1). Creating worthwhile leads
Including trade shows into your marketing strategy has the potential to create new contacts and grow your company’s customer base.
More often than not people who have attended a trade show have done so because they already have an interest in your product or service, so it is the perfect opportunity to try and find meaningful leads or direct sales. Remember to ask for a line of contact and create a short note for people you interacted with so that a member of the team can follow them up at a later date.
2). Understand the movement
Attending an exhibition is a brilliant way to gauge the market. You can very quickly get a grasp on the direction in which the industry is going.
Industries are constantly adapting and changing due to factors outside of the business world – for example, social movements that are being supported by corporate outfits are currently trending. You can use these trending ideas to grow your brand.
3). Reputation and reliability
Businesses thrive off of brand reputation. Having a brand that people trust and can connect with on a personal level is extremely important to succeed. Interacting with people and gaining that personal connection through opportunities such as events can really help to build credibility and showcase your general ethos.
It also gives you credibility. Being situated in the same space as larger (blue chip) companies subconsciously leaves the impression that you are just as reliable and established as your competition.
Being at the heart of a showcase you get to see new innovations first hand. Be it new technology, segmentation or product, you are still at the centre of the action. It’s this type of knowledge that gives your business the ability to stay relevant in the market.
5). Communication with customers
When trying to find out what your customers want, no amount of online surveys will ever come close to having an actual conversation with them. Take the time to ask the people that you are chatting to valuable questions or ask them if they have any feedback
6). Building better relationships with pre-existing customers
Trade shows not only give you a way of meeting new customers but pre-existing ones too. Having the opportunity to speak to them in person, as opposed to via email or phone, may lead to discussing their plans for the future in more depth. As discussing them in person is always much easier, which leads to more work.
Having an effective supply chain is extremely important for any business, if not almost the most important if you don’t create your product or run your service in house.
If this applies to you and you do outsource frequently, you will be well aware that managing factors such as costs, quality and availability are measured constantly on a daily basis as you try to improve them. At trade shows, more often than not, you will see suppliers who may well be better than the ones you’re currently using if you are willing to make the switch.
When attending the event, keep close tabs on what your competitors are doing effectively: be it their sales strategy, marketing or product/service. As you can use whatever is working well for them to your own advantage. Focus more so on companies that have grown the most in a short period of time, as this is usually a key sign that they have discovered a new trend.
9). Closing deals
Sometimes the only way to close a sale is in person because the person whom you are speaking to may hesitant to do so without:
Relevant advice – Your customer may be cautious to spend money based off of a general lack of knowledge in a particular area. Getting the opportunity to talk to them in depth and advising them using your level of expertise may change their perspective. Always give honest advice and keep the customers best interests at heart.
They forgot – People often times forget, maybe they haven’t got round to doing it yet.
Convenience – Perhaps with something that is a little more complicated, like a contractual service or a product that requires a lot of paperwork, customers don’t want the hassle of doing it alone. They would much rather someone else helped them with the purchase and fill out the forms to ensure that they are done so correctly with the help of an expert.
10). Product launch
This might not necessarily apply to everyone, but if you have a product that you are either currently selling or have thoughts on releasing, bring it to the show and see how well your customers react to it. Don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback.