Exhibitions are a big investment for businesses but can provide so many benefits that will, in turn, provide a return on that investment. Face-to-face marketing is one of the most powerful and successful marketing tools and exhibiting is one of the only platforms which allows businesses to interact with prospective customers in person.
The costs of having an exhibition stand can sometimes be a setback for businesses that are unsure of whether to go ahead and exhibit or invest in other forms of marketing. Here we have put together 10 benefits that exhibitions bring to your business.
1. Generate highly targeted, lucrative business leads
Combined with a calculated and well planned strategy, every trade show your business attends is an opportunity to extensively expand your company’s customer base.
Often the people whom attend trade shows are already interested in what’s on offer in the industry in terms of products or services and so come ready to commit to a deal on the day. This means that those attending exhibitions are much more worthwhile leads than names and numbers found in a business directory.
To maximise the potential sales leads, make sure that key sales goals are established before the event to give sales personnel a goal when there. Also remember that interacting with all visitors is must as each visitor has the potential to turn into a customer. Keep a brief summary of interactions during the event so that these can be followed up by your team after the event.
2. Learn what areas are doing well and which areas have room for improvement
Exhibitions will have plenty of industry experts and competitors who may also be exhibiting. This gives for a perfect opportunity for you to develop your understanding on the direction in which the industry is and isn’t going in.
Industries are constantly changing due to a number of factors and trade shows are a great place to find out the latest trends in the industry. During quiet periods of the exhibition, be sure to look around searching for potentially new areas to branch into and which areas are in decline and maybe need reviewing.
3. Develop and strengthen your brand
Many industries thrive on the trust and reputation of a company. In these industries in particular, branding is a huge driver to the success of a business.
Exhibiting at exhibitions is a great platform to showcase that your company means business when it comes to competing to be an industry leader. It shows that your business is to be taken seriously, that it is strong and large enough to be able to afford its own presence at leading events.
Strategically placing your exhibition stand next to industry blue chip companies psychologically influences the perception that new and existing customers have of your business and can help your business to climb the ladder and be seen as an established, reliable brand in the eyes of your customer.
4. Acquire information about new industry developments
Exhibitions are not just beneficial in terms of generating sales leads. They are also extremely beneficial in keeping up with key developments; whether that be technological, segmentation or new product developments. Trade shows are a place where industry specialists showcase their latest innovations, developments and new products to prospective customers – all developments which can have huge impacts on driving the industry as a whole. Exhibiting at trade shows therefore means that your business will be in the centre of the action and be in the loop when it comes to new developments in the industry and reviewing whether these are developments which need to be incorporated into your business. This helps your business to stay a key contender in the market.
5. Face-to-face marketing
In terms of influencing a decision, no marketing communications tool can compete with face-to-face interaction. An email sharing your latest sales promotions will often just be skim read and the conversion rate will be minimal. Exhibiting at a trade show however provides opportunity to engage with customers, give an in-person presentation and have a question based conversation – all which will help to close a deal much more effectively. Face-to-face marketing will always have a higher conversion rate than any other marketing communications tool.
6. Strengthen relationships with existing customers
In the same manner that trade shows give an opportunity to meet new prospective customers, they also give your business an opportunity to meet existing customers who previously may have conducted business over the phone or through email.
Face-to-face interaction with existing customers means that you are able to build that relationship with them and often talk about longer term plans and big orders – conversations which would not generally be discussed over the phone or by email because it’s generally rare for businesses to commit to large orders by these impersonal platforms. Both long term plans and large orders can be lucrative to your business so it is definitely worth investing in trade shows as a platform for developing these.
7. Networking with new companies and expanding your supply chain
Having a strong supply chain is one of the key factors in driving a business forward. This is because, if not manufactured in house, your suppliers are the driving force behind the products you can offer, the margin at which you can sell products at, the quality of products and the availability of products you are selling. If a customer incurs a problem with the product it is the reputation of your business which will suffer and so it is vital that your supply chain is of an impeccable standard to ensure your reputation as a business does not suffer.
Exhibitions are a perfect opportunity to engage with new companies and prospective vendors and result in potentially expanding your supply chain or obtaining new suppliers in areas which currently lack a certain something.
8. A chance to see what competitors are doing well
We all know the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Well in the world of business the same logic is applied “keep your customers close but your competitors closer”.
It is vitally important to know what your competitors are doing and the tactics they are using to grow so that you can apply these tactics to your own business and reap the rewards alongside them.
At exhibitions there will be competitors so it is a great way to observe their tactics - whether it be sales, marketing or product tactics, and implement them into your business to make sure you are keeping up with their competition.
If there has been a market competitor who has rapidly grown in a short period of time, use trade show presence to observe what they are doing differently to grow at such a rapid pace.
9. Close deals with new customers
Closing deals with prospective customers by phone can sometimes take time and be no more than a dead-ended hassle for your sales team. Exhibiting at trade shows mean you have that face-to-face marketing and opportunity to discuss and close long term plans and large orders which otherwise would be hard to finalise.
10. Develop understanding of target market needs and wants
Finding out information about the needs and wants of your customers is very important when it comes to staying competitive in the market. The low response rate of email surveys means that they are only really beneficial to companies with large email lists to increase the rate of response.
Exhibiting at trade shows means you can conduct a short survey on your exhibition stand to gather vital feedback on whether the needs and wants of your customers are the same or if they have changed and if you need to adapt to meet these needs. Providing incentives, like a free gift or entry into a competition, are good ways to entice customers to complete surveys for you.
At XL Displays we are experts in exhibition stand design. We provide a wide range of portable display equipment, such as pop up stands and roller banners, as well as custom built exhibition stands. For more information on any of our products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511030.