An exhibition or trade show is a unique and exciting opportunity for your business to make a splash in your industry and gain access to the same clients as your competitors.
In this digital age, where most of our marketing is done online, you might be fooled into thinking exhibitions are no longer relevant to your business.
But you’d be wrong.
Exhibiting is now becoming more and more popular with business decision-makers. It offers your business a huge number of potential leads with customers who you can meet in person.
Despite our world becoming an ever more remote digital one, exhibitions present game-changing opportunities you just won’t get anywhere else.
If you can get it right, then deciding to attend an exhibition could be the defining factor that takes your business from an SME to an industry-leading company.
Not sure if you need to exhibit your business?
Here are the 7 reasons why you should …
Connect With Clients Face-to-Face
One of the biggest advantages of exhibiting is that it allows you to meet clients in person. Our need for human interaction is the main reason why exhibitions have not lost out to modern technology.
Despite all the marketing opportunities the internet has provided businesses, the bottom line is that people still prefer to meet people they do business with. To win leads you need to gain trust. Clients have more trust when they can meet you in person. As face-to-face communication is the best way to avoid any misunderstandings, it is no surprise that customers have more confidence in it.
What is more, unlike email marketing or cold calling, exhibitions show attendees are people who have turned up to learn about the services or products your business has to offer. This means you have a unique opportunity to sell your business to a hall full of people who are receptive and interested.
Stay Ahead of the Pack
Exhibiting alongside the bigger players in your industry might seem like a daunting prospect, but this is a rare chance to find out what your competitors are up to. Although you can check out your industry rivals online, an exhibition will give you the opportunity to see first-hand what others in your field are doing.
Exhibitions are the places where businesses will launch their new products or try out new ideas. This will allow you to see how they are received by attendees, and help you decide if you want to take your business in a similar direction or not. Attending an exhibition lets you see how your competitor’s new product or service goes down with the crowd and will help you decide if this is something you want your business to do or avoid.
More importantly, most exhibitions or trade shows will host a series of presentations, seminars, and lectures from leading experts in your field. These talks can offer you new insights that you might otherwise have missed.
Simply by attending an exhibition, you get to find out the direction your industry is heading in, which means you can successfully plan for your future business strategies.
Having a stand at an exhibition is a great way to make a name for yourself in your industry and let everyone know your company is important enough to have a presence at leading events.
Exhibitions are also one of the few places where you can operate on a level playing field with your rivals. As everyone exhibiting at the same event has the same access to the same number of receptive clients, it is the perfect place to establish your brand and strengthen your business’s position in your industry.
Of course, simply being present at the exhibition is only one part of this. You will need to ensure you stand out from other exhibitors. The only way to do this is with a design that attracts the right type of attention.
Find New Business Partners
Having a strong supply chain is a key factor in upscaling your business. If your business is more product-based, then your suppliers will be a crucial factor behind the quality and availability of the products you can offer and the margin at which you sell them.
Not all the significant connections you make at a trade show will be lucrative leads, surprisingly some of the most productive connections you make will be with other exhibitors.
If you’re attending an industry event, not everyone standing will be a direct rival. As you’ll have a prime opportunity to meet other businesses in your supply chain, you can make some vital connections that will help your business grow.
Generate Lucrative Leads and Close Sales
Attending an exhibition gives you the opportunity to expand your customer base. Most of the attendees are going to be potential clients who are interested in your industry and the products or services you offer.
Compare this to the effectiveness of a “hit and miss” cold-calling or emailing campaign, where your attempts to gain leads will most likely be met with annoyance, by most of your target customers.
Did you know that, according to Exhibition Survey Inc, over 82% of exhibition attendees have buying authority? This means exhibiting gives you an invaluable chance to close deals with people in buying mode and capture leads that will transform your business.
As an exhibition event means you get to sell directly to receptive decision-makers, the scale of lead generating openings provided by exhibiting cannot be underestimated.
Get Direct Feedback from Your Target Audience
Exhibitions or trade shows offer a unique opportunity to find out first-hand what your customers want and don’t want. And unlike other methods of attaining customer feedback at a trade show, you can receive real-time feedback on your products or services.
It’s also the ideal environment to test how attendees feel about changes you’re thinking about making to your business. With only a small amount of preparation you could gain some valuable market research that may help you unlock some of your business’s issues.
Often an overlooked reason for exhibiting, but the chance to meet and connect with likeminded people in your industry should not be played down.
For smaller businesses, without a huge advertising budget, networking events at exhibitions present invaluable ways to generate new business. According to an SME survey, over 71% of SMEs have gained business through face-to-face networking at a trade show.
As trade shows bring together businesses in your field from far and wide to one location all at the same time, they are a great way to know the people in your industry. What is more, it is also a rare chance to arrange meetings with clients or business partners who will be attending the event.
Taking the time to network with your industry peers at an exhibition might open up invaluable business possibilities you would never have otherwise come across.
Exhibiting offers your business unique benefits that no other form of marketing can match. Benefits that can transform your SME into a leading company in your industry.
If you’re thinking of exhibiting your business, then hopefully this list has helped you see the opportunities to be gained from this unique form of marketing.
Good luck with your exhibition event!