6 Key Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

6 Key Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

If you an entrepreneur, you need to know that promoting your business is a steady job. You need to get in all marketing activities to project your business and position it before your target audience. Though there are many marketing activities; trade show marketing has its unique place in the realm of business promotion.

It can be tempting to want to overlook this important area if you are currently enjoying the influx of new customers to your business through advertising or other means. But sometimes, getting more customers is not the end of your marketing effort. What type and class of clients are you attracting?

Every business regardless of size needs to invest resources in trade show marketing to build their brand. And Businesses that understand the importance of this resourceful medium will not miss out on the opportunity to attend trade exhibitions. Study on trade shows attests to the fact that ROI from trade shows far exceeds income from any other form of outbound marketing. Therefore, here are 6 great reasons to help you decide on investing in live event marketing.

  1. Fresh faces; meet and connect with prospective customers

Every customer feels secure and happy when dealing with a seller face to face. I think most marketers feel that way. It can be frustrating when you try to follow up on a lead only to end up with unanswered calls and with an email message not replied. But it is not the case when you attend a live marketing event where you have your customers, new prospects walking up to you and make inquiries and engage with you one-on-one in discussing business.

Evidently, statistics show that more than 75% of prospects at a trade shows are not people you have personally contacted, but the show helps to bring them to you. According to Exhibit Surveys, among the traffic that visits an exhibitor’s stand during an exhibition, not more than 12% are called by the exhibitors, others are new prospected who are there because they saw an opportunity to meet new exhibitors and have their needs discussed.

  1. Getting close to your customers and competitors and learn what works

Trade show marketing brings both services seekers and providers together. It presents an opportunity for the two most influential people in commerce to meet in an atmosphere where the purpose for gathering is to discuss business. You are not cold calling or bumping into anyone whose objective is at variance with yours. People who will walk into your stand are those needing what you offer. Likewise, very close to you are your competitors that you can walk up to them to ask questions and get answers. This opportunity is rare to come by without attending the exhibition.

While prospective clients may be seeing you for the first time, you have the opportunity to get close to them and learn about their needs and preferences. Some customers will even educate you on what to change or adjust in your offering to meet a market need and reposition you for success.

Competition is not war and meeting your competitor gives you the opportunity to solve a business puzzle or get new insights about how to tweak certain aspects of your business for optimum result. Again, you can use the opportunity to increase your business contact database and for starting a possible business alliance that benefits both of you.

  1. Develop and strengthen your brand

Learning what works is an opportunity to develop your business offering and enhance your brand positioning. Your manner of attending to prospects and using the opportunity to explain the uniqueness of your brand compared to competition gives the customer food for thought, build your reputation and gives the prospect the confidence to trust you and have you in mind as the first option among equals in your industry.

Imagine offering the best spa services and attending a trade show with a popular manufacturer of wellness products in attendance and you happen to have your stand next to them. You have great sales pitch and compelling offer, and you have prospects coming into your stand in droves to have a feel of you. The first thing is status elevation; your company will move from a startup to being part of a niche in the wellness industry.

It also creates a psychological image as prospects will see you as a valuable member of the industry, equating you with the blue-chip company. It is not what some advertising in electronic or print media will ever give to you on a platter of gold like this. There and then, if you have a business proposition for the wellness company, you will have them listening and be treated with respect.

  1. Close deals with new customers with ease at the live event

Using our earlier example, you are the CEO of your XYZ SPA services with a strong proposition for a spa getaway for busy business executives. You have prospects from different organizations and they are decision makers walking into your stand for inquiries. Now face to face with the CEO of prospects’ companies. These are people you would be queuing to meet if you happen to approach them in their offices. It’s not your marketing executive meeting them, and you aren’t meeting the prospects human resource managers either. When two people who have the final say on a business transaction meet, the negotiating environment becomes more relaxed as you know the other person is not fooling around.

Trade show marketing gives you more opportunities of meeting decision-makers coming into your stand in droves. You have a chance for more contacts to open up more sale proposals than you can ever have if you were to market them through other marketing channels.

  1. Competitive edge

There is no small or inconsequential trade exhibition. Attending live marketing events tell prospective clients you are not a pushover in your industry. It also sends a powerful signal to the competition you are a valuable member of the industry. Authority in your industry stems from your participation and contribution in industry matters.

Trade show marketing gives you the needed confidence because you know major industry players and your marketing and business profile will attest to the fact that you have paid your dues in the sector, therefore, establishing your competitive edge standing shoulder high among your competition.

  1. More bang for your buck

A qualified audience is a prospect likely to buy your product. No guess work! Prospect A would need to treat their best performing staff to a week spa in a getaway location every month ending as an employee incentive package. You know this because you already discussed this at the exhibition and you are following up on the prospect to close deals and make money. Now back in your office, you spend less time looking for new prospects, in fact, you are preparing for another trade show coming up midyear to make an even grander appearance.

As a parting talk on this discussion, I hope you now see more reasons to attend trade show marketing for your business. Attending a live sales event needn’t be a problem if you work with the right people who will offer help on how you can benefit more from your participation. If you are in doubt what could be in it for you, we’re happy to help you get started and redefine your business marketing for more profit, today.

Did you know…?

Did you know that 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows they did not get from other marketing mediums?

Their 3 most valued aspects of trade shows were:

  • 60% of exhibitors said they value the ability to see lots of prospects and customers at the same time;
  • 51% of exhibitors said they value face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers,
  • and 47% said they value the ability to meet with a variety of players face to face, such as customers, suppliers, resellers, etc.

  • Source: CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions.

Source: CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions

An Exhibitor’s Show Kit List – do you have one?

Are you professional Exhibitor or maybe new to the trade show industry?

Over the years, I’ve participated in several trade show events and if there’s one thing every Exhibitor should have, it’s a container filled with items that you should always take with you to all your events.

When it comes to participating at events, I’ve learned through trial and error all sorts of things to help me to create a successful experience. Trade shows can be stressful if you’re not prepared. I remember my first few ending with me looking like I’d been through the ringer. It doesn’t have to be that way.

As much as it pains me to say it, it pays to be somewhat organized. Now I’m a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl so organizing is not really my fun thing to do. “It’ll all work out in the end” is something I say frequently. Sure, I did well at the shows but I was frazzled at the end of those three days. Seriously frazzled.

One of my very first lessons to learn and I am happy to share with you, just in case you’ve yet to experience a trade show, is you absolutely have to have a container filled with stuff to get you and your booth up and running and stay running for 3 days. I’ve created a list for you to have a look at and download if you like.

To begin getting your Trade Show Kit together, start creating a stack of the following items:

  • Scotch tape
  • Duct tape: get a little colourful with this. There’s tons of cool duct tape patterns, colours and flavours to choose from and you’re not wrapping a pipe. Find something that will at least look nice in your booth if you have to go public with it.
  • Scissors
  • Paperclips
  • Stapler
  • Package of Sharpies
  • Highlighter
  • Printer Paper - not too much.  Enough for a sign or two if you forget yours at home.
  • Note pad
  • Pens – not just one. I’ve gone through tons of pens at shows for my draw box. Unless you attach them to your table or draw box, they just walk away…
  • Ruler
  • Extension cord – I usually bring about a 20ft cord so it’s not stretched out across the floor of my booth creating a tripping hazard.
  • Power bar – very handy if you need more than one cord or have lighting in your booth.
  • Zip strips – these work great if you’re out of S hooks for hanging your banner.
  • Cutters for zip strips – this is a must if you’re using zip strips. Scissors just don’t cut it.
  • S hooks
  • All in one tool or a couple of screw drivers and a pair of pliers.
  • Your choice of head ache remedy, allergy remedy and cold meds. There’s nothing worse when you’re not feeling well at a show and you can’t leave.
  • Business cards
  • Calculator
  • Nail clippers and nail file – seriously. It’s just not attractive to be picking at your fingers or munching on a hang nail.
  • Band-Aids
  • And last but not least: Cash box. Seriously. It’s easy to forget when you’re in a hurry.

Now that you have all your items collected, pop over the store and pick up a sturdy plastic box to put it all in. You could go with cardboard but if you plan on doing more than one show, it won’t last.

Once you have everything in your plastic container, get out one of your sharpies and mark it as your show kit. Make sure everyone in the household knows that this box is not to be raided - not even by you. As tempting as it is, your show will run much for smoothly if everything is where it should be when you need it.

One last thing, it wouldn’t hurt to leave room for a pair of good foot wear. Your feet will love you for it.

And don’t forget to fill your cash box with a float!

Gail Stamp
Lead Instigator
The New Earth Expo

PS... Did I miss anything?  Please feel free to add to my list.  We're a community and as such, helping each other out is what we do best ...  🙂