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3 Reasons to Attend a Trade Show

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If you don’t think there’s room in your marketing budget to attend a trade show, move some things around and make room to attend at least one. Chances are, once you’ve seen the benefits of attending one trade show, you’ll re-evaluate your entire marketing budget so that you can attend them regularly.

February 10, 2014

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Trade shows can present you with a fantastic ROI and new customers who will be loyal. Forty percent of people who attend trade shows buy something while they are there, as Tradekey explains. If they buy from you once, they’ll likely buy from you again, so trade shows are an excellent sales strategy.

Here are three reasons why you need to get your business to attend a trade show ASAP:

1. You Will Gain New Customers You Never Would Have Reached Without the Trade Show

The biggest benefit to attending a trade show is the opportunity to meet potential new customers who have come to the show to find companies just like yours. You can let them sample your product or even sell to them directly at the trade show. You should always bring plenty of inventory for this very reason. Whether your business has a physical presence somewhere in the world or is run totally online, having a booth at a trade show is just like running a retail store for the duration of the show. People walk right up to you as they go through the exhibits. This is your chance to capture them as customers.

In fact, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research reported that 88 percent of people who attend a trade show haven’t interacted with your company in over a year (or never have), and 70 percent of attendees come with the intention to buy something. Seventy-two percent of attendees say the vendors at the show influence whether or not they will do business with that vendor at the show or in the future, according to Themhedajournal.org. Sometimes, just selling to a handful of people at a trade show will equal enough new business to pay for your booth.

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2. People Who Meet You at the Trade Show Will Tell Their Friends About You

Make a good impression on the people attending. This is crucial, because they will tell other people they know about you if they like you. Make sure you put on an attractive presentation at your booth. Put your company name and logo in a prominent position at the top of your booth to make your company memorable. Use bright primary colors on your curtains and table skirts, as these are eye-catching and will naturally draw attention and curiosity toward your booth. You can also draw people in to talk to you by placing intriguing banner stands in front of your booth with pictures of your products being used, and short, to-the-point slogans. This will make attendees want to learn more.

Once they’ve spoken to you and have been impressed by your presentation (as well as by your product or service), they will definitely tell others. The people who hear about you through others who attended the show are likely to contact you, giving you an even better ROI on the cost of the trade show.

3. You Can See What Your Competitors are Doing and Learn from It

Trade shows are a great opportunity to see what your competitors are doing and how they’re doing it. This may give you ideas of how you can improve your own company’s marketing. It may also show you what you’re doing correctly and help you learn what to avoid when it comes to attracting new customers. So, feel free to browse your competitors’ booths and ask them questions. They don’t have to know you’re from a competing company. Doing this is essentially free marketing research once you’re at the show, and it’s invaluable.

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