At a time when digital activities dominate the marketing landscape, you may be asking yourself are trade shows still important?  Is exhibiting worth the effort and expense?

While trade shows are far from easy, they can be one of the most rewarding forms of marketing when approached with the right strategy. They offer a unique opportunity for face-to-face interaction with your audience. Trade show veterans will attest to the fact that the (Return on Investment) ROI achieved from a successful trade show is difficult – and often impossible – to match using other forms of outbound marketing.

The UK Events Report, which was compiled prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, illustrates the impact the UK events industry has on the economy. In 2019 business events generated more than £31bn of revenue in the UK.  In total, the events industry generated £70 billion, accounting for over 50% of spend in the UK visitor economy, providing over 700,000 jobs and generating in excess of £165 billion in trade facilitated at business events.

Here we have the reasons why trade shows should be an important part of your marketing strategy:

 

Lead Generation

Sales are the driving force of your business and a trade show gives you the perfect opportunity to generate leads and sales.  With hundreds, possibly thousands, of attendees at a trade show you are in a great position to build on your CRM database.  According to Exhibit Surveys Inc, over 82% of exhibition attendees have buying influence.

When you speak to a potential client on the phone, you’re often dealing with someone who is busy with their day-to-day tasks. As such, they’re often disinterested.  Being an exhibitor at a trade show puts you directly in front of key decision-makers who will be in buying mode – something rarely achieved by any other form of outbound marketing.

 

Build your brand

Trade shows are a great place to showcase your brand.  If you are new to the industry, they give you an opportunity to launch your business, or if you are established, they are a great way of launching a new product.  Having an eye-catching stand will really show the industry and your customers that you are a serious player.

You can prepare for trade show success by coming equipped with lots of branded giveaways. Handing out something with your name and pertinent information keeps your business in the minds of potential clients.

Meet customers face-to-face

While many business transactions are conducted over phone or email, trade shows offer you face-to-face meetings with your customers, so you can strengthen your bond with them. In fact, according to a Wall Street Journal, face-to-face meetings are the most effective way of creating stronger relationships with both current and prospective customers. Technology might have allowed businesses to interact with calls or emails, but the statistics show that trade shows are better than these options when it comes to customer interaction.

 

Network

An important advantage of exhibiting is the chance to network with industry peers.  Trade shows and exhibitions bring together large numbers of people in your field from far and wide.   70% of exhibitors say they exhibit to create and or strengthen industry relationships or partnerships.  This demonstrates that trade shows add significant value beyond reaching clients and prospects.

Trade shows are where an industry gathers, and it’s often the best time to forge and renew your alliances with partners, not just interact with buyers.  You may find someone who can strengthen your supply chain and help your business to grow.

 

See New Developments in the Industry

You’ll never have a better chance to assess the competition than at a trade show. You can use the opportunity to see what other companies are doing differently. Some might be launching new products or innovations.  Maybe some of them are offering services that your customers want. Let trade shows educate you on the ways you can be better, in order to compete with similar brands.

Trade shows also give you the opportunity to attend numerous industry-orientated presentations, seminars, and lectures taking place during the show. These talks, delivered by industry experts, can provide you with new insights that you might have otherwise missed. Learning about new ideas and trends in your industry will impact on how your business operates in the future. If a particular speaker has made a good impression on you, why not introduce yourself and get more specific advice on how you can take your business to the next level?

Expand your Reach

When you attend trade shows in different areas of the country, you have the ability to expand your customer base. You’ll have access to clients who may have never known you existed otherwise. Impressing local attendees can drive traffic to your website, which could, in turn, translate into sales.

 

Get Instant Feedback

Trade shows give you the chance to demonstrate your products to prospective clients.  This will enable you to get feedback from them instantly.  You can see if people react well to your offerings – what they like and where improvements could be made.

 

Optimise your Sales Technique

Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to expose your sales team to many different prospects in a short period. They offer you a unique live marketing situation that allows you to try out new sales tricks and marketing strategies in a very responsive environment. If you want to test and optimise your lead generation strategy, you’ll find no better place than a trade show. Try several different sales pitches on prospects and you’ll quickly learn which ones work and which ones don’t, giving you guidance for future opportunities.

Trade shows are important because they offer a unique live marketing opportunity.  You can meet your customers in a face-to-face setting, get feedback, build brand awareness and generate leads.  As per a research study, more than 90% of attendees of a trade show claimed the show was successful for their business.  To discuss your future trade show requirements with an expert call us on 01202 723 500 or email designteam@quadrant2design.com.