Selecting your next trade show and building your team’s game plan
Trade shows present excellent opportunities to generate sales leads, showcase your products, network with key industry players, scout out the competition or gain media exposure. Much time, effort and financial resources are invested in preparation and attendance of every show. With thousands of events taking place around the world each year, how do you choose the right event for your company? Selecting a trade show that will be productive and profitable is critical in order to avoid spending time, money and energy —with no return. Here are some tips to consider when considering which show to attend:
Determine your objective
Before considering which event to attend, you must determine your goals. Are you launching a product? Trying to attract new customers? Supporting a brand? Upselling a service? Seeking publicity? Once you determine your objectives, look for trade shows that offer the best opportunities to meet your goals.
Identify the right audience
A key component to finding the ideal trade show is to identify the audience that you are hoping to reach. Figure out who is most likely to require or desire your products or services. Once you identify your target audience, you will be much better positioned to select the event that will allow members of your target market to see your business in action.
Research, research, research
When evaluating potential events, make a list of all the significant shows in your industry and then gather as much information as possible about each one. Check each show’s history to learn how many vendors and attendees they typically draw. Research the show’s marketing practices to ascertain the target demographics and level of buzz generated. Contact past vendors or indirect competitors within the same industry and gather specific feedback about the show’s ROI. You can also ask your top customers which shows they attend to further narrow down your list. Also, prior to committing major resources to any event, walk the floor. Attending an event as a visitor is the best way to get a sense of whether the event truly suits your needs.
In certain cases, geographical location is an important consideration when evaluating a trade show. For mega events, it is fairly common for attendees to travel long distances or even internationally, however in certain events a large portion of attendees (40-60%) come from a 200-mile radius of the event’s location. This is an important consideration when measuring against your target distribution area or audience location.
It’s all about timing
Depending on your industry, product or service, the timing of the show may be an important consideration. Shows taking place within a certain season, or matched with your buyers’ purchase patterns, may make all the difference for a successful show. Don’t forget to consider other events or holidays taking place at the same time, as conflicting events will likely impact show attendance.
Leave time for preparation
Keep in mind that trade shows often require months of planning. The biggest mistake you can make is to go into a show unprepared. Build a timeline with dates that correspond to trade show deadlines to ensure everything is ready by the time your event rolls around.
If you would benefit from expert assistance with researching and preparing for your next trade show, Grow Corporation can help. As a full service B2B Marketing Agency, Grow Corp uses effective in-house consulting services, strategy, copywriting and design to build integrated end-to-end solutions that adapt to your company’s needs. We offer strategic input based on our deep business understanding and familiarity with the high-tech and industrial markets. Our professional and experienced team cuts through the noise to deliver a compelling proposition that meets all your needs. We specialize in connecting the dots between the different messages emanating from the company into one clear, concise and convincing message. For over 15 years, our marketing and strategic advice has helped many businesses and industries, from both start-ups to established multi-nationals around the world. Now, let us help you.