If you have not been participating in trade shows, you need to start to because you are missing out on a lot of benefits.
Admittedly, exhibiting at a trade fair is an arduous task that requires meticulous planning and is the reason professional exhibition planners such as expocart exist. However, all the painstaking process is worth the effort as trade shows offer businesses opportunities to engage with stakeholders in ways that other forms of marketing cannot match. Here are some of the reasons for participating in trade fairs.
A chance to engage customers
If you do pitching, you understand the frustration of contacting a lead only to find that no one is picking your calls and have to leave a voicemail message. Trade shows overcome this barrier by offering you an opportunity to engage customers in person. You get to demonstrate to them the quality and authenticity of your offerings and connect with them on a personal level. It is also easier to follow up on people you gave your business card than making random sales calls at the office.
Research indicates that visitors at trade shows are more open-minded than the average contact on your phone book. Indeed, studies demonstrate that over 50% of the attendants of trade shows make purchases, while 91% attend exhibitions with the sole purpose of trying new products and services. Therefore, being present increases the chance of acquiring new customers and business partners who may be looking for a better alternative to their existing service providers.
Experience the latest trends
Typically, the most innovative firms in any industry are the first to book stands at an exhibition. Participating in these trade fairs gives you a chance to sample and understand the latest innovations in your industry and strategize on how to respond. You can bring along your product development and creative teams to see the latest technologies and applications and plan on how to harness them.
Research indicates that the ROI for a well-executed trade show far exceeds that of conventional advertising. Trade shows are the only venues where small companies get to compete with big brands on almost equal footing. It is an excellent opportunity to position your brand as a viable alternative to market leaders based on differentiators, such as price and niche. Participating at an exhibition may be the ticket that earns you a seat at the high table.
Meet prospective partners
Trade shows attract all manner of industry players, from the startup promoting a new customer tracking app to vendors and contractors looking for new deals. Consequently, participating at the exhibition exposes you to potential new partners and gives you a chance to expand your network. You can use this opportunity to recruit new employees and service providers who have showcased their talent or expertise in a particular area.
Bond with loyal customers
Exhibitions are great places for meeting customers who have used your products and services for years. Personal encounters are more effective at strengthening relationships with existing customers than emails, phone calls, and social media. Most customers seek face-to-face assurances when making big orders or contracts, and trade shows are venues where you can strike such deals. Marketing psychologists attribute this phenomenon to the fact that people are wired to base trust on visual cues such as body language and facial expressions.
Spy on competitors
Most exhibitors put their best show during trade fairs. Industry captains will probably do their best to demonstrate to the world why they are so dominant. You should use this opportunity to send staff to gather intelligence on the processes, technologies, and strategies they use to achieve excellence. Exhibitions are some of the rare chances where you can be inquisitive without raising eyebrows.
Trade shows are great opportunities to encounter loyal or disaffected customers who may like or dislike some aspects of your business. The concerns range from rude customer care staff to faulty products. Whatever issues they may have, exhibitions are a good opportunity for them to interact with senior staff and share their grievances. You can even organise surveys and reward attendants with gifts. Such activities restore customer confidence in your business and may also generate new leads.
Participating in a trade fair requires proper preparation as you have to gather all the equipment, technology, and material you need to set up your stand. You will also need professional assistance to theme the presentation and select the best display options to give your brand maximum visibility. However, it is worth the effort due to several marketing and networking opportunities available during such events.