Trade shows are a great way for businesses to promote their products and services. Trade shows take place before a conference, during the summer months, when weather and travel conditions tend to be favorable for advertising. Trade shows include the transportation of merchandise or services from one venue to another, most often at exchange value for cash. economists refer to such a transaction as a marketplace or network which allows exchange of goods for cash.
The advantages of trade shows are well known. Increase sales, increase awareness of the brand name or new products, and demonstrate to potential customers how your company can best serve their needs. However, trade shows are not always successful. Several factors determine whether an exhibit will be a hit or not.
First, if the show is not successful, there’s no money made. Most companies spend thousands of dollars on transportation and exhibit furnishings, advertising, and other expenditures to get noticed at trade shows. With hundreds of thousands of booth exhibits at every trade show, a company representative has only a few hours to meet with potential clients and present their offerings. This means showing up, doing a good job, and then finding someplace else to stay the night – or two or three nights if the show is very popular.
Second, if a company representative visits a trade show and buys some booth exhibit, it is not the most cost-effective purchase they can make. Even though booths exhibit at trade fairs for a fraction of the cost of a full-scale booth, companies must rent booths and other items, pay for hotel rooms, and pay for exhibit staff. Companies also must pay for the hotel and meals for booth staff. For many companies, even making the initial investment in booths and exhibit furnishings is not worth the expense. So they attend trade shows with the assumption that they’ll make money with booths only to find out later that it’s not financially feasible to do so.
Third, companies need to have an effective booth design to make them stand out from their competitors. Many trade show displays are bland and boring. An exhibitor that doesn’t stand out will soon lose interest and move on to another show. While having a creative booth design is crucial to success, the focus needs to be on the quality first and then the design. Too many companies fixate on the graphics and forget to improve the quality of displays that will attract visitors, promote products and increase revenues.
The fifth and most important area of preparation is organization. At a trade show, each company must be well prepared to handle the day’s events and activities. This means making a proper schedule, making sure people know where to be, what to bring (if anything), where to stay (if at all), and how to best connect with potential clients and partners. A trade fair is a highly stressful environment. Companies should adopt a mindset of being prepared every day.