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10 Reasons Why You Must Exhibit at a Trade Show
Jul 24, 2018

10 Reasons Why You Must Exhibit at a Trade Show

For many businesses, the thought of appearing at a trade show is a daunting and potentially stressful task. The immediate thoughts turn to how spending a few days away from the day-to-day running of a company may impact negatively on routine operations, as well as cost implications and staffing numbers.

However, whist they are never far from being easy, there are a number of massive benefits they offer to every size of business that makes them a very attractive marketing option. If approached with the right strategy and the right exhibition stand designer, it can be an extremely fruitful and positive experience.

So if you’ve been considering exhibiting at an industry trade show but have been too afraid to take the plunge, here’s 10 great reasons why your business should take that lap of faith and reap the rewards they have to offer:

1. Meet New Active Buyers

One of the most desirable elements of any trade show is the chance to meet with active buyers who are there so seek our products and services specifically found in your industry specialism. Very seldom do you get the chance to interact and speak directly to potential customers than at trade shows. This is where they come into their own.

Of course, there are many attendees who go to trade shows to get various freebies and just feel a part of the scene. But in and amongst the vast crowds, there are active buyers who want to speak with companies like yours and see who has the best products and services to offer that will benefit them. Opportunities like that are like gold dust and that is your chance to build new relationships and gain new customers.

Busy Trade Show
Trade Shows Are Full of Active Willing Buyers

2. Face Time with Existing Customers

It’s not uncommon for many businesses to have acquired past customers via email or telephone and to never have met. A trade show is the perfect way to get acquainted with your customers in a relaxed and neutral environment, whilst being able to showcase your business to them and embolden that relationship.

Many exhibitors can get hung up on only seeking out new customers at trade shows, ignoring the importance of maintaining strong relationships with the ones they already have. So make sure you tell your existing customers you are exhibiting and invite them along to come and see you. You may find they decide to increase their spend with your company and thus, your existing customers prove to bring increased business to you as their trust in your company has strengthened as a result.

3. See What the Competition’s Doing

There’s no better way of seeing what other businesses in your industry are up to than at a trade show. Most exhibitors will want to show off their latest product or service, so it is without doubt one of the best opportunities to see what industry trends and innovations are developing all under one roof.

This is a great way to gauge whether your business is a leader in the field or whether you have lots of catching up to do. As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and a trade show gives you the perfect opportunity to do this.

Make sure you to visit all of your competitors’ stands. You’ll see exactly what developments they have been working on and you will instantly get vital intelligence and insight into their marketing strategies.

4. Form Strategic Partnerships

As well as competitors, you may also find a number of vendors exhibiting at a trade show that may be of benefit to you or vice versa.

It’s not uncommon for multiple businesses to form strategic partnership that help each other to development and sell their products more cost effectively, efficiently or at greater volume.

Most businesses have some form of supply chain that is critical to producing their key offerings, so it pays to see if there are opportunities to improve the way they work and sell at scale. By having a purchasing manager present on your stand, they can focus on seeking out potential new vendors whilst your sales team can focus on customer acquisition.

5. Generate Warm Leads

In and amongst the various conversations your sales team has with prospective buyers will be those that are ready and willing to buy. Opportunities like that do not come along very often and this is where trade shows really come into their own.

Make sure your sales team takes down all the necessary details of prospective buyers and create a shortlist of solid leads that require follow up after the trade show ends. These are the leads that can covert to real business and will measure ROI and whether or not your exhibition was a success or failure.

Like this article? Then try reading: 19 Actionable Trade Show Success Tips

6. Close Deals on the Day

If your sales team are confident and are actively selling your products and services, trade fairs offer huge opportunities to make lucrative sales on the days of the actual show.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that trade shows are only about leads! There’s nothing to say that you can’t actively sell your products or services right there or in the least, get positive buyers to agree to an exclusively priced proforma sale which can be finalized once the show completes.

To close deals swiftly and effectively, try offering discounts or incentives that are exclusive to trade show attendees only. There’s nothing better than a little pressure to persuade interested buyers into a sale just a little quicker if they feel a better deal is on the table right in front of them.

7. Brand Enhancement

What trade shows do above all other marketing channels is level the playing field. No matter who your competitors are, large or small, a trade show puts you right in front of exactly the same audience and this will do wonders for your brand.

Being able to rub shoulders with all the main players in your industry gives your brand instant recognition and validation, and buyers will see this. By sharing the same space, you can be assured that you have the exact same opportunities to wow those audiences into buying from you above everyone else, without the concerns of greater influence or buying power that other larger companies may have. It’s extremely empowering and gives you the feeling that you can compete on all levels.

8. Improve Market Position

Once your brand has become more recognizable, it is then that you have the opportunities to enhance your position within the market and become a well-known, trusted brand name.

Grabbing lucrative market share, especially in fiercely competitive arenas is always a tough ask. At a trade fair, you have the opportunity to grab your share by finding opportunities that others have not explored or noticed. Trade shows will reveal those opportunities better than any other situation. You can observe what buyers are seeking, what they like and dislike and then realign your business to cater for the products or services they desire most.

9. Gain Customer Feedback

Trade show attendees are by and large very open and honest about what they wish to buy, who they buy from and why. Information like that is critical to understanding your audience so if you have the means, ask attendees what they think of your brand, product or services and gauge insightful knowledge about how you compare to others.

Whether you gain information during open conversations, presentations or by conducting surveys or competitions, understanding audience perceptions is the most revealing intelligence a business can gather.

Happy Saleswoman
There’s No Better Way to Motivate A Sales Team Than Financial Incentives

10. Re-Energise Your Sales Team

If your sales team is passionate and driven, a trade show is a dream ticket. A trade show give you ample opportunity to set your sales team targets for the duration of the show and to see first hand how they perform in a trade show environment.

Whether you decide to incentivise their goals by offering bonuses, prizes, paid time off or an improved salary package, they should be champing at the bit to get started.

You’ll learn a lot about your sales team members, how they operate, how effective they are at closing deals and which of them are performing the best.

So it’s clear there are many benefits to exhibiting at a trade show and the above 10 key reasons should give you ample incentive to book your place at your next industry trade show and get your business in front of willing buyers. Exhibitions open many doors of opportunity and reveal a lot about your business and the people who work for you. So if you’re new to trade shows, get out there and give it a go. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Author
Doug Ramsey

Doug is the Operations Director at Rock Solid Exhibitions. When he is not busy penning new blog posts for the company website, he is heavily involved in the design and build of numerous client exhibition stands at trade shows all over the UK and across Europe. Doug is passionate about delivering incredible exhibition booths to businesses of all sizes and loves to offer insight and opinion on our blog using his extensive experience within the industry. To find out more from Doug or to discuss an exhibition stand design, contact us on 01483 338978, email us or follow us on social media.

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