Few marketing opportunities can provide your business with the healthy return on investment of exhibitions. In a short time window, you can increase your presence within an industry as you make new contacts and even close deals. With some savvy planning, exhibitions can be a profitable addition to your overall marketing program.
What are some of the benefits that make exhibitions essential for your business?
Face Time for Your Brand
For most businesses, brand and reputation stand among the most valuable assets. Your entire marketing program is geared towards enhancing your brand, and exhibiting can serve as an effective method for spreading the word about your unique brand attributes.
By using high-quality exhibition stands, businesses also send the message that they’re key players in the industry with the resources to mount an impressive presentation at top conferences and events.
You also can use your exhibit to establish a competitive position within a desirable niche of your industry. And for startups and small businesses, exhibiting is one of the top ways to significantly increase visibility in a short time and with a reasonable financial investment.
Trade shows and conferences can provide you with prime networking that can turn into important long-term contacts and sales. If you want to connect with people in your industry, be sure to take full advantage of all the networking opportunities your event offers.
Even if you’re there primarily to work your exhibit booth, consider going to at least some of the educational sessions as well. Get to the session a little early, and try to sit beside someone you haven’t met before.
Take time to greet and briefly speak with the people around you, and initiate an exchange of business cards. Most people at conferences want to network as well and typically are happy to provide you with their contact information.
Be sure to attend any after-hours social events as well, and consider volunteering as a speaker to gain even more exposure for your company.
As a result of your networking efforts, you’re likely to gain new customers and new sales. Trade show attendees typically are among the most motivated customers in an industry and may be so interested in your products or services that they’re ready to make a buying commitment.
Before you arrive at an exhibition, work with your team to formulate a strategy for maximising lead generation. After a productive show, you could be busy for quite a while following up with interested prospects and closing sales.
Experience for the Future
The adage “practice makes perfect” certainly applies to exhibitions. You’ll find that the more shows you attend, the more you hone your strategies for meeting the right people and boosting your brand and your sales numbers.
Over time, you’ll gather tidbits of information that will make exhibiting easier and more effective in the future. For instance, you may find that certain formats of exhibition stands work best for your purposes or that you get more booth traffic in a specific location in the exhibit hall.
You also can gauge whether signing on as a session presenter is worth the investment of your time and which social events are best for networking.
If you’re not already participating in key exhibitions for your industry, give serious consideration to making this strategy part of your marketing program. With the right exhibit display and a readiness to take the initiative in meeting people, you can give your business a significant boost.