The trade show environment offers businesses a unique opportunity to directly engage and interact with prospective clients. They provide an alternative and tangible avenue to leave a lasting impression on potential customers through personal engagements. In order to reap the benefits of your trade show program efforts, you must have strategic initiatives in place and a trained staff to execute your program. From pre-show strategies to the trade show floor engagements, through the post-show follow procedures, the opportunities for success are limitless.
Those attendees on the trade show floor are all potential opportunities that can become your clients. There is a unique opportunity for you to influence their perceptions about your company brand, your people, your capabilities to be their partner, and ultimately influencing their buying behaviors. Where else but the trade show floor do you have access to decision makers and buyers, that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
A few interesting statistics from a 2015 study conducted by the Center for Industry Research revealed the following about the benefits of exhibiting:
99% of attendees have not met face-to-face with any companies exhibiting at the show they are attending, in the past 12 months.
46% of executive decision makers made purchase decisions while attending a show.
92% of attendees come to a trade show to learn about new product and service offerings.
77% of decision makers found at least 1 new supplier at the last show they attended.
76% of decision makers will ask for a price quotation.
Listed below are 4 essential benefits for exhibiting at trade shows and events!
Increase leads and ultimately sales.
- The trade show environment allows your trained and knowledgeable sales force the opportunity to benefit from an audience of prospective customers who are attending the show because they are genuinely interested in the products and services that are being offered.
- With the personal connections that can be made on the show floor, the quantity and quality of potential leads make exhibiting a great opportunity to increase your customer base and thus increasing sales.
- Trade shows have a great potential to provide a high response rate from attendees, along with valuable insight that will help your business expand and improve.
Strengthen Brand Awareness
- The trade show floor allows you to have the same access to prospective customers as your competitors. Regardless of the size of your exhibit space, exhibiting offers you a valuable opportunity to help position your business as a leader in the industry and gain exposure to many prospects.
- Your display can capture the interest of your product offerings, but it is up to your booth staffers to engage them. A solid program includes staffers who are well versed in engaging prospects and communicating the benefits of the products and or services you offer.
- Trade shows can be a powerful extension of your companies image through advertising, promotions, public relations and sales, which offer an excellent way to enhance your brand awareness.
- Keep in mind that to be effective, your brand strategy needs to be totally consistent, clear and focused throughout your exhibit program.
- Trade shows offer the opportunity for your attendees to gain a hands-on demonstration of your innovative products. It’s important to have knowledgeable staffers on hand who are able to provide details of the product. These demonstrations can certainly provide a benefit in the decision-making process.
- Trade shows provide a captive audience that often includes influencers and decision makers.
- To help make your product launch a success, begin planning at least 3 months in advance. Market your launch in various trade publications and social media platforms. This will help give you an edge while creating excitement about your product launch. Invite your customer and prospects to visit you are the trade show for a hands on demonstration.
- The fact that trade shows are a convenient location for your potential customers to have their inquiries and concerns addressed on the spot, adds an important factor in your decision to exhibit at trade shows.
Build Customer Relationships
- Trade show events are a prime opportunity to meet face to face with existing customers both on the show floor and through networking sessions. They offer a “natural” environment where you can gather and discuss new strategies for long term relationships.
- Face to face opportunities with existing and prospective customers provide great value in the overall sales cycle. What better way to gain instant feedback to help improve your business model.
- The environment also offers you the opportunity to strengthen relationships with prospects that are familiar with your products and services, but which you have been challenged in getting those face to face appointments.
- Attendees are seeking a deeper relationship with their vendors and clients. The trade show floor offers a great opportunity for them to learn about different products and services offered. It affords the opportunity to gain valuable insight into service they may not have realized existed.
Planning is the most important aspect of your trade show marketing program. With solid objectives and clear goals, your company can reap the benefits of exhibiting. They offer a valuable venue to network with other industry professionals and at the same time, a valuable avenue to promote your company products and services. They are a time-efficient and cost-effective means for sellers to sell and buyers to buy.