Trade shows are an important aspect of any business’s marketing potential. Whether you are a new business trying to establish a name, or an existing one attempting to stay one step ahead of the curve, understanding the pros and cons of exhibition and trade show marketing is important. At the end of the day it is a simple cost benefit analysis: will attending a certain trade show help or hurt your brand and will it do it on budget? To answer this, a business must look at different factors for each specific trade show and ask itself whether the risk is worth the reward and we’ve teamed up with Zoom Display to do just that.
When contemplating whether or not that exhibition or trade show may help your business, the first thing to consider is cost. Especially if the company is just starting, understanding the travel costs associated with trade shows is very important. Most businesses will have to travel to conventions in order to market their brand and expenses can pile up quickly. First there is transportation to think about, then hotels and per diems for your employees. The next thing to think about is the cost of displays, white papers, and other marketing materials that may need to be specifically catered to the tradeshow. Depending on how many trade shows or exhibitions a company wants to attend a year, the costs can start to rise quickly and if there are materials left over from the exhibition, they may not be easily used again. While these costs impact new and smaller companies far more dramatically, this does not mean that large companies should not understand the economic risks of too many trade shows.
CONCENTRATED CLIENT BASE
However, for all their risks, the rewards can often justify the expense. Exhibitions and trade shows are usually populated by businesses and consumers involved or interested in your business. Face to face time with a large number of people interested and ready to spend could drastically impact sales. Even without high sales numbers, exhibitions are important, especially for new businesses. They allow you to shake hands with the right people and promote your brand and ideas in a highly concentrated place.
Unfortunately trade shows can also have the reverse impact as well. Yours is one product in the sea of many, and unless you have creative marketing information or a unique pitch, you could be left in the dust. If you decide to attend an exhibition or a trade show it is important to stand out from the rest of the pack. There are hundreds of consulting companies geared toward helping you market your products effectively at trade shows. These companies may be advantageous for newer companies that do not have the experience needed to understand trade show marketing on their own.
While exhibitions and trade shows are ripe with consumers willing to spend, they can also be costly. It is important to plan for trade shows a year in advance, creating a plan for which trade shows to attend and a specific budget for each event. This way the risks will fall in line with the rewards.