Published: 23/03/2016 | AUTHOR: Zea Endacott-Lockhart
With one of our clients showcasing its products at the 2016 Ideal Home Show, we got thinking about the great benefits tradeshows and exhibitions can bring, and why businesses should be getting involved.
In a world that’s becoming more digital, brands sometimes focus less on the traditional marketing methods that can reap rewards and generate leads.
Here are a few reasons why we think brands should consider having a presence at relevant industry shows. Whether you exhibit or attend, there can be huge benefits.
Increase brand awareness
This one’s a no brainer. If prospects and key decision makers are attending industry shows, you should be there too. From a branding perspective it gives you credibility and a platform to showcase your ideas, innovations and products. Being on the stage means your brand is visible to your prospects and your industry. It’s your chance to showcase who you are, what you can offer and what you stand for.
Speak with your prospects
Here’s the chance for your sales team to speak with the right prospects in the right environment. Whether they visit the stand, or you plan a meeting with them ahead of the show, this is your opportunity to capture the details you need. It’s also the place you may come across the perfect prospect who wasn’t on your radar – people ready to purchase or interested in your products and services, but not already on your database.
Strengthen relationships with existing clients
If existing clients are attending the show, use it as an opportunity to get time with them. Book in meetings throughout the day or a host a simple dinner afterwards. If the show runs over a couple of days, it’s the perfect opportunity to meet with clients in a less formal setting or to plan an event around the show. You can make this as big or as small as you like. It’s also a great time to introduce some of your existing clients to prospects.
Meet companies that could help your business
As well as the hall being full of prospects and competitors, there will also be likeminded organisations around that may need your help – or you may need their’s. Use this occasion to make new contacts and broaden your network – whether you want to build relationships with industry journalists, bloggers or prospective partners, this could be the place to make those introductions.
Let prospects see the real you
There’s only so much you can say in an advert or on your website. Seeing products in real life and having them showcased by real people can be very refreshing. The experience becomes much more personal and, instead of simply displaying the product, you can demonstrate the type of business you are and how you work. As a result, you can build deeper and more meaningful relationships and gauge who the hot prospects are.
Review the competition
Having a presence at, or even just attending an industry tradeshow, gives you the opportunity to see what your competitors are doing. It gives you the chance to assess your landscape, who is in the arena and how are they’re performing.
Learn about your industry
Again, just by attending a tradeshow you can gain valuable insight. In order to stay ahead and up-to-date with the industry you need to be at the heart of it. Attend talks, explore innovations, have conversations – use tradeshows as an educational hub. Take away your learnings and use them when you’re reviewing your plans and strategy for the rest of the year.
As you can see, there are a number of benefits that you, your staff and colleagues can gain from attending and exhibiting at tradeshows. Although the idea can be a bit daunting, and it means some of your staff are out of the office, it’s a great opportunity to build up your brand and to network. Networking is one of the most valuable things you can do these days. Getting in front of key prospects can be tough and the time you can get with them will be priceless. After all, if your peers, customers and competitors are at your industry show why aren’t you there too? If you are considering going, remember to take advantage of everything we’ve noted in this article so that you get the most out of your experience. Show your industry who you are and what you offer – build meaningful relationships and don’t be invisible.