know about this time-tested approach for getting leads.
Read on to learn more.
What Is a Trade Show?
A trade show refers to an exhibition event designed to bring businesses together so they can showcase their latest products and services to both trade members and other companies within the industry. These shows function as viewing windows to the upcoming iterations. Those who attend leave with an edge over their competition.
Nearly every industry uses trade shows to build excitement and buzz, gathering key players together for collaboration and learning. However, these shows are much more than just networking events for companies and investors in a particular industry. They also serve as a fertile ground for gaining new customers, with most of the attendees not being current customers of businesses on display at exhibition spaces.
How Can You Make the Most of a Trade Show?
As you’re going to notice, there’s much commotion that happens during a trade show, especially on the event floor. It’s easy not to be sure of, or confused by, what’s going on around you, especially if you’re a first-timer. Thankfully, you can still optimize your experience and ensure you don’t miss what’s important for you and your business. All trade shows follow an event program of some kind. Most likely, there’ll be workshops, speaker presentations, breakout sessions, targeted events, networking events, press opportunities, award ceremonies, and so on. The trade show’s exhibition floor is its main attraction. Expect lots of people, products, and booth displays on the floor. The secret to making the most out of the entire event is focus on designing your booth. Competition is stiff, and you need to make sure that your booth is as eye-catching as possible to have people engaging with your business.
What Are the Benefits of Trade Show Marketing?
Sending your marketing team to a trade show can bring your company a lot of value. If you’re not convinced, these reasons should help you make an informed decision.
You Get to Create Brand Awareness
A trade show is among the most effective ways to build your brand. These events allow your brand name to get noticed by the masses, especially top industry players and the press. Few things can benefit your brand as allowing your industry’s key players to see your product or service in action and sharing your business initiatives and vision. You also get to interact and engage with both potential and current customers, which helps you expand your reach.
You Acquire Targeted Leads
Engaging and building relationships with new people during a trade show allows you to draw them in and make a sale. The fact is it’s easier to sell when you’re doing it face to face than through a phone call or an email, since they are more impersonal. The moment you create a personal relationship with people, they’re more likely to follow up with your business after the trade show ends.
You Get to Close Deals
One of the things about trade shows is that these events are usually invite-only, meaning the attendees are highly targeted. Chances are, most of the people who come to trade shows are the same ones on your list of clients you’re interested in showing your product or service to. This is your opportunity to make your presentation as convincing as possible. Once you know who you want to speak to beforehand, the closing process becomes simple.
Trade Shows Are a Networking Opportunity
At the core of a trade show is networking. You get to interact with your industry’s critical players and make connections. As soon as the event is over, you can reach out to these connections and take advantage of opportunities to grow your company.
You Learn Industry Insights
Trade shows are an easy way to take your industry’s pulse. Not only will you be interacting with your fiercest competitors, but also the best minds in your industry. That puts you in the best position possible to learn about what’s going on in the industry. Take time to move from booth to booth, learning what your competitors are doing right or wrong. Pose as a client and source information such as what their new features and prices are. Such information can prove useful in helping you hone your strategy and succeed in the market.
Are There Cons of Exhibiting at Trade Shows?
Yes. Taking a stand at a trade show involves many costs. These include paying for stand space, stand build and design, and transportation for your staff and products. Besides, you can be sure your competitors will be in attendance. Winning the attention of potential customers can be a major challenge. Sometimes, the turnout is lower than expected, especially if there aren’t big-name speakers or the event lacks enough publicity. Always conduct thorough research before you choose to exhibit at a particular trade show.
Choose Trade Shows to Exhibit Your Best
Trade shows are here to stay, thanks to their unquestionable value when it comes to marketing. These events are powerful platforms for brand creation, lead acquisition, networking, and much more. It is important to understanding trade show marketing in order to maximize your leads. However, it’s always advisable to do your research to get the most out of your next trade show.
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