5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Committing to a Trade Show Event
You could have the best product in your field, but your business is only going to grow based on how many people know about it. Whether you’re looking for potential customers, employees or business partners, you need to use every advertising avenue possible.
As much as the Internet can help with connecting with as many people in a short period of time as possible, showing off your product(s) in person goes a long way, as well.
That’s where trade shows come in, as these events allow you to explain what you have to offer face-to-face to a variety of audiences. However, several precautions are needed to make sure that your participation at these occasions goes as planned.
Here are five questions you should ask yourself before committing to a trade show event.
1. What Is Your Goal for the Event?
Some of you may be seasoned entrepreneurs, and some of you may be new to starting your own business. If you fall in the first group, then chances are that you’ve probably attended and participated in a trade show or two at this point.
However, those in the second group may not be sure about what to do at their first. These events serve as an appropriate setting for a variety of situations that can benefit your business.
You may still be trying to put your company together and need the right business partner(s) to get things going. Your company may be in need of more employees, and you could be looking for an event that will help you find the right candidates who are looking to apply their skills.
It helps to get a better understanding of what customers are looking for in your type of product, and some trade shows are designed specifically for them and can allow you to ask questions about their needs so that you know what you need to keep or change in your services.
These events can also come in handy for getting in touch with experts in your fields and asking them advice on how to run your business so that it sees as much success as possible. Trade shows come in different forms to satisfy all of these needs, so be sure that the ones in your area fit the bill of your objective.
2. What Is Your Budget?
Making money sometimes requires spending money, and that especially applies to market your products and services. There are a variety of costs that you’ll have to consider when participating in a trade show event.
A great chunk of the budget will have to be saved for the booth presentation, which includes the setup, signs, and space that you’ll need for it. This may be a bigger challenge if there is a large number of other people setting up their own booths.
Some venues may be generous enough to supply equipment, but not all of them. Giveaways are another tool needed to get attendees to consider your business, such as samples of your products and clothes advertising your services.
The distance of the event’s location from where you live or run your business also plays a role in how much you’ll need to spend. Travel expenses can include tolls, gas, and parking depending on if the show is situated in a major city, as most of them are.
Some of these shows take places over the course of a couple of days, so you may have to spend money on a hotel and meals. Whether or not you’re taking your team with you is also a cost factor, as you may be able to find good deals on hotels if you’re in a group, and they can help cover expenses with setting up your booth.
3. How Many People Are Attending/Exhibiting?
The amount of people who are attending the trade show is another element that plays into the success of your participation.
It helps to be part of a show that has hundreds of thousands of people showing up so that your chances of getting a large number of individuals interested in what you’re offering are high.
However, you may be comfortable with events that cater to a smaller amount, especially if the people attending are professionals, investors and other people who can have a major impact on your business’s success.
If you want the right amount of people to show up, make sure that the organization that puts them together has a good track record of attracting appropriate crowds. This will help you determine if this particular show is right for you.
You’ll also need to consider the number of other exhibitors who will be participating in the event. The presence of competitors can have an effect on the number of people you are able to attract to your tradeshow booth, especially if they are popular players in your game and have attended such events on a consistent basis.
This will be a bigger problem if the number of attendees is low, whether it’s by design of the event or just bad luck on that day. However, you should be prepared to take on the biggest names in your field if you want your company to become a big name, and finding a way to stand out certainly helps.
4. Are There Additional Events?
It’s possible to be able to accomplish your goals at a trade show in one day, but it always helps to have some extra time to spread the word about your offerings.
While some events are spread out over several days, others are set up for just one day and have offshoot events that will be held either before or after the main show. These offshoots can come in the form of speaking engagements that allow you to answer questions for potential customers and hold demonstrations of your products.
They can also be roundtables where you can talk to other exhibitors and professionals in your field about your goals, as well as networking events where you can meet with experts who can provide tips for advertising your services or making improvements to your products in order to boost your customer base.
Finding out if the trade show comes with offshoots should be done as soon as you find out about the show’s existence, as this will help you figure out your goals for the event so that you don’t have a long list of objectives that can’t be completed in a short period of time.
This will also help you save money on travel expenses. If these extra events are available, figuring out who they are for will also make it easier to set goals. If individual offshoots allow you to get in touch with multiple audiences, then this will help you save time on your objectives, as well.
5. Can You Blog About the Event Afterwards?
The marketing doesn’t end with the trade show ends, as you will want to let people know about how the event went afterward so that the same people, as well as others, will attend similar ones in the future.
The success that you experience at the event will impact how much content you will be able to provide on your website and social media accounts. Such content can come in the form of a blog summarizing what you did, who you met, the goals you achieved, and what you plan on doing going forward.
Having photos of the events and people involved will give people who didn’t attend an idea of what happened, how fun they can be, and what will attract them to go to future shows.
Not only will this increase the audience of people who visit your site, but it will also create more of a relationship between you and them so that they know you’re the company is one they can depend on.
If you manage to create a good relationship with other people at the event and decide to meet again for a discussion or interview, you can post about an upcoming meeting on your site in order to get even more visitors. Gaining opinions from professionals will boost your audience’s confidence in your products and services, as well as serve as further encouragement your and their involvement in trade shows down the line.
Consider these questions so that your participation in trade shows creates a bright future for your business.