Why Trade Shows Still Matter
As with most things, the digital age has changed the nature of marketing significantly. Digital marketing is fairly simple and has the potential to reach a giant audience. This, coupled with the fact that a trade show exhibit isn’t exactly cheap, has some business owners understandably wondering if they are still worthwhile.
The truth, however, is that face to face meetings are still the most valuable way to network and advertise. This is even the case for technology enthusiasts. After all, the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) continues to be the biggest annual event to show off the latest technology and gadgets.
Trade shows can still be a great way to jumpstart a budding business or to expand an already successful one. Here are some likely timeless benefits of trade shows and how to make the most of them.
In Person Marketing
In general, people enjoy communicating face to face, and this is actually becoming more true, as technology can easily starve us of the opportunity. In person, marketing offers a huge advantage over emails or other methods of digital marketing.
Whether the goal is to simply advertise or to actually sell, bringing your best communicators to the exhibit will show your products in the best possible light and give potential customers an experience that can’t be matched by any other method.
Product demonstrations, after all, are one of the most powerful tools a business has at their disposal, and a trade show is the best place to let it show.
Maintaining And Building Your Network
Trade shows provide an excellent opportunity to meet with your existing network, especially if you own an expansive business that otherwise makes a meeting difficult.
This allows you to form a more meaningful relationship with existing customers and any partners.
There’s also a big advantage if you’ve done your research on which show to attend, in that your target audience is already present.
It’s estimated that roughly 70% of visitors plan their visit to a trade show, which makes advanced outreach important for any exhibit. This will ensure that visitors who are potentially interested in your products will see your booth, and the majority of them will be prepared to buy.
An exhibit is also a great way to generate leads to expand your network. The show is an opportunity to address concerns from any potential buyers who may be on the fence about your products.
Making a good impression can do wonders for your PR as well since visitors will be more likely to remember your exhibit booth company and recommend it to others.
Making The Most of It
Now that you know some of the biggest benefits of holding an exhibit at a trade show, you’ll want to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. As previously mentioned, researching the right event for your company is a big part of the equation.
You’ll also want to have an overall strategy in mind for how you want to engage potential buyers, and train your staff thoroughly to give the best impression possible.
Your booth itself will be a make or break element, as well. It’s wise to consult with a company to create a booth that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical to your needs.
Booth position will be just as important to ensure visitors can find your exhibit, so you’ll want to negotiate with the floor owners to get the best location you can.
You can definitely use digital marketing to your advantage before the exhibit. Email campaigns and reaching out on social media are both good ways to attract visitors to your booth.
Engage with potential customers and invite them to visit with your staff in advance of the show to build a more personal connection. Bringing guests to your presentation to speak about their personal experiences with your products is also a good way to stand out.
You may choose to follow up with visitors a few days after the show to keep the conversation going, but it’s important not to seem pushy.
Even if you don’t get a sale right away, keeping your company in a potential customer’s mind increases the chances of success in the future. Trade shows may not be a simple affair, but it’s hard to overstate their value when executed properly.