Why should you exhibit at a Trade Show?

Trade shows have been an important sales and marketing tool for centuries. They offer a platform for businesses to showcase their products, dispense knowledge and discuss industry trends in a tailored environment.

In the 18th-century, large industrial trade fairs became popular due to the booming industrial revolution, and new manufacturing tools and processes being developed.

In the 19th-century, industry-specific trade shows became popular, and in the 20th century exhibition venues were built, such as at the Excel, NEC, Olympia, and NAEC, Stoneleigh. In addition various showgrounds around the UK further cater to the agricultural sector.
Knowledge and networking

A trade show brings together businesses as exhibitors with professionals and business representatives as visitors, to exchange knowledge and make connections through net-working and sharing learning by attending any lectures, workshops and seminars which are often also being presented at the event. Speakers are usually selected for their industry knowledge or different thoughts and ideas around a particular subject.

Some shows will host an evening event alongside the show, with an awards ceremony to recognise great contributions or pioneers in the industry.
A tradeshow is not just a place to “hand out information.” A tradeshow is a place to meet customers, to make valuable connections with them, as well as to start, and, hopefully, complete, sales.  

It is a good idea to research the relevant shows early on. Attending them in person as a visitor will help you to then decide which make the most sense for you and your business and will help with ideas on your approach.

Create a budget and book early to ensure that you get the location you want and can optimise your marketing and publicity.

What can you gain from being at trade show?

  • Generate sales – the easiest way to measure success and justify your attendance is by making direct sales.
  • Prospecting and lead capture – create your sales pipeline for future conversion
  • Checking out your competitors - what technology are they using, what marketing approach are they using? By all means, investigate what they are doing but don’t make this your primary aim.
  • Engage with existing customers – existing customers are more likely to invest in new products and services, so meeting face to face is an ideal way to maintain and develop relationships and offer them more benefits.
  • Play games- Create an engaging experience that will not only draw people to your stand but will keep them there for longer. A competition would be ideal for this, even if it requires minimal effort to take part.
  • Gather feedback – feedback allows you to improve services and products; it’s important to listen to what the market wants and be in-touch with industry issues.
  • Launch new products/services – speak to customers new and old, and showcase any innovations or range extensions. Get instant feedback.
  • Have a focus – Understand your market and who you’d like to target, with an appreciation of their needs and issues and how you can solve them. This enables you to create a strategy that’s more likely to appeal to them.
  • Networking and learning- meet likeminded business, colleagues and industry experts to share knowledge and expertise.
  • Spot trends – spotting trends is important if you want to stay relevant or avoid something that’s a one-hit wonder.

To sum up- exhibiting at a trade show provides visibility and credibility to your company. It allows you to make new leads, attract new customers and enhance your brand.

And if you needed any more justification, the statistics provide reassurance.

Research1 shows that:

  • 70% of Businesses Generated New Leads & Brand Awareness from Trade Shows in 2022.
  • 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.
  • 64% of trade show attendees are not customers of the exhibitors’ companies, so there are lots of opportunities for fresh prospects at trade shows.
  • 92% of trade show attendees say their main reason for attending trade shows is to see new products being featured.
  • 95% of marketers believe that in-person events can help achieve business goals.

Mindvision can support you at trade events from company branded shirts to upmarket and useful giveaways, to enhance your brand and make the right impression.

1 Source:  CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face and Exhibition

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