Have you thought about attending a trade show recently? Unsure of how your business can benefit from the experience? Here are a few things to ponder that can help you decide whether a trade show is right for you.
Because trade shows are geared toward a crowd of people in a specific industry, they become a great tool in addressing your target market. Trade shows also help in bringing awareness to your company and your services since they are usually open to the public. Another plus to attending is the boost in generated leads from your display booth’s “visitor’s sign-in sheet.”
Here are a few benefits to consider when you participate in your next local trade show:
1. The tables are turned; instead of chasing cold leads, you now have a large group of people within your target market coming to you. Be prepared to answer all your visitors’ questions. Here is when your marketing portfolio and business cards come into play. Build a relationship with every visitor.
2. Attendees are already interested in the type of products and services you offer. Because of this, you are provided a rare chance to be face-to-face with the decision makers. This includes presidents, vice-presidents and CEOs, who are regularly hard to contact.
3. You benefit from high quality referrals. Oftentimes, when people at your booth have no need for your products or services, they refer you to their friends, relatives and business associates who might be interested. And if they leave with enough information on your company, they may even recommend you to those people.
4. Unlike sending random people your marketing materials via snail mail, people at a trade show are more likely to read it, or at least spend some time looking it over.
5. These trade shows offer a unique way in seeing what your competitors are doing. Getting an insight to your competitor’s products and prices is crucial in surviving the business.
6. Don’t forget to Network! Even trade shows can offer business-to-business opportunities. Providing your information on another company’s websites can grow your audience and revenue.
Of course, even with all the benefits that a trade show can provide, there is some risk that you should be mindful of before you attend. These include:
Trade shows require a bit of your time, so be sure that you have enough time on your schedule before you commit to this project.
If the show is not in your town, traveling to the specific location may cost you. Ask yourself, does it fit into my budget?
Another cost to add to your budget is materials needed for your display booth. Portfolio printouts, business cards and any other signage can add up. Be prepared.
If you choose the wrong trade show, you run the risk of reaching out to the wrong target market. This can lead to the trade show cost outweighing any anticipated revenue gain.
If you ultimately decide that the pros outweigh the cons in participating in a trade show, then keep in mind that you need enough funds to cover attendance, display and other associated costs. Also, work out how many visitors you’ll need to generate a ROI. Gather ideas that are sure to capture people’s attention and stock up on sufficient marketing literature.
Have you participated in a trade show recently? Tell us about your experience below.
This article was written by Dorcy Castillo.