Trade shows require an enormous amount of time, energy and money. If you haven’t exhibited before, you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about. Trade shows are an
exceptional marketing tool in the tool belt of the construction industry entrepreneur. While they are not to be entered into lightly, a well-run trade show exhibit can help your business to stand out in a competitive market.
Trade shows expose your business and products to thousands of interested buyers. People attending exhibitions do so because they are interested in comparing and purchasing products, selecting contractors or comparing prices. One thing people go to trade shows for is to search for new ideas and solutions to problems that they know they have and some problems they didn’t know they had. There is rarely an opportunity to reach so many potential buyers. While you may be sitting out this round of trade shows, you can be sure that your competitors aren’t. Getting your name and products out there is a great way to meet potential clients and grow your business.
A recent Simmons Market Research Bureau study discovered that 91% of respondents poled found trade shows “extremely useful” which is an even higher rating than on-site visits from company reps. The sheer volume of traffic alone is more people than you can call or visit in a day, even with an extensive sales team. Trade show costs are a fraction of what it would take to hire a sales team to call or visit that many people.
High conversion rates
26-35% of people who go to trade shows make a purchase while 87% will pass on information that they got from the show. 67% of trade show attendees will tell at least 6 people about things that they saw at the show. This ups your trade show cache, improves your visibility and reputation and gives you a wide marketing reach.
Michael Bruno, trade show expert has this to say about exhibiting: “Depending on the industry, trade shows can be an important lead generation or brand awareness channel. They do not generally have an immediate impact on profits (unless you consider the costs to participate), however, if the exhibit program is well planned, they can play a role in building a company’s reputation. That said, trade shows aren’t for every company…” says Bruno. “If you’re going to implement an exhibit marketing program, do your homework — research the show, learn how to exhibit well and measure your results. Exhibiting doesn’t have to be a ‘one and done’ proposition either. Use the opportunity to create content (photos, videos, blog posts) for social media channels, conduct market research and learn about your competition.”
Bruno suggests setting out definitive goals for each trade show. He also stresses the importance of doing your homework to find the trade show that is right for your business. Creating a quality exhibit is paramount to success. After the trade show, institute a policy of asking new clients where they first heard about you to measure the success of your trade show efforts.
In an increasingly digital world, trade show attendees are saying that the face-to-face interaction they have with exhibitors is becoming more important (CEIR study in 2012). Harness the benefits of a captive audience, the improved visibility and the face-to-face interactions that a trade show offers to help grow your business.