In the digital age, trade shows may seem like a quaint kickback to a bygone era, but they are actually a brilliant model for the astute business owner. Sure they take up a lot of valuable time, they require an initial investment in materials and booth design, but the payback is phenomenal.
A Simmons Market Research Bureau study found that 26-35% of people who go to trade shows make a purchase. But it’s the marketing cache that hold the most reward with 87% of trade show attendees passing on information they gleaned at the show. They tell, on average, six people about exhibits they liked making the outreach of your trade show booth well worth the effort. Kendall Reed from ExpoRep: “Trade shows offer budget-friendly solutions to market your brand and sell your product. With a simple booth, some technological accessories and selling charm, conventions offer simple, inexpensive ways to get your brand on the market.”
There are many benefits to participating in a trade show:
- Trade shows bring you an audience of thousands of interested buyers. People go to trade shows to get ideas, to find new products and to compare prices. There is no other marketing avenue that exposes you to this many quality leads.
- Trade shows give you unprecedented exposure to the public. Imagine how many sales people you would have to employ to be able to reach these potential clients and speak with them face to face.
- You get a chance to see what your competitors are up to and glean information about new trends and technologies in your field.
- Create brand awareness.
- Trade shows are a great place to carry out marketing surveys or conduct market testing.
- Trade shows offer you exceptional face time with your audience and this helps you to make new connections and build relationships with potential clients and other businesses.
Trade shows aren’t something that should be taken lightly. Providing a poor exhibit may actually reduce your brand appeal so it’s best to be adequately prepared.
Do your research; choose trade shows that will provide you with the right audience. Exhibiting to an audience that doesn’t have an interest in your brand is a waste of time and money.
Research the number of attendees and the history of the trade show to ensure that you are attending one that is of the highest quality. Its best to do a few quality trade shows exceptionally well than many mediocre ones.
Prepare an impressive booth; spend money on displays and booth furniture that will impress. Ensure that booth personnel are well trained, friendly and enthusiastic.
Ensure that you have all the literature and take-home brochures that potential clients will need.
Consider awarding prizes, special offers or free goods to trade show attendees.
Trade shows do take time, money and expertise to perfect, but they can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Consider making trade shows a part of your marketing strategy.