When someone says trade show, what’s the first thing you think of? Expenses, for one matter, exhibiting, sponsoring or just attending – the travel plus the enrollment fee – in the back of your mind the dollar signs are rolling like a spinning slot machine. I want to take a few minutes to address some of the benefits of participating in a trade show. Then maybe before you start thinking of the costs, you can evaluate the potential ROI.
Think relationships. Conducting e-mail campaigns is a great way to get started; however, a face-to-face conversation builds rapport and credibility, and provides the opportunity to associate the face with the name. You also get valuable feedback. Interacting with peers in your field allows you to bounce ideas off of others and hear what they have to say about your product or service.
It’s about learning as well as teaching. You’re gathering feedback, but you’re also actively engaging people and informing them about what you have to offer. Since these events are interactive, you get a chance to create a live visual demonstration of your products or services, which allows others to ask questions throughout the process. Depending on how you present your offering (demonstrations, a booth, networking) you can really create a positive image for your product and company – and if you do it right, you’ll get people talking.
Word of mouth is more valuable than many people realize, but it involves greater investment on your part for the higher yield return; through referrals you can generate numerous leads that could eventually become a new and appreciative client. On another note, attending a trade show means that you’re involved in your business community and industry, and it’s a great avenue to update reporters about your company’s growth with a news release. Though there are many more perks, this is just a brief overview of the advantages of attending and exhibiting at tradeshows.