It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to create a successful and attractive exhibit booth at a trade show. Plus, you may have to travel a long distance to get to the conference venue, and training your employees and sales staff on properly projecting the image of your brand can be overwhelming.
Your trade show exhibit strategy must be based on a well-developed plan which achieves the marketing objectives of your business. Otherwise, the exhibit can be a failed investment that does little to help with your business goals.
Exhibiting at a trade show is a powerful marketing strategy that can quickly advance your business by earning you more brand-awareness, leads and customers — especially if you’re introducing a new and innovative product or service.
So, why is it important for your business to exhibit at a trade show?
1) Capturing Leads
Trade shows give you the opportunity to generate leads for your business. You just need to request contact information from exhibit hall attendees (so that you can contact them again in the future with your promotional materials). When attendees walk by your booth, connect with them, tell them about your products and offerings, ask for a business card or have them fill out a small questionnaire.
2) In-Person Marketing
Potential clients like to see a face attached to a brand. Trade shows allow clients to finally meet company founders, leaders or representatives and talk to them for the first time. This is a great way of winning over a potential customer and turning them into a real, life-long client.
3) Brand Promotion
Big corporations and small businesses can benefit from promoting their brand at trade shows. There are plenty of interested consumers walking around looking for the next great product to purchase. A simple standard exhibit booth (10’ x 10’ in size) is typically good for establishing product displays and kiosks.
4) Making Sales
Thousands of people attend trade shows because they’re looking for a new product or service that will solve their problems. If you happen to showcase the product or service they are looking for, you may be able to generate more than just leads at a trade show. You may generate actual sales from new customers who you would otherwise may not have been able reach.
5) Analyzing the Competition
Trade shows create a rare opportunity for you to snoop around and see what your competitors are doing at their exhibits. You can even pose as an interested customer by asking questions from your competitors at their exhibit stands. Study their answers and overall presentation because they can inadvertently provide ideas on how to conduct your own exhibit.
6) Introducing a New Product or Service
Trade shows are mostly about introducing the latest and greatest products or service offerings to a targeted audience of professionals in an industry. This can be more effective than online or print advertising because there is a live audience that gets to witness your product or service in person. If you’re selling something tangible, then the audience is bound to see it up close and experience it first-hand.
7) Building Business Relationships
Trade shows are not all about trying to outdo other competing businesses. Sometimes, you find partners or other companies that can actually help your business succeed. For instance, if you own a manufacturing company and connect with a logistics company at the trade show, then you have found a potential company to build a business relationship with; as a result, the logistics of getting your products from the manufacturing line to the retail line will get a whole lot easier that way.
8) Gathering Customer Feedback
You will receive direct and honest feedback from your target audience at trade shows. This is unlike online feedback (where people can often be trolling, or be insincere in their remarks). As a business owner, you will want to hear this honest feedback because it will help you introduce better products or services for your customers in the future.