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Why Your Business Can’t Afford Not to Go to Trade Shows

5 Reasons to Add Trade Shows to Your Marketing Plan

Trade shows have been helping businesses succeed for decades. Companies, both large and small, have not only continued exhibiting at trade shows, but have also increased their trade show display budget. According to Statista, 33% of respondents to their survey reported an increase in number of exhibitors from 2012-2013 and another 29% of respondents reported an increase in exhibitors in 2013-2014.

Exhibiting is an extremely effective and lucrative way to promote new products or services, or to simply enhance brand awareness. Although there are costs and registration fees associated with trade show exhibiting, including the cost of booths, promotional items, signage, and any travel expenses needed, your business can’t afford not to go to trade shows.

Here are the top 5 reasons trade shows should be included in your marketing strategy:

1. Exposure
As I mentioned, boosting brand awareness is one of the main reasons companies decide to exhibit in the first place. With a well-designed booth, easy-to see signage and graphics that clearly tell attendees what your business does helps potential customers know if they are in need of your services or products.

2. Networking
Not only will you have the opportunity to speak with attendees, but you’ll also be able to meet other exhibitors who are in your industry. By talking to the right people and making connections on the trade show floor, you’ll most likely be able to count on them for any referrals they can send your way. Of course, you will have to return the favor.

3. Product Testing
If you have an amazing product that you are ready to show the world, you may want not want to pull the trigger on production until you hear what your customers think. Trade shows are an excellent way to do this. Bring a demo of your product, hold a demonstration of it, as well as a presentation that will clearly tell the public why they should purchase one. Bring plenty of surveys or digital copies of surveys that attendees can fill out, letting you know what they liked or didn’t like about it. Trust me, you will be glad you did this before it’s too late to go back and make any corrections.

4. Talk to Prospects Face-to-Face
How many other chances are you going to get to have your target audience all under one roof? Hundreds, or thousands, of attendees will be walking past and through your booth, allowing you to answer any questions they have and clear up any concerns they may have about your products or services. They will be more inclined to buy what you have to offer if they get all the facts.

5. Generating Leads
Lead generation is one of the other top reasons for participating in trade shows. After being able to speak with prospects (as mentioned in #4), interested attendees will leave their contact information for you to reach out to them after the show is over. Some exhibitors have stacks of lead forms to hand out to prospects, while others go a less wasteful route by using lead generator software to keep track of these interested buyers and saving all of their information in a database. While some attendees aren’t in the market to make a purchase at the event, they may be interested down the road, so don’t forget to follow up with them after the show.

There are plenty of motives for participating in trade shows, but these 5 reasons should make it easy for you to include exhibiting in your marketing budget.

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