Top Ten Reasons why Exhibiting at a Trade Show is Still the Best Bang for Your Marketing Buck.

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1. Showcase your Services
Every trade show offers its vendors a highly targeted audience within their respective industries. In turn, professionals from those industries are motivated to attend trade shows, knowing they will get to see the latest technology alongside innovative ideas and concepts currently influencing their industry, all under one roof. So, as a vendor, your services will be on display for the very people who actually demand them.

2. Launch a New Product
If you are in the process of launching a new product or idea into the market, there really is no better platform than a trade show where you will get maximum exposure within a highly focussed group and the opportunity to connect directly with the people who have the buying power.

3. Boost Brand Visibility
It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the bigger players in your industry, a small start-up company or niche supplier, you can still establish a presence as a leader or influencer in your specific market by intelligent positioning of your brand. Play to your strengths and make your brand known to both your customers and peers. Make sure everyone knows who you are.

4. Opportunity to Meet Face to Face
Most marketing avenues channel towards the objective of singling out a potential customer for one-on-one contact; whether that be in the form of generating incoming calls to your business through advertising, or encouraging on-line searchers via SEO to fill out forms leaving contact details which can be followed up by your sales team.

Trade shows offer up the absolutely ideal scenario of your potential customers actually coming to you! It is a unique opportunity to increase your brand exposure and connect to consumers on a personal level from the get-go. Nothing beats a hands-on demonstration and eye-to-eye contact when it comes to selling. Allowing your customers to experience your product or services first hand will increase interest in your brand and drive sales.

5. Expand your Customer Database
Not only do you reap the benefit of meeting potential customers face to face, you could also meet hundreds of them! The amount of highly targeted buyers in your industry under one roof for a limited amount of time is an unparalleled opportunity to increase your viable customer contact list. (Make sure you have some form of data collection and processing in place so you don’t miss out on any of those hot leads.)

6. Research Developments in your Industry
It is important that your brand stays relevant within your industry and the only way you can ensure that is for your business to stay informed of any new products or ideas which may influence your industry as a whole. Not only are trade shows the ideal platform from which to market your own brand, they also offer up an opportunity to learn about your competitors, find out what’s working for them, network with your peers and potentially embark upon mutually beneficial relationships which could expand your supply chain.

7. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Bigger players in the industry are generally more likely to spend a bit more money at a trade show. They will have the big glossy stands in the centre of the hall. Often they will take a few more risks introducing new technology or ideas. For this reason it is the ideal opportunity to observe what your competitors are doing so you can gauge the direction your industry market is likely to follow. You can also apply any successful tactics you witness from other brands to your own business. Apart from anything else, being among your peers and a group of like-minded people can be highly motivating.

8. Expand your Distributor Network
Not all other exhibitors will be in direct competition to you, many will be from other parts of the industry food chain. You may discover new and upcoming businesses hitherto unknown, which could be highly compatible to your own business module. Trade shows are great networking opportunities within your specific industry.

9. Expand your Industry Contacts
Even your competitors at a trade show could end up as friends. You never know who you might meet, who might turn out to be mutually beneficial business wise. Maybe you sell the same product but in different parts of the country – you could come to an agreement to supply your own area and recommend each other to those outside your ‘home turf’. Maybe you can team up with another business selling parts which work in tandem with your product – you could sell as a package and both benefit from each other’s customer database.

10. Obtain direct Feedback and Opinion
There are businesses out there whose sole function is to provide other businesses with feedback on their brand or product. Honest feedback from your customers as to what they need and how they see your brand is one of the most valuable resources you can get your hands on when it comes to marketing. It should influence your whole business structure moving forward.

Trade shows present a unique opportunity to receive real-time feedback from a highly targeted group of people. Apart from face to face contact you could also conduct a short survey, ideally involving interaction with your brand in some way – maybe rewarding participants with some kind of incentive such as a competition or giveaways. The data you collect will be invaluable.