Exhibitors are under increasing pressure to justify trade show participation, especially when taking into consideration the economy, budget cuts and the way business is increasingly being conducted online. Marketers are often tasked with the job of proving the benefits of participating in a trade show are worth the investment. What better way to do so than with some statistical justification?
This newsletter will provide powerful statistics that support the value of trade shows, coupled with reasons to attend. Keep reading to find out more.
5 reasons to attend a trade show
Trade show participation is an investment; exhibits take a lot of time and require a lot of resources. Plus, they can be expensive, but the benefits can make the cost well worth it. Here are the top five reasons to participate in a trade show:
- Reason #1: People go to trade shows to buy. In fact, 81 percent of trade show attendees have buying authority. And they rarely attend just to pass the time. Chances are they’re there because they have a need—perhaps one that your company’s product or service can fill. In a nutshell, trade shows might be just the place to generate hot leads that are ready to buy (from you), today.
- Reason #2: People still conduct business offline. Actually, 78 percent of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to go to an exhibit. This potentially puts your product or service in front of a national audience. Where else can you get in front of hundreds, or even thousands, of prospective buyers all in one day?
- Reason #3: People attend trade shows to see new products. In fact, this has been the number one reason to attend a show for twenty-five years. Has your company recently introduced a new product or service you’d like to feature? Are you looking to release your latest software or technology? Or, perhaps you have just added new equipment or machinery that prospective customers must see. Trade shows can be just the place to show off your latest innovation.
- Reason #4: Trade shows yield a positive return on investment (ROI). The average ROI for every dollar spent on a trade show is $4.99. And that’s just the average. Imagine the possibilities if you went above and beyond. Do a little research, find out what the competition is doing and get the attendee list ahead of time so you can reach out to visitors before the show. Send them a letter asking them to stop by and see you, and include one section of a two-part gift—perhaps the cap to a USB pen or the case to a Mag-Lite® flashlight. Invite them to pick up the other half in person on exhibit day. Or send an email that attendees can show for an extra chance to win a prize drawing, such as a Flexible Waterproof Keyboard or a power bank square.
- Reason #5: Your show may be the only one a prospect attends this year. Close to half of all trade show attendees only attend one show a year. That gives you the potential to reach someone you (or other businesses) may not reach at another show. Once they’re there, make them glad they came. Provide value by having knowledgeable and helpful staff available to answer questions and do product demos. And send visitors with a little something to remember you by. A premade care package, like the Quikit, complete with hand wipes, pain reliever, bandages and LifeSavers® can come in handy at the end of a long day. Or make your own rescue pack by tossing a branded granola bar, bottle of water and company brochure in a reusable tote. Visitors can find out what they need to know about your company while they enjoy a pick-me-up.
We hope that you picked up a reason or two to justify your next exhibit at a trade show. Trade shows can provide great ways to reach people ready, willing and able to buy a product or service—perhaps from you.
Symonds, Peter. “5 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show.” Small Business CEO. N.p., 8 Feb. 2014. Web. Retrieved 13 Feb. 2014.
Thimmesch, Mike. “16 Powerful Stats on the Value of Trade Shows.” TSNN Trade Show News. N.p., 18 Aug. 2013. Web. Retrieved 13 Feb. 2014.
Lee, Alex. “atEvent: Average ROI At Events Is 5x; Time For Marketers To Stop Being Average!” PRNewswire. N.p., 6 Aug. 2013. Web. Retrieved 13 Feb. 2014.