why exhibiting makes real sense for your business

Before You Hit The Venue: Why Exhibiting Makes Real Sense for Your Business

Exhibitions continue to grow year on year and according to the global exhibition industry body the UFI, 2018 will be the biggest year yet! As an industry, exhibitions are growing faster than the global economy as they work. I am guessing if you are reading this series you have either booked a show or are seriously considering it. Realistically this is because they offer a multiple of features that can’t be offered by traditional mediums in one place, at one time.

Most companies say the main reason for exhibiting at a trade show is the actual sales you get from attending. This makes complete sense but it’s also worthwhile considering that by exhibiting you can also achieve many other objectives.
To me, a sale at an exhibition is not simply a sale, but rather the opportunity to gain a client and a client who will not buy just once but multiple times. This is important to consider over the longer term and how a sale is not just a one-off, but a client that comes back.
Often times companies don’t consider the other things they can achieve by exhibiting. Ponder these as possibilities and it can really open your mind up as to why the exhibition industry continues to grow:

  • Gain multiple potential new clients not just sales
  • Meet and solidify relationships with existing clients
  • Conduct market research for future product launches
  • Gain new relationships with potential distributors of your product, at home and abroad
  • Get up to date feedback on current product modifications that will make your clients invest more
  • Meet potential superstar new employees without the need to use a recruitment agency
  • Build relationships with newer clients
  • Save your sales reps time by using the event for future appointments
  • Launch new products
  • Meet your competitors and see what they are up to

An exhibition can offer you an opportunity to solve multiple problems or issues at one time in one place, with buyers who have come to a show because they are specifically interested in that sector.
There is no other medium that can offer you all this in one place at one time, so when you are considering where your marketing budget is being spent, maybe give a thought to what you can really achieve and not necessarily that exhibitions are expensive. A £5 spent on advertising is a waste of time if you get nothing from it!

Have a look at the statistics below which give you some real figures about exhibitions and why they work. These facts are taken directly from the industry and represent the reality of shows and why the industry continues to grow.

✓ 83% of exhibition attendees have purchasing authority 

✓ 85% of decision-makers believe going to shows saves time & money sourcing suppliers

✓ Over 90% of attendee’s plan to purchase in the next 12-15 months

✓ 86% of exhibition attendees have not been seen by your sales force in the last 12 months

✓ 63% of marketing managers agree that exhibitions are crucial to retaining market share

Throughout this series, I will continue to share many other statistics that may surprise you, but will ultimately help in your planning for your upcoming show.

To begin, write down a list of 5 objectives you are looking to achieve at your next exhibition – Be creative, think outside of pure sales!

Stephan “The Exhibition Guy” Murtagh has 25+ years’ experience in the exhibition and events industry and has worked with many of the biggest organisers in the industry. As a qualified Fetac trainer, he set-up The Exhibition Guy to educate and train people on how to sell more, his website features module-based courses and coaching for real-life situations within the sector.

Contact The Exhibition Guy to learn how he can help manage and educate your exhibiting team.