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Why Participate in Trade Shows?


Participating in trade shows is one of the quickest and most effective ways of getting your business in front of a lot potential customers. In addition to providing a wonderful opportunity to market your products and services directly to consumers, trade shows also provide the opportunity to create a good first impression. In a recent study, over 90% of respondents indicated that they found trade shows to a very useful source gathering purchasing information and almost 50% of these respondents actually purchased products or services while attending the trade show.

Trade shows can help you generate a lot of leads relatively quickly. Studies show that almost 90% of consumers with buying power who attended a tradeshow did not receive a sales call in the past year. The study showed that trade shows are an effective way to reach many consumers that traditional prospecting methods do not reach. Most companies find that attending trade shows is worth the investment.

At a trade show with thousands of consumers and hundreds of exhibitors, you should be able to speak with hundreds of people a day. Trying to make that many contacts over the phone in a short period of time would be difficult, if not impossible. Even though you may not sell a product to every consumer you speak with you'll get your foot into a lot of doors you wouldn't otherwise. And if you're thinking of not attending a show that you have attended in the past, stop and ask yourself what you're telling current clients who are expecting to see you there. If your company has recently experienced a merger or an acquisition, or there has been a change in management, not attending a trade show may damage your relationship with your clients. Also know that you competitors will likely use your absence to further their own interests. However, this is not to say that you have to attend every trade show. You may want to send a message to all of your major customers who will be attending a show, informing them of your decision to attend one trade show over another.

Before looking into which trade show to attend, it is wise to set goals for yourself. In order to help you with this, there are several questions you should keep in mind.
  • What is your reason for exhibiting? (Are you trying to build current relationships or create new relationships with clients? Trying to market a new item? Better position yourself within the market? Looking to make news sales leads or counteract your competitors’ claims?)

  • Who do you want to reach?

  • What message are you looking to send?

  • What do you want to be an outcome of the show? (Are you hoping to bring home new sales leads or sell a product or service?)

Having clear and direct goals will help you to succeed in your trade show activities.
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