Every summer, thousands of consumers flock to trade events across the country. Here, brands show off their latest products — from smartphones to smart speakers, cars to clothes — and advertise their services to generate leads and boost sales. Ninety-nine percent of marketers said they gained value from trade shows that they couldn’t get from other marketing channels. Here are the top benefits of exhibiting your product or service at a trade show if you want to grow your business.
Expose Your Brand to a New Audience
A huge 81 percent of trade show visitors have “buying authority,” and these customers are looking to spend cash or invest in a new product. Custom tents, which can be personalized with your brand’s colors, lure these prospects to your booth so you can promote your services and accelerate sign-ups. Eye-catching trade show displays are really effective: They maximize your booth space, generate footfall and increase the visibility of your brand.
Generate New Leads and Seal the Deal
Lead generation is one of the top three goals for exhibitors at trade shows. Unlike other marketing channels — email, social media, mobile, direct mail — where prospects are moved through a sales funnel over several weeks or months, sealing the deal at a trade show is much quicker. The average visitor spends a hefty 8.3 hours on the show floor — plenty of time to convince leads to sign up to a service or purchase a product. Most customers attend trade shows to spend cash, so making a sale should be easier than shooting fish in a barrel.
Keep an Eye on Your Rivals
Market saturation can kill your trade show campaign, so check out your competition before your next event opens to the public. Find out what products they have in their booth and how they plan to market them. Also, tease your trade show presence in the weeks and days leading up to the event — tell your social media followers that you plan to launch a new product or give away freebies — to avoid a sales slump on exhibit day.
A boring, bland booth in a generic convention center is unlikely to excite trade show veterans. Seventy-eight percent of attendees travel more than 400 miles to attend a show, and they want to experience something different. Be creative and think of innovative ways to market your product: banners, balloons, live demonstrations, competitions, music. These inventive ideas grab the attention of attendees and stimulate sales. Use a custom printed pop-up tent to create a buzz, too. Think up a theme — like a carnival, perhaps — and personalize the tent’s valance to match the concept.
Know Your Market
Whether it’s the Florida RV SuperShow (recreational vehicles and camping equipment) or MAGIC Market Week (clothes) or the SEMA Show (vehicles), exhibitors at trade shows know their market. Before your next event, research the customer segments you are trying to target — millennials, tech consumers, sports fans, etc. — and delve into your niche. If you plan to give a speech at an upcoming trade show, make sure you understand your buyers. “If your content and research is really good, people will flock to you,” says sales expert Ken Krogue, who speaks at more than 20 events each year. “Have faith in your content and value.”
Trade shows are more popular than ever — there are around 13,000 shows each year in the United States — and provide you with a heap of benefits. These exhibits help you better understand your target market, generate new leads and sales, size up the competition and expose your brand to a new audience.