With January now upon us, you are probably building your plan for 2018 and deciding how to spend this year’s trade show and marketing budget. When deciding which events to attend, it’s important to know whether the value of trade shows still exists…
Trade Show attendance is declining. So does the Value of Trade Shows still exist?
The short answer is: Yes! While it’s true that trade show attendance is declining due to increased costs and because of readily available information on the internet, recent reports show that trade shows are still the best marketing tool for B-to-B companies.
How are trade shows still valuable regardless of newer marketing channels?
Of course there are newer marketing channels such as social media, online meetings, etc. but there are still a few things that make trade shows extremely valuable:
1. Face-to-Face interaction
With so many marketing channels available today, an area that many companies forget when interacting with current or potential clients is Relationship Building. Trade shows are a great forum for building relationships because they enable you to provide open two-way communication. In an age full of constant emails clouding off people’s inboxes, many people find this face-to-face interaction refreshing, which helps you stand out against the competition!
2. You can reach a more targeted audience.
The decline of trade shows equates to fewer attendees, but provides the opportunity to reach a more targeted audience. Quantity alone won’t drive sales. The place can be packed with people, yet if they have absolutely no need for your business, chances are you’re missing out on opportunities to focus on real prospects.
Think about it: Why spend all your time trying to engage as many people as possible instead of a smaller group of people who are genuinely interested in what is being presented? Narrowing your focus to a more niche audience of attendees will make them more likely to be receptive of your message.
3. Trade shows help people discover your brand.
The internet is a very powerful resource that can help you find whatever you’re looking for. But what if your potential customers don’t KNOW what they are looking for?
Trade shows provide a forum where people who never knew that your company existed can discover the awesome products and service that you offer. And vice versa, it also allows YOU as the exhibitor to discover potential customers that you didn’t know were interested in your products and services.
So, how do you make sure you get value out of the trade shows you attend?
It takes a lot of planning to exhibit at a trade show, so make sure to take the following tips to make sure you receive ROI from your event:
1. Choose the right type of trade show
In order to acquire leads and opportunities from an event, you need to make sure that you are selective in which shows you choose to exhibit at. You want to exhibit at a show with the right environment for your industry. Research the history of the show and see which vendors they’ve had over the past few years. If companies in the same industry as you are attending, it’s probably the right type of show for your company!
2. Understand the Audience
Also make sure that you understand the audience. Approximately 50% of trade show attendees come from a 200-mile radius of the show location. Ask the exhibition production company to provide statistics and look into what percentage of attendees in the area fit your customer profile. This will help you make an informed decision on whether or not this show is worth your time and efforts.
3. Choose the right message
Choose your main message for the target audience based on what you want to achieve and who you want to reach. Use specific messaging and make sure people know why they should stop by your booth. Are you showcasing new products? Will they learn something to help their business? By explaining what’s in it for them, you’re more likely to draw in the right crowd. Click here to learn how to get your booth to stand out >>
…What happens next?
The worst thing you can do is to acquire leads and not follow up! Contact the people you spoke to in order to continue to build your relationship with them. Call, email, and remind them of how your business can help them. It’s also a good idea to send them a hand-written note.
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