10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Trade Show Exhibit
It can be easy to dismiss the importance of attendance at trade shows if you already have methods of attracting new business through referrals and advertising. However, while they are not the easiest way to promote your business and gain new customers, they can be truly rewarding if handled in the right way. Ask anyone who’s been to one or a few in the past and they’ll likely tell you that you will find it hard to match the return on investment from a successful appearance at a trade show.
Therefore, rather than dismiss them as a less-effective marketing strategy or even as a Plan B, you should consider the many benefits that can come from attending and participating in them. In the following post we will draw your attention to ten reasons why trade shows are relevant to your goal of gaining leads and increasing sales.
Finetune and Improve Your Strategy for Generating Leads and Sales
At trade shows you have the chance for you and your team of sales reps to meet and pitch to many hundreds, possibly thousands of people in a relatively short space of time. They can be considered as being crash courses on advanced sales techniques, because they throw your team in the deep end and enable you all to learn new tricks and strategies in an environment where people are interested in listening to your pitches.
Similarly, there is no better place to really test out and finetune your strategy for generating leads than at one of these shows. You can try various pitches on potential customers and analyse in real-time, the methods that work and those that don’t.
Communicate with Your Target Audience in Person
Surveys sent out to mailing lists are an effective way to learn more about what your customers are looking for and what they are not interested in. However, they do not have especially impressive response rates. This effectively makes them only suitable in the long-term for companies that have huge email lists and can handle not getting many responses.
Attending trade shows where you have the chance to speak directly to people involved in your market, gives you the chance to gain a wealth of useful feedback you can then use to improve and expand your business.
Offering short surveys from your stand can be a richly rewarding way to gain that feedback, along with those prized sales leads. You can even entice interested parties to participate by offering them gifts or vouches.
Generate and Improve Awareness of Your Brand
It is often hard when you are a smaller company to reach as many people as your bigger rivals. At trade shows you do, giving you the chance to increase awareness of your brand, as well as improving marketing and sales. This all can help to strengthen your position as a market leader. From the actual displays to free giveaways, trade shows are perfect for giving your company a much-needed bump.
Find Out About Important Industry Changes and Developments
To ensure your company is firmly in the mix with all that’s new in the area of business in which your company operates, you need to attend trade shows. They are where changes and developments are discussed. Changes that can have an impact on your company and the industry.
When you are conducting business in an industry full of rival companies it makes sense to stay alert to what your competitors are doing, doesn’t it? As well as networking and making sales, trade shows therefore give you the chance to get in the know about new developments, whether they are technologies or new methods and techniques and how they could help your business.
With that in mind, if you have them in your employ, it makes sense to send more than just representatives from your sales team. Instead, take some of the more technical members of your team and have them attend the presentations pertaining to new trends, techniques and tech in your industry.
Find Out what Your Rivals Are Getting Right
Following on nicely from the point above, another reason why you should attend trade shows is to keep on top of what your rivals are getting right. The phrase ‘keep your friends close, and enemies closer’ could be applied to business. You want to have strong relationships with your customers, but also be keenly aware of your competitors. At trade shows you can check out this and then even change your tactics and follow in their footsteps.
Do you know of any rival companies that are experiencing faster than the average growth? Between networking and making sales, make sure you and your sales team have a look at what other companies have on their exhibitions.
Make Contacts with Businesses That Can Assist Yours
Trade shows also offer you the opportunity to meet and make contacts with new vendors that can help to improve your supply chain. While you have your marketing and sales staff concentrating on making leads and sales, your purchasing manager can network and make connections with contractors and vendors.
Meet Up and Connect to Potential Customers
Do you sometimes find that when you have that potential lead and while trying to follow up on it and leave countless number of voicemail messages? One of the toughest things about outbound marketing is contacting people. However, this is par the course as there are likely other companies all doing the same.
When you have an exhibit at a trade show, one of the biggest benefits is that you can meet up in person with potential customers, rather than trying to find the right moment when the stars align, and you are both able to touch base. Meeting in person, makes you more than just a voice to them, as you can become a person that they know and want to get to know better.
While it’s true that there many customers attending the trade show will buy a service or product directly from you, there are others that won’t. The upshot is that even those that have not bought anything yet will be more inclined to do so later because they know you are the real deal and genuine rather than just being someone that does a lot of talk.
Exponentially Increase Your Sales Leads Database
Cold calling or just looking through a phone book or directory might glean many hundreds of phone numbers, they are unqualified, there is no better way to get a plethora of qualified and practical leads than by attending a trade show. If there are thousands in attendance at the trade show you are putting on an exhibition, it is quite likely that you’ll have around 200 visitors or more everyday walking past your booth.
That’s 200 or more potential customers that you have touched base with on a person level. These are numbers that you would never be able to achieve through outbound calls. This provides your team with an effective way and place to market your services and products.
Close those Deals with Brand New Customers
There are not many situations that are more intense than outbound sales calls. It’s a stressful thing to go through from start to finish. Nervousness and rejection are common things that salespeople must face. When you’re in a trade show though, you are in very different atmosphere. According to research carried out by Simmons Market Research Bureau, roughly half of the attendees to trade shows buy services and products.
Compared to when you phone a purchasing director or manager of a company, where there is dealing with various things and obligations, at trade shows, you have people who are genuinely looking to buy services and products.
Improve Your Relationship with Customers
Last, but in no way least, as important as it is to develop new business relationships and following up on leads, it’s also vital that you strengthen the business connections you already have with customers. At trade shows you have a chance to meet with existing customers in person. Most business these days are conducted on the phone and via email, so its always nice when you have a chance to meet with customers face-to-face.
In fact, there is a lot of evidence to support that direct meetings in person are the best way for strengthening business relationships with not just potential clients but existing customers too.