Posted on 09, July, 2021
Last Modified on 25, August, 2023
Trade Show Attendance Provides Much More than Sales & Conversions — It Provides Experience
With trade show season kicking off full steam ahead, chock-full of new and veteran exhibitors, there is one major question that has been asked over and over: Are trade shows even worth it? Your business did well enough maintaining clients, earning new contracts, and staying profitable during its forced hiatus, so should you really invest the time, money, and energy into attending a large-scale event? The short answer is yes, of course! While it’s easy to focus on monetary cost/benefit analysis touted by your accounting department, it is important to keep note of the intangibles, the invaluable information you can gain from scoping out your competition on the exhibit floor, meeting potential clients face-to-face, networking, testing products first-hand, and so much more.
We get it. Trade shows can be expensive. It can be daunting for first-time attendees to invest thousands into a new experience when they have done just fine thus far, and similarly, for veteran show-goers to jump back in after foregoing two whole seasons. While there are a number of economic and public safety factors that have kept businesses from attending these events, and while that extra cash certainly looks good on the books, we are here to tell you that your business benefits immensely from these social outings as an unmatched way to network, innovate, and discover as part of the community your product serves.
Captivate New Audiences
It's the greatest show on earth, minus the confetti and acrobatics. A trade show captivates business owners and consumers alike, and for the tech-savvy, growth-oriented people in the crowd, there is no better place to discover new products, forge new connections, and put on a show. If you work in sales or marketing, you understand maintaining an audience's attention can be difficult. This is the main issue with relying on resources such as email, text SMS, and even Skype calls; there is always something else vying for their attention! Trade shows stand out in that people actively attend with the intention to give you their full attention, commit time to your demonstration, and ask engaging questions. These events are the best place to earn the trust of a captive audience, not simply buy their clicks.
The people that attend trade shows arrive with an open mind, a penchant for curiosity, and a will to discover new ways that products can solve their everyday or company-wide problems. Simply put, a trade show audience is primed for a sale better than any cold call, email newsletter recipient, or past customer receiving a direct mail postcard about a new offer. If you want active engagement, build a captivating exhibit and thrive.
This is Your World Series!
Sure, customers can spend hours surfing the web while streaming their favorite mystery docu-series in the background, half-invested in one or the other and giving authority to whichever web page winds up having the better user interface and color scheme. Why take that gamble trade shows give you an opportunity to stand side-by-side with your competitors and show prospective customers exactly why your product solves a problem in ways others can’t? These events are a celebration of your brand, of an announcement, or promotion, and are equally, if not more impactful than a 45 second television commercial slot or internet advertisement.
Keep in mind, this is also an opportunity to engage with your community, to give your customers a chance to see the faces behind the brand, talk about the product, tell jokes, and form a human connection that builds brand loyalty. Trade shows are more than just your product and a sale, just like the World Series is more than a couple of ballgames. Just like baseball is America’s pastime, trade shows are the pastime of national and international business, allowing executives and salespeople to get the pulse of their industry, scope out new tech, and interact with their counterparts in a healthy environment.
Building Company Culture
Think of these events as a team building exercise. An organization that has to go through the planning and execution process of putting off a successful trade show will come out stronger, more streamlined, and with more trust in their colleagues to get the job done right. Trade shows are notoriously good at building strong foundations between a single team or cross-departmental collaborations, since these events challenge employees to look outside the scope of their day-to-day workload, demonstrate intimate product knowledge, and synthesize everything the business offers into a digestible demonstration. A little after party and some R&R post-show help destress after hours of working the floor as well, and can help your employees mingle with other professionals or see one another in a more relaxed atmosphere than an “all corporate all of the time” mentality.
Trade shows also give your employees myriad educational opportunities, allowing them to explore dozens, if not hundreds of other booths at the event. They can use this time to discover new marketing strategies, learn new sales techniques, find a color scheme or design tactic that they know will help boost sales of your next product. It's easy to rinse and repeat what is comfortable for any project if your employees are never let out of their box, so it is vital to allow them the space they need to discover new methodologies that they can bring back from the event with them and increase their productivity with a fresh mindset.