Choosing the right trade show for your business
At trade shows, location is everything.
When choosing a location, find an area that is relevant …
Trade shows can be such a powerful marketing tool, if used correctly. It is worth your while doing a thorough amount of research before you book a space at a trade exhibition. Trade shows can work out to be quite pricey so make sure it is the right trade show for your company. Trade shows are a quick and efficient way to gain industry insights. It might be a trade exhibition that everyone is going to but that does not mean that it is right for you. To ensure that the trade show is in line with your marketing strategy, read the tips below.
Determine your objectives – decide why you want to participate at a tradeshow and who you want to reach. Do you want to go there to make a name for your company in the industry, reach new potential customers or meet existing ones? Is the purpose of exhibiting to showcase a new product or service? Determine why you are exhibiting and who you are trying to reach first. Go through your marketing strategy and decide if exhibiting at trade shows is what your company needs right now. The most important thing is to start off by deciding what it is that you want to accomplish by exhibiting at a trade show.
Set a budget – estimate the cost of the show including staff expenses, travel expenses, sponsorships and advertising and booth costs. Make a budget and decide if you can handle all these costs and if they would be worth the investment.
Make a list of industry trade shows – do your homework. See what industry shows are out there, which have the most visitors and the best pre-show marketing and where you can reach the largest relevant audience. Also, ask your biggest customers which industry shows they attend. Monitor competitors to see which trade shows they exhibit at, if all your competitors are there then it will most likely be worth your while too.
See if your competitors are attending –
Go as a visitor first – whenever possible, visit the show personally and get a feel for it. Is it busy, fast-paced and eventful? Are the key industry leaders present? Take a walk around, see who’s there and decide if it is something you think your company would benefit from. Evaluate other opportunities such as prime sponsorship locations, advertising opportunities and ideal booth locations.
Consider timing and location – geographical location can make all the difference. At many shows, more than 50% of the attendees come from within a 200-mile radius of the location. Consider your distribution area and target audience and decide if that location is important for your business. See if there are any other shows coinciding with this one that may affect attendance. Another important factor is political stability in the location that may affect attendance.
Check the show’s history and understand what audience will be there – you can usually find this information on the show’s official website. See how long they have been around and how many exhibitors have been present at the last few shows. Also see how many visitors attend the show and if you cannot find it online, ask the show organizers to send you visitor demographics from previous shows. With this information in hand, you can determine if the show will help you gain prospect leads and lead you directly to new customers. Knowing the size and demographics of the audience can help you make an informed decision. Check if the show is growing year after year and determine whether your company can service the new business that the show might bring in.
Identifying your goals and doing sufficient research will help you decide if a trade show is right for you. At the end of the day, you need to make sure that your presence is a valuable investment and that the price is worth the benefit.