B2B Trade Shows are popular ways for organisations to build loyalty among existing customers, to acquire and sell to new prospects and build their brands through additional exposure.
In previous posts, 5 “Behind the Scenes” Secrets to Successful Trade Show Pre-Planning and 5 Smart Ways to Extend Your Spend when Investing in a Trade Show, we outlined how to get the best out of your trade show participation.
Following the steps we outline should ensure you a positive return on your investment and be reason enough for your organisation to participate but, wait, there’s more!
Many unexpected benefits flow from setting up an exhibition display in a trade show. Here icatchers has identified 5 we think are very important.
1. Meet current and potential clients face-to-face
The face-to-face nature of the interactions at trade shows are, to our mind, one of the most important benefits of participation. Existing and prospective customers might be exposed to your social media campaigns, websites and advertising for only a few seconds but, in your booth, you have the opportunity to engage far more deeply with them.
The marketing message incorporated in your booth and display material will, if well-done, attract show attendees interested to find out more or, at least, to grab one of your cleverly chosen giveaways.
This is the opportunity to engage them in conversation to find out what their needs are and, potentially, to educate them as to how your organisation’s product or service can solve their problems. Listening is paramount and a hard-sell is a major no-no.
2. Research your industry and make connections – great trade show benefits
Organisations typically spend most of their time operating in isolation. They often tend to lose sight of the big picture including what competitors are doing and developments and future trends in the industry.
Also attending the trade show will be competitors, industry experts, suppliers and support services and it’s a great opportunity to interact with them. Building knowledge of what’s happening in the industry, spotting future trends, discussing challenges, gaining inspiration from competitors and identifying customer needs can extremely valuable.
Another aspect to consider is that the chance to network with people in a similar industry to yours could help identify other organisations which may have services or products to assist you. You may even identify businesses which could be potential allies in future.
3. Trade shows are a great way to strengthen your team
They bring together staff of various levels of seniority, diverse departments and branches to work together on the organisation’s booth.
The relationships forged during days spent working and going out for meals and entertainment together can be very valuable to the business. The booth staff will get to know each other which is bound to improve communication and enhance co-operation within the business.
Working at the trade show will also have the benefit of lifting the morale of those participating. The old adage that a change is as good as a holiday is still perfectly true and working in the organisation’s booth can bring a renewed sense of excitement and commitment.
4. Staff training and connection to the big picture
Trade shows often provide great opportunities for staff training including lectures put on by the event organisers or industry bodies and formal or informal training put on by product, equipment and service suppliers.
The close confines of a trade show booth can give inexperienced staff a great opportunity to shadow more experienced team members and build their knowledge by watching them handling customer queries, explaining service offerings or demonstrating products.
5. Investigate the competition
By being an exhibitor at a trade show, you’ll have plenty of time to wander around and see the tactics other organisations are using on their booths. These could include their use of technology and other collateral, promotions including giveaways and anything else that helps them stand out from the crowd.
It will be easy to see what works and what doesn’t by the numbers of attendees attracted to booths around the show. If you’ve followed our advice and invested in a professionally designed booth, you’ll be most of the way there but there will always be new ideas which you can implement in the future.
Now you have a clearer idea of what you can gain from participating in trade shows, why not chat to me about ensuring the design of your display booth enables this further. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions or inquire about a quote at [email protected], or call the office on 1300 422 824.