Trade shows provide a unique opportunity to boost your business. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 72% of participants say the show influenced their buying decision. Trade show displays allow you to promote new products, gain leads and ultimately increase awareness of your organization.
But the benefits of attending an industry tradeshow don’t stop there. Check out the Top 10 reasons to have a presence at trade shows:
1. Increase awareness
The Number One reason to attend a tradeshow is to increase awareness of your company. Most of the preceding reasons are offshoots of this goal. Increased awareness can lead to new customers, business deals, talented employees and press coverage.
2. Generate leads
This is a major reason to host a tradeshow booth. A dedicated sales team can walk away from a show with hundreds of leads to follow up on over the coming months. Whether they are new customers, partners or suppliers, tradeshows bring fresh contacts to the organization.
3. Gain customer feedback
88% of attendees have not been seen by a member of your company’s sales staff in the preceding 12 months. This means they may have valuable positive and negative feedback to share. Many people won’t take the time to fill out a survey, but would be happy to discuss their opinions with a welcoming person.
4. Evaluate the competition
A simple walk around the floor, checking out the competition’s products and trade show banners can give you valuable insight into what you’re up against in the market and how competitors are marketing their products.
Many tradeshow’s also feature informational seminars or lectures from leaders in the industry. Consider the knowledge you gain as an added bonus to the cost of attending a tradeshow.
6. Distribute product samples and promotional items
According to Promotional Products Association International, consumers made a purchase more often after receiving promotional products than after viewing a print ad, TV commercial or online ad. Trade show displays are the perfect platform to distribute memorable samples and promotional products.
7. Make connections for joint ventures and licensing agreements
Your future business partner could be in the trade show exhibit next door. Networking and meeting individuals with parallel goals may move your small business out of the basement and into the stock market.
8. Introduce your product to new markets
Your product or service could appeal to a niche market that you are not even aware exists. Tradeshows provide a mix of attendees and exhibitors that you may not have come across in other market research.
9. Demonstrate new products and features
There’s nothing like a face-to-face demonstration to show why your product is superior. Seven out of ten attendees plan to buy one or more products*, so use this opportunity to showcase what makes your product or service special.
10. Improve your distribution chain.
Connect with the cogs on either side of your product to improve the timing and cost of your distribution chain. Meeting a new retailer or material supplier may have a big impact on your bottom line.
* All statistics courtesy of The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) unless otherwise noted.
About the Author:
Drue Townsend is senior vice president of marketing at FASTSIGNS® http://www.fastsigns.com , a visual communications services provider with more than 550 locations around the world.