Trade shows are BACK! Buyers are eager to see products in person, meet and talk with business leaders face-to-face, and experience the full-sensory show of exhibits. As buyers rush back to the exhibit floor and trade shows burst back onto the scene, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you may have survived the past 2 years without showing up at a trade show, you can do that in 2022. Nope! And this year’s return of trade shows offers you a chance to revitalize your business with this ever-important avenue of marketing. Is it worth your time and your budget? Absolutely!
Here are 7 convincing reasons you need to be on the trade show floor this coming year.
1. ALL YOUR PREQUALIFIED LEADS ARE IN ONE PLACE - “A captive audience!” “Shooting fish in a barrel!” Call it whatever you want to, but no other platform offers what trade shows offer: all the people you’re trying to reach huddled under one roof with time and attention for you. If you aren’t planning to take advantage of this, you are missing a huge opportunity in the marketing world. Research shows than an average of two new qualified leads or new customers makes most trade show costs worth the time, energy, and money. This, my friends, is what we call a “no-brainer.”
2. YOU HAVE A MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH EXISTING ONES - If you haven’t heard recently from every article on every blog in every industry, relationships are what make the sale. Seriously. And everyone is craving it now because of 2020s separation and isolation of people across the globe. The loneliness has been crushing. What better way to make and re-establish relationships than a trade show full of people who need what you have to offer?
3. MISSING OUT ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS EQUALS LOST BUSINESS - EXHIBITOR Magazine released their findings of more than 1,000 responses from corporate exhibitor managers and suppliers who had been dealing with canceled trade shows. 48% of exhibit managers shared that they had experienced difficulties when working to build and maintain relationships with clients and prospects. Even their very best efforts at replicating shows using high-tech virtual means couldn’t come close to in-person events.
4. SKIPPING TRADE SHOWS MEANS HANDING OVER YOUR POTENTIAL TO COMPETITORS - Even if you don’t show up at trade shows for another year, your competition will. And loads of it. Guaranteed. Most businesses are thrilled at the opportunity to be back on the event floor. And if you aren’t there showing up and showing out, your potentials will drift into someone else’s booth and onto their client roll. Even upper management is becoming increasingly aware of the importance and benefits of trade shows. Surveys show that at least 25% of them have noticed more and more of their value since exhibiting was cancelled last year.
5. YOU WILL BE IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE BUYERS AND DECISION MAKERS FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS - Not only will you be in direct contact with your customers and potential clients at a trade show, you will be in front of the decision makers for those companies. You have a chance to influence the very people you are trying to influence, the very people you have been trying to get as an audience all year. Don’t take the gamble of missing the person or people who could make the difference in your business this year.
6. YOU CAN GAIN INTELLIGENCE ON THE MARKET AND YOUR COMPETITION - We don’t talk about this as much because we are focused on OUR customers, OUR brand, what WE are doing. But just as important as our business is our competition’s business, and the current climate of the market. Trade shows offer a chance to take the pulse of the entire market, including individual competitors, at a glance. You can walk away from a trade show with a pocketful of leads AND some ideas for how to tweak your exhibit or upgrade your graphics, which we give tips for here and here
7. BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS IS EASY, PASSIVE WORK ON THE SHOW FLOOR - Since the cancellation of last year’s trade shows, 55% of exhibitors claim they’ve had zero success in increasing brand awareness. There could be more than one reason for this number, but obviously virtual marketing methods just aren’t doing the whole job. Creating awareness and generating interest at trade shows is so important that some big decision-makers for companies will only make purchasing decisions from exhibitors they meet in person. If you aren’t there, they aren’t even seeing you. Come back this year with a boom! Let us build a high-quality exhibit for you to fill with friendly, knowledgeable booth staff and kick off the 2022 season for success!
This article was inspired by "3 Reasons to Keep Trade Shows a Priority in Your Budget" by Briquelle Neyens,