It’s true that trade shows may be too costly for first-time business owners, their lean marketing budgets usually are already stretched with basic start-up costs. Developing a great trade show exhibit, training sales staff and travel expenses – to and from the event, and the cost of hotels and food, it is not an inexpensive marketing process. However, like most marketing mediums, with a bit of creativity and the right strategy, a trade show can be a very profitable choice to promote your company.
With the right strategy, every trade show you attend is an opportunity to drastically expand your company’s customer base. The people who attend trade shows tend to be motivated, interested in the products or services your company offers, and often ready to commit to a deal on the spot.
Trade shows are powerful marketing mediums. Here are some staggering numbers to consider:
• B2B exhibits were reported at 39% of all marketing budgets were directed at trade shows since 2011. The resilience of trade show has been fairly steady over the past several years.
• 81% of trade show attendees have company buying authority, meaning that 4 out 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers.
• 78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to attend, meaning that as an exhibitor, you will be getting national audience at many trade shows.
• 99% of marketing claim that they found “unique value from trade shows that they did not get from other marketing mediums”. The most valued aspects of trade shows were the ability to see lots of prospects and customers face-to-face, at the same time.
• The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits, giving the exhibitor plenty of opportunity to connect with their target audience – even multiple times in one show.
Source: CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget
You can achieve brand awareness, lead generation and build relationships by exhibiting in a trade show or event.
Brand Awareness: Consistent branding is a huge aspect of your business’ marketing success, especially in service-oriented industries. Trade shows offer a great opportunity to build your company’s reputation, integrity and trust. Plus it portrays your company as being a serious contender in the marketing place, with strategic planning and booth placement, a company can position itself within its marketing niche, creating a powerful image of an “established brand” in the eyes of potential customers.
Lead Generation: You can drastically expand your company’s customer base with exhibiting at a trade show. The people who attend trade shows are usually more motivated, seeking new and/or better products and services, and often are ready to commit or purchase on the spot. This is a much more worthwhile process of finding leads, then cold-calling from a database or business directory. To be more successful, set concise sales goals and objectives for your team, before the show or event. Interact with every person that enters your exhibit, as everyone is a potential target and keep notes of your contacts for follow-up after the event. A successful show could keep your sales team busy for months connecting with prospective customers and closing deals.
Build Relationships: Trade shows are great networking events for you and your staff in three ways. You can build strong working relationships with potential customers, offering them the promise of exceptional customer services; you also have the opportunity to casually meet your competition, and evaluate your product or services and prices against them; and third, you have the chance to build business support and alliances, products and services that may benefit your own company. Make time to leave your booth and just walk around the floor on a fact-finding mission. It is very beneficial to see what your competition is doing right or what they may be doing wrong. Posing as a potential customer, take note of the giveaways that being distributed – do they relate to the company and would you remember them from the item. You can also research competitor’s prices and information about their latest products. After the show or event, you can evaluate the positioning of your products/services; critique your sales team’s performance and interaction abilities; and the effectiveness of your own marketing strategies.
By having an attractive and eye-catching exhibit that is consistent with your marketing branding, have plenty of collateral pieces and memorable giveaways to distribute to the people for future reference and including your social media information so that event attendees can later connect with you online, will strengthen your brand awareness. Not all potential customers appreciate the direct marketing approach. They may find it intrusive and annoying, whereas the attendees of show and events are there by choice or as a benefit given by their company. They are out of their “business routines” and are more open and enthusiastic to finding the treasures of the show. The potential profits gained from a successful show or event can greatly exceed the cost of being an exhibitor.
360GS can jump-up your success as a show exhibitor with well-designed and affordable start-up show kits, starting at just *$575. Or we can create customized displays to fit your individual needs and budget.
*Pricing may be updated if needed, as per availability. Does not include the cost of Design and layout.