Why exhibit at a trade show?
The main distinction and advantage of a trade show over other marketing and advertising tools is that it makes use of face-to-face contact and is hence the most personalized marketing tool available. This is probably the most important reason for wanting to exhibit at trade shows. When talking with clients at trade shows, exhibitors have the chance to gain their trust and get the clients' immediate feedback on their products, as well as information about the needs, problems, and interests of these clients. However, trade shows also have other unique advantages for promoting your goods and services. The main ones are:
1. An unlimited amount of information provided: instead of just one product (as in printed advertisements, for example), you can display a whole series of products exactly the way you want.
2. The cost of one contact (exhibition-related expenditures divided by the number of visitors) is significantly lower than for any other kind of advertising.
3. The opportunity to display products in action. This is especially important for complex goods (automobiles, computers, industrial machines, etc.) that are impossible to present properly using conventional forms of advertising.
4. Concentrated attention effect: your consumers and partners get to view newspaper, billboard, and TV advertisements every day, whereas a trade show (especially a large, widely recognized one) is a special event, thus concentrating visitor's attention and facilitating closer acquaintance with the exhibits.
5. Demand analysis: by displaying a sample and discussing its commercial potential with visitors of your booth, you have the chance to analyze the potential market for your new product. Competitors may also be among booth visitors, but the risk is well worth it.
6. Increasing your clientele and establishing new contacts: your booth will be visited by potential clients as well as existing ones. In addition, large exhibitions - especially international ones - draw the attention of gurus and experts from abroad. You have the opportunity to make the contacts you need.
7. Immediate feedback: clarify clients' needs and get immediate feedback on your products and company image.
8. PR: media representatives' interest in trade shows gives you the chance to make necessary contacts and see materials about your company on TV, radio, and in the business and specialized press.
9. Evaluation and revision of one's market position. As a rule, virtually all market leaders are present at trade shows in their field, which gives you the chance to compare your products with similar products from your competitors, gauge visitors' interest towards you and your competitors, and evaluate your competitive advantages and ultimately your market position.
10. Readiness to make a purchasing decision: most visitors will come to your booth not by chance but because they are specifically interested in your products. This means that they are already prepared to receive information from the sales managers at your booth and are ready to make a purchasing decision.
11. "Neutral territory" effect. Contact with potential customers is often more effective when you meet them outside your office - in "no man's land." In addition, contact with competitors also occurs (and is sometimes quite fruitful), which would be impossible in other situations.