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.
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.