Not only can trade shows be a good time out of the office but there are usually some other benefits as well. Before asking permission to attend its usually a good idea to brush up on those other reasons to exhibit. We've taken the liberty of creating a concise list of the top 10 reasons to exhibit at a trade show in order to help you remind your boss (or yourself) of the benefits.
You'll have access to a refined group of prospects, remember the attendees are here to learn more about what your company does. Before you exhibit try to identify key buyers who are otherwise unapproachable over the phone or through traditional forms of prospecting.
If you supply goods and services that other exhibitors use in their daily businesses "prospects" may also apply to other exhibitors.
#2 Qualified Leads
Over the course of the trade show you'll generate viable Leads to follow up with. These are contacts that you have personally met and spoken with. There's no easier way to get around the gatekeeper when calling upon them again than saying "yes, they are expecting my call".
#3 Meet with Existing Customers
The old saying goes "Kill two birds with one stone". Why not make a weeks’ (heck a months’) worth of sales calls to existing customers in a short period of time by inviting them to attend!
Better yet, schedule meetings with clients, by setting up a VIP section of your booth to make them feel extra special!
#4 Scope out the Competition
Do a little recon. Walk around the event and check out your competition. You'll get a clear picture of their marketing strategy. By visiting different booths you'll get pricing information, hear unique selling propositions and gauge attendee response. Don't forget to collect literature for later review with your marketing department.
#5 Market Research
Get a better perspective of the available market share. It beats hunting for people and spending a lot of time on the phone. Be sure to visit other exhibits to generate relationships, referrals, and get ideas for future exhibits. Try new offers out on hundreds of buyers and fine-tune pricing and product focus for use on the web later.
#6 Networking and Troubleshooting
Some of the advantages to being surrounded by other professionals in your industry is the opportunity to share, learn and connect. Who knows when that relationship will come in handy down the line? Reach out on Linkedin to help stay in touch during and after the trade show.
#7 Identify New Suppliers
Industry specific trade shows are a great opportunity to find new dealers, representatives and distributors. If you're looking for help, put a sign in your exhibit that says DEALERS OR AGENTS WANTED, you're bound to get a response.
#8 Establish Industry Positioning & Branding
This is your chance to announce to the industry that you’re a serious player. Work with your marketing department to develop a strategic launch of the company or a specific promotion. Think of your participation in the trade show as a media exposure opportunity, its news worthy and timely.
#9 Product Launches
Introduce new products to the market at the show. Use the new-worthiness of the trade show to talk about your brand new line of products. In fact 50% of all attendees want to see new products and services, not your same old song and dance.
#10 Find New Employees
Finally, number ten rounding out our list. Many times the attendees at these trade shows are looking for a new employee. If you have a job opening consider putting a sign up in your exhibit NOW HIRING. Who knows, yo may attract potential new hires from your competitors.