Compared to direct marketing and online advertising, exhibiting at a trade show is far from cheap. From renting floor space to developing a great booth, the high cost of exhibiting at a trade show makes this form of marketing one that many small to medium-sized companies ignore solely due to its expense.
While exhibiting at a trade show can be expensive, the rewards can match – and in many cases, vastly exceed – the cost of developing a booth, renting floor space, and travelling to and from the event itself.
We asked trade show experts Display Wizard about the benefits and rewards of a great trade show exhibit. Read on to learn more about what your business could achieve by exhibiting at a trade show.
1. Generate hundreds of sales leads
Trade shows are excellent sources of sales leads. If your sales team is making its way through typical lead sources very quickly, the hundreds (if not thousands) of leads that you can generate in just a few days at a trade show are sure to keep it busy.
2. Develop your company’s brand
There’s more to branding than logos and marketing materials. Exhibiting at a trade show puts your business alongside leaders in its industry, which in turn has a huge positive effect on its brand. Think about trade shows as both direct marketing and branding opportunities to truly assess their immense value.
3. Reach the right type of people
Trade shows rarely attract time-wasters. Because of the cost of attending and the opportunity cost of not attending, the people that visit trade shows tend to have a large budget and a real need for your products or services.
Instead of collecting low-value leads from business directories and data vendors, a trade show allows your business to generate high-value leads from people that are truly interested in doing business with you.
4. Understand your industry more
When foot traffic is slower than usual, why not leave your booth to do competitive research? Trade shows attract your industry’s leaders and up-and-comers, giving you the ability to quickly find out more about who you’re competing with.
Pose as a prospect and learn more about your competitors’ pricing, their products, and their services. Exhibiting a trade show also makes it easy to spot trends that are emerging in your industry, letting you stay a step ahead of your competitors.
5. Learn more about your customers
Do your existing customers attend trade shows? If they do, ask them to visit your booth to catch up and discuss their goals. Trade shows are excellent opportunities for strengthening relationships with your existing customers and learning more about what they need.
The costs are high, but so are the rewards
The cost of exhibiting at a trade show may seem like a barrier, but the huge rewards often make it entirely worth it. As well as the five benefits listed above, you’ll gain a great deal of experience in direct sales and marketing – lessons that you can apply to future trade shows and industry events.
Invest in trade shows and you’ll enjoy excellent returns. With the right banners and event flags from Display Wizard, an experienced and effective sales team, and great post-event marketing, you’ll quickly forget about the cost of exhibiting at a trade show and start focusing entirely on the rewards.
About the Author: Peter Symonds is a trade show marketing expert from Display Wizard – who design, print and distribute display and exhibition solutions for the use at exhibitions, trade shows and events.
Photo credit: Levi Bunyan / Flickr