Is Exhibiting Right for You?
Exhibiting at a trade show is an exciting prospect and can pay off with huge returns! But it also requires a large financial and time investment. If you’re wondering how to decide if this is the route for you, here are a few things to consider.
If you know who your ideal customers are, you should know if they are the type to attend trade shows. If not, exhibiting may not give you the results you need, or it could even work against you.
If they are, what show has them attending in the greatest number? Is it enough to justify the expense? If so, that’s where you need to be! There is no opportunity like a trade show to connect with your target customer face-to-face and hear what they want from their own lips.
Chances are, you also share a target audience with more than one other industry. When are their shows and how can you leverage them to your advantage? Do your research to answer these questions before booking a booth at a trade show.
Your business probably has a marketing and advertising budget already, but if you’ve never exhibited before, where will the money come from? How will you restructure your budget or request an increase?
There is also the booth display to add to your line items. If you go through all the trouble and training of presenting at an event, your booth display is critical.
It must put the best foot forward for your business and create a lasting impression on visitors and prospects. High-quality banners, tents, flags and table displays can make or break your success at a trade show and should be included in budgetary plans.
What Are Your Brand Objectives?
While trade shows can help you increase your overall sales, there are additional objectives that benefit your brand. Do you need to increase lead generation? Enhance your brand awareness? Position your brand as an industry leader?
A trade show can help you achieve all these objectives! Networking with new and familiar connections, generating leads you can warm up over time, and increasing brand awareness are all common wins from a trade show.
Whatever objective you choose, plan to execute every element with that objective as the motivation. Create booth design and promotional materials to match your objective. If properly leveraged, hosting an exhibit at a trade show can drive incredible growth for your company.
Take advantage of everything an event offers to boost the effectiveness of this strategy.
Are Your Competitors Exhibiting?
This is a critical element of research when looking into trade shows: check out your competition. If your competitors are exhibiting at local, regional, or national events? If they are, what are you waiting for? Jump in!
If not, this could mean two things. One is that exhibiting isn’t a good fit for your business because no one else is doing it. Maybe they tried it out once or twice and it flopped.
Or secondly, this could mean your market is yet untapped in the trade show world and you could be an industry leading first. If you know or study your market, you should be able to answer this question.
Other Promotional Opportunities
Audience attendance isn’t the only element to consider when picking your ideal trade show. Most events also offer opportunities for press conferences, speaking engagements, sponsorships, and award ceremonies. Each of these offerings are promotional opportunities to spread your name around and enhance brand awareness.
If you don’t think you would net the number of sales or leads from any one event, could you still benefit from their other opportunities? It may be worth your time and money to explore these valuable side benefits.
Are You Launching Something New?
If you’re launching a new and exciting product line or an enhanced service, or announcing a big upcoming change, a trade show is a great way to promote it! It will help you generate buzz, offer product demonstrations, and garner media attention around your brand.
A Return to Face-to-Face Marketing
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that humans miss other humans. They crave in-person contact and personal connections where you can look people in the eye and enjoy their smile up close.
Digital marketing is essential, but it doesn’t carry the same weight as in-person networking and marketing. If you’re such a person that excels in a lively, on-site environment, you should consider trade shows as a marketing opportunity where you and your brand would thrive!
With the hit large events took over the last few years, research conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s projections are in for 2022. All roads point to “a new day for the industry.”
Now is an incredibly exciting time to jump into trade shows! Reach out to the Exhib-it team for additional tips and resources to get started!