Trade shows are an inevitable fixture of business life, bringing together businesses and their representatives to promote their products and services. Trade shows represent a medium-sized but important aspect of marketing: it brings companies and their products to the attention of potential customers. The value of a trade show is enhanced if it is well-planned, includes a great exhibit, and leads to future business. Thus, a trade show represents the best way to promote your company in the market, to attract new customers, improve brand recognition, and to strengthen ties with existing ones. Here are five crucial aspects of a successful trade show.
First, a trade show should be a well-planned event. Economists usually refer to such an event as a marketplace or network, which allows trade competition between companies to take place. It is useful to note that some types of events may overlap, and a given industry may find certain characteristics of a given trade fair helpful (e.g., interactive exhibits), while other industries would prefer a more solitary affair.
Second, remember that the key to a successful trade show is not so much the products or services on display, but rather the marketing strategy. There are some trade shows that rely solely on advertising (e.g., furniture and garden show), and there are others that depend more on promotional marketing (e.g., pet show). There are some kinds of shows that encourage direct marketing (i.e., the clothing industry), and there are others that encourage indirect marketing (e.g., the toy industry). There are also trade fairs that combine aspects of both marketing strategies. A good marketing strategy can attract many visitors to an exhibition, but a bad marketing strategy will not only fail to bring in visitors, but may also discourage those who wish to participate.
Third, it’s always a better idea to attend a trade show in person. As with any experience, going to an exhibition can help reinforce your ideas and help you become more comfortable with your ideas, products, and message. However, there’s no real guarantee that attending an exhibition in person will lead to better results, as business practices vary from company to company. Therefore, you should think about your budget and determine if the financial outlay will justify the benefits you’ll receive by seeing in person.
Finally, use technology and social networking to your advantage. Trade shows are increasingly hosting online seminars and forums where relevant information can be shared. These tools can help you interact with industry reps, receive feedback, and learn about other companies before you visit the fair. Also, don’t forget to bring your laptop. The internet has made it easier for people all over the world to connect and share ideas, and this can only be beneficial to your business.
Many successful companies have used these strategies to improve the results of their employees and customers experience at trade shows and conferences. While it may not work for every organization, consider what strategies above can do to improve your business. It is very important to be prepared and well-prepared so that you can both leave with a greater understanding of the company you’re representing and leave the fair with the positive memories of a great marketing program. Keep in mind that attending trade shows requires effort and investment on your part. However, the rewards can be tremendous if you are able to make your booth and attendees feel comfortable and welcome.