For some, exhibiting at a trade show can seem like a daunting prospect. Whether it is completely unfamiliar territory, or whether it provokes scepticism as to how profitable exhibiting can actually be for a business, concerns and doubt can often be enough to dissuade businesses from taking that leap.
But by doing this, you may miss out on taking advantage of an invaluable opportunity to promote your business.
Over the past few months, a huge percentage of the population has been forced to work remotely, throwing many into an unfamiliar situation. And whilst online communication methods – such as Zoom – have been invaluable in demonstrating how technology is a great way of keeping everyone connected, there is still very much a place in the market for exhibitions and business events. These social experiences enable us to interact, share knowledge and make connections in person – something that simply cannot be recreated at virtual events, as meeting prospective leads and customers face-to-face is so important to develop and nurture that sales bond.
For every reason to argue against exhibiting, we have a reason to convince you otherwise. So, without further ado, here are our top 12 reasons as to why your business should exhibit at a trade show.
Whilst there are many ways to promote your business, some often find that exhibiting is in fact one of the most rewarding forms of marketing. Not only does it provide a nice change of scenery from your usual day-to-day activity, it also allows you to meet new people and showcase your business in a unique way that does justice to your products or services. And having an experienced exhibition contractor to manage the whole process for you – including designing and installing your stand, as well as project management throughout – helps make it stress-free.
Yes, it is possible to make new connections over the phone or internet. But having the opportunity to meet existing and prospective clients face-to-face really is second to none.
This face-to-face interaction will ultimately lead to a stronger relationship with your clients in the long-term. The likelihood is they receive endless sales phone calls and emails throughout the week; but by meeting face-to-face, you are setting yourself apart from those opportunists as, when recalling your business, your clients won’t just picture a logo, they will be able to see a real person behind the brand.
Your face-to-face meeting together not only allows you the opportunity at a great first impression, it also helps to strengthen relationships and reinforce the trust in your products, services and brand.
Chances are, when trying to generate leads via phone, the person on the other end of the line is probably trying to get rid of you as quickly as possible. Not only does that make a bad first impression, it also means you don’t get the chance to thoroughly convey what sets your business apart and why people should be interested in what you have to offer.
At trade shows, there is much more time for discussion, enabling you to engage with prospective and existing clients for a longer period of time. Not only that, you’ll also find that leads at a trade show tend to be more genuine than those made via cold calling or digital marketing.
The fact they are there in the first place demonstrates that attendees are interested in what the show has to offer and you may find that many are specifically looking to make a purchase or sign up to a service on that very day. When looking at the conversion funnel, attendees have generally passed the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Interest’ stages (meaning they have already become aware of and taken an interest in what your industry offers) and are more likely to be around the ‘Desire’ and/or ‘Action’ stages, ready to take the next step towards converting into a client or customer. Basically, you’re less likely to be dealing with people who are at square one.
Attendees are more focused on taking action at an event, whether that’s by making important connections or bagging a bargain. For example, offering trade show pricing is a great way to seal the deal on the day.
Using an exhibition stand is the perfect way to express your brand’s personality. Additionally, you can tailor your stand to promote different aspects of your business, such as a brand new product. Trade shows are the perfect chance to make a big deal about what you have to offer – use the opportunity to showcase your latest innovations and launch new products, for example.
Alternatively, perhaps you have a specific message that you’d like to convey to your target audience? Whether it’s a new line of products or you’re encouraging people to get their hands on an ‘Event Only’ bargain, you can really target your marketing messages with clear graphics and videos.
You may be surprised to discover that you could also learn a few things about your industry. Exhibiting at specific shows can put your company at the heart of the industry, allowing you to learn about emerging trends. You may even find that valuable knowledge is shared between exhibitors and during seminars. It’s also a good chance to keep an eye on your competitors, to see how they are showcasing their businesses and helping you assess your own promotional activities – you may discover there’s an opportunity available for you to latch onto.
But it’s also important to make sure you differentiate yourself from other businesses similar to yours. It’s vital to ensure you stand out from the competition, clearly conveying your unique selling points and demonstrating why your customers should be coming to you above everyone else.
By strengthening your brand with a well-designed exhibition stand, you can ensure your set-up is one to remember. Whatever thoughts you have in mind, big or small, an experienced exhibition contractor will help bring these ideas to life so that your stand sets you apart.
Just because you’re attending an event, it doesn’t mean that those few hours are the only chance to get your name out there. In addition to your stand, exhibitions offer other ways to raise awareness of your brand such as sponsorship and advertising. Seeing your branding or logo repeated in various places associated with your industry will cause prospective leads to become familiar with you and help strengthen that relationship we mentioned earlier.
With so much going on around you and so many people to talk to, the last thing you need to worry about is how you’re going to collect the contact details of everyone you’ve met. Scribbling phone numbers down on a piece of paper doesn’t look overly professional and business cards can easily be misplaced.
Using badge scanners is a quick and easy method of capturing data from people and storing it in a safe place where you can return to it, when required, after the show.
Finally, exhibiting at a trade show provides you with a great opportunity to obtain feedback. Whatever you’re interested in finding out – whether it’s about your business image, your products or services, or your exhibition set-up – just ask to find out. People love to give their opinions, especially when it’s in exchange for something; why not carry out a survey at your stand and offer a free gift or run a competition as a thank you for people’s time? Obtaining feedback means you can go away, review and reassess things ready for your next exhibition, improving your business offerings a little more every time.
At RDW, we have been providing complete exhibition solutions for over 40 years and are fully familiar with venues all across the country. Covering everything from design, build and installation, through to project management, accessories and storage, our stand designs can be as unique and quirky as your business needs.
We love a challenge, so no matter what your requirements, please feel free to get in touch and discuss your next exhibition with our friendly team of experts.
CALL 01939 260 350