Bored of sending out advertising flyers? Want to change your marketing strategy? Why not interact with your competitors as well as potential customers face-to-face? Trade shows might just be the thing for you.
The key to any successful marketing event is to create a memorable experience for the visitors so that they will remember your brand. Trade shows are a great way to showcase your latest products, create brand awareness, and network with your target audience.
Let’s see what a trade show is, and why a trade show is what you need to bolster your business.
What is a Trade Show
A trade show is an exhibition where different companies come together to display their latest products to other businesses and consumers. They are the windows to the next iteration of products and services.
What is the Purpose of a Trade Show
For a marketing strategy to be effective, it is not only about the right time but the right people as well. A trade show is a perfect place for you as a small business owner to connect with the right people.
People who are at the trade show are already interested in the type of products and services you provide. You can easily reel them in with promotional items, attractive display, and courteous behavior.
You will meet potential investors at trade fairs as well. Your competitors will be present at the trade shows as well. Therefore, you have to create an attractive, eye-catching, and engaging display that sets you apart from everyone else.
Whether it is a keychain or a branded pen, the promo items will make sure that the attendees remember your company long after the trade show is over. You can offer free product samples, creating a contest with an award for the winner, etc.
Why Do Companies Go To Trade Shows
If a person wants to view what is trending and upcoming, a trade show is a perfect place to do so. Generally, trade shows are not open to the general public and this creates a sense of elusiveness and exclusiveness around them.
Usually, members of the press, different company representatives along with top industry professionals attend trade shows. The attendees are granted access to the newest features, latest technologies, special pricing, etc.
As a business owner, you get to exhibit your new product or service, build relationships and network, engage with the members of the press, create brand awareness, close deals, and gain leads.
How Long Do Trade Shows Last
Trade shows last for several days at a time. There are workshops, speaker presentations, breakout sessions, targeted exhibition events, networking events, award ceremonies, etc. at a trade show.
However, the main attraction of a trade show is the exhibition floor. The trade show floor will be full of trade show displays, products, and people. If your booth is eye-catching, everyone will engage with your company and your brand awareness metrics will go through the roof.
The main purpose of a trade show is to bring members of an industry together. For instance, we had the Book Expo America which was held annually and only publishing industry pros could attend it.
Similarly, the Consumer Electronics Show limits the attendees to professionals in the tech and electronics fields. On the other hand, SXSW and America’s Largest RV Show welcome the general public along with industry professionals.
Why Trade Shows are Valuable
Are Trade Shows Expensive?
The cost to attend a trade show or exhibit at one varies greatly. However, here is a list of typical expenses for the exhibitors.
- Booth Space Rent
- Designing a Professional Display
- Shipping Booth & Equipment
- Moving Costs for the Booth
- Travel & Accommodation Expenses for the Staff
- Promotional Items or Samples
As an attendee, there are not a lot of expenses apart from the attendance fee (if any) and the travel & accommodation expenses. Therefore, many small businesses don’t set up their own booth at an exhibition.
Rather, they simply opt to attend a trade show and network with people present, making contacts and meeting with potential partners & investors.
How Are Trade Shows Effective
Here are a few reasons why trade shows are highly effective in promoting your products.
Create Brand Awareness
Trade shows are a great way of getting your name out there to the masses, particularly to the press and top industry professionals. When you share your company vision and initiatives with the key players in the industry, it builds your company’s reputation.
Moreover, you have the chance to engage with your potential as well as existing customers. This increases your businesses reach and is a sure way of taking your business to new heights.
Gain Targeted Leads
Want to build relationships and engage with people who have never heard of or seen your brand before? A trade show is the best way to reel them in and get them invested in your company and products.
We all know that face-to-face interaction increases the chances of a sale as compared to impersonal emails or digital advertisements. If you build personal relationships with people at a trade show, they will definitely engage and follow up after the trade show is over.
Get Insight into the Industry
Want to take a pulse on your industry? What better way to do so than being surrounded by your competitors and learning from top industry professionals at a trade show! Take a walk around the exhibition and see what your competitors are up to, and what you can learn from them to make your own services and products better.
Act as a consumer and ask them about their new products, pricing plans, services, etc. You will get a lot of information about the competitor tactics and strategies after spending a couple of hours on the floor.
Common Problems while Attending a Trade Show
Issues with Space
There are a lot of exhibition booths and a sea of vendors at a trade show. Moreover, there will be areas for food & beverage, attendee learning spaces, etc. It can be pretty hard to play around with the little amount of space you have.
However, if your booth space has an alluring and enticing design, and you make the most of the allocated space, you will be good to go!
To get your booth up and running, you need to coordinate with the loading and docking suppliers. Moreover, you have to set up your booth before the trade show begins. This means there will be many moving parts and you have to keep your coordination game on point to avoid any issues.
Are Trade Shows Dead?
Nope! Many people question the value that trade shows add to the marketing funnel, especially in the digital world of today. However, the fact is that nothing tops face-to-face interaction. No amount of social media presence, video conferences, webinars, etc. can replace trade shows, especially when it comes to seeing new products in action.
Trade shows are a great way of introducing yourself in your industry as well as meeting new clients, potential investors, and competitors. No other marketing platform offers these advantages.