Trade shows generate billions of dollars of sales and are one of the very best ways to gain marketing and sales traction in almost any market. As the economy recovers from the worst recession in over 60 years, now is the time to start looking at how you can maximize the potential of trade show exhibiting.
A major decision is where will you exhibit?
Selecting your trade show venues to attend is crucial, because the demographics of trade show events varies widely. With many companies having withdrawn from exhibiting during the downturn, the green shoots of recovery are now attracting exhibitors back to the marketing channel and a host of newcomers too.
The deal is not to repeat what worked in the past, but to start looking at what will work even better. You will quickly find that there is a wealth of low-hanging fruit for you to tackle as well as some major improvements in results to be gained over the long term by looking at some simple changes in how you assess and select trade shows to attend.
Check out these hints to get more business leads in from improving how you select trade show venues.
Go Outside Your Home Region
Many companies attend trade shows which are on their doorstep, but this is frequently a case of preaching to the converted. You can get more bang for your trade show buck by taking your company and product to new territories which are beyond the traditional range of your business.
There are hordes of new customers out there who have never heard of you and your product or service, but they are going to love you – give them a chance!
Evaluate Trade Shows Based on Market Verticals
Look at your customer base now and extract the market verticals you see. Are you selling to doctors and dentists more than lawyers? Are trucking companies the major consumer of your service rather than electronics firms?
Once you have identified the major verticals, think outside the box and instead of expecting these businesses to send a rep to a generic trade show, go and attend their own type of trade show.
For instance, you make widgets and lawyers are your major consumers. Don’t attend a widget trade show – go attend a lawyer exhibition where there will be stacks of them.
Increase Individual Trade Show Effort but Reduce the Overall Number of Events Attended
Some companies have spread themselves too thin and packed a challenging exhibition schedule into a too tight calendar. Look at shedding trade show venues which have not been productive and focus your efforts on maximizing revenues and results form a smaller number of them. Good areas to focus on is to improve the trade show display; increase and accentuate booth staff training, and improve lead follow up after every event.
Adjust Trade Show Selection Criteria to Reflect Changes in Underlying Target Markets
Look at the target markets with fresh eyes because no-one and nothing stands still for long. Just as your own industry will undergo changes, so does the market within which your customers are operating. Amend and re-assess your trade show selection criteria to reflect underlying customer and vertical market changes in line with your own business expectations.