In a time of technology-led communication, e-commerce and social media, many businesses think spending time and money on an exhibition standand attending an exhibition is a waste or something that will not see the return on investment.
However, exhibitions and trade shows still provide the best interactive sales and marketing opportunities in business and are still an important element of the marketing mix. They provide many benefits and, if you choose the right exhibition and plan your attendance well, you will more than justify the investment in time and money.
Here are a few reasons why we at XL Displays think you should still attend exhibitions:
All B2B exhibitions or trade shows are targeted to your core customer market so attendees will already be aware of, and interested in, the kind of products and services in your sector. This means that sales and marketing at exhibitions is an accurate and cost-effective way to reach a large proportion of the market in a short space of time.
Generate sales and quality leads
Most visitors to trade shows are interested in the products and services on offer and they have given up their time to attend the show – in other words, you have a captive audience! You have a high level of access to prospects that are not only interested in your products but will also have buying power or influence for the companies they represent. Many will be ready to commit to a deal there and then so you can gain some fantastic direct sales at an exhibition. Others will be much more open to setting up a sales meeting at an exhibition than during a field sales visit or telesales call.
Launch a new product or service
Exhibitions are a great way to launch or trial a new product or service – customers can see, feel and try out a new product or prototype. You will have a chance to do product demonstrations and pitch the product to customers face-to-face. Customers can also give instant feedback on the product which you might want to use to refine its design or functionality. You can create a buzz about the product and get some media and social networking interest.
Get instant feedback
Visitors to exhibitions are the people who use or know about your products or services and, therefore, are a great source of feedback for your business. Use the time at an exhibition to gain feedback from customers about all aspects of your business – from products and customer service to the ordering process and aftersales service. You can also talk to customers and potential customers and use them to get ideas. This information is vital and an exhibition is a free way to get it instantly.
Build your brand
Having a stand at an exhibition or trade show is a prime opportunity to gain some brand awareness. With an eye-catching stand design and simple, but effective, marketing messages you will be able to raise awareness of your business and products and build your brand profile. At XL Displays we offer a graphic design service and can work with you to design an exhibition stand which will make you stand out from the crowd.
Check up on the competition
Take some time during an exhibition to look around the other stands and see what your competitors are doing. Which stands are attracting more people and why? What are your competitors doing or not doing? What direction is the industry taking overall? With many of your competitors under one roof it’s easy to find out the information that you want to know about them. All of this fact-finding can help inform plans and decisions for your next exhibition stand and your business overall.
Build relationships and network
The fastest way to build relationships is face-to-face, whether this is with new prospects or with existing customers. Use the opportunity of an exhibition to not only gain new sales leads but to also reach out to existing customers. Invite some of your clients to visit your stand and use this chance to build up your relationships and explore further business opportunities.
Exhibitions are also great places to network with similar businesses and can provide opportunities to create new working relationships or find new distributors, agents and even members of staff.
Experience for future exhibitions
Whether it’s your first show or your fiftieth, no matter how many times you have had an exhibition stand there is always something to learn or improve on. Evaluate your performance and think about what worked, what didn’t work. Use this improve your next exhibition stand so that you get the maximum benefit each time.
We hope this article has helped you to understand why attending an exhibition is worth the investment – an exhibition is a unique marketing and sales experience for businesses and customers. At XL Displays we are experts in exhibition stand design and offer a wide range of portable display equipment, from pop up stands to pull up banners.
For more information on our products or for help in planning your next exhibition, talk to the experts and call us on 01733 511030.