Why Trade Shows are Important for Your Small Business

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Trade Shows Help Expand Your Brand and Close New Business

Direct Capital has recently provided tips on how to survive – and get the most out of – trade shows. But besides learning how to leverage trade shows in the best way possible, it is also very important to understand why these events can be valuable to your business. What is it about trade shows that make them worth your while?

The numbers are telling. Statistics show that 99% of marketers said they got unique value from trade shows that they didn’t get from other marketing mediums. CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions reported that 60% of exhibitors said the most valuable part of the experience is seeing potential and current customers at the same time, while 47% thought that having the ability to meet with a variety of key players, such as buyers and resellers was key.

There is some work to be done, though, before deciding to exhibit at a trade show. Trade shows can be valuable, but if they are not helping your business achieve its targets, then you should rethink your strategy. Your business needs to understand what the goals are in order to reach them. Set clear objectives for your business, like the number of product sales, leads generated, and awareness initiatives you want to reach while at the show. Include in this a realistic projected return on investment.

Here’s a good tip to keep in mind: It is unlikely that your business will be able to reach these goals if your target market is not attending. Get a list of who the attendees are beforehand so you know if you have a shot at gaining their business.

In addition to meeting with prospects and customers, what other reasons are there to attend trade shows? Here are our top 5:

How Trade Shows Add Value

  1. Market research opportunity: You can learn from other exhibitors at the event. Pay attention to what’s working well for others and use those ideas to plan even better for your next show. In addition, you can evaluate your competitors and see how their booth or products are performing.
  2. Find new customers: 45% of trade show attendees only visit one exhibition per year. This means that your chances of reaching new audiences every time you exhibit at a show are very high. Plus, you have the opportunity to reach your customers face-to-face rather than on the phone or email, creating a much more personal relationship.
  3. Display new products or services: If you have a new product you’ve been waiting to launch, a trade show is a good time to promote it. 92% of trade show attendees say their #1 reason for attending is to look for new products.
  4. Brand awareness: 83% of exhibitors said that building and expanding their brand awareness is their highest priority objection while at a trade show. In addition, 78% of attendees often travel more than 400 miles to be there, so you’ll have a national audience at your fingertips. This allows you to not only expand your brand, but your company as well.
  5. Close new business: You may be wondering if trade show attendees are often in a position to make buying decisions, or if they are just representatives of a business. Statistics show that 78% of attendees do actually have buying authority, which means 4 out 5 people you’ll speak to could be potential customers. Plus, 76% of visitors will ask for quotes, 26% of whom will sign purchase orders right then and there.

With technology and the ability to do webinars, online demos, and a number of other advanced web-based meetings, it might seem as though trade shows have become less relevant. However, this is not the case. According to metroexhibits.com, since Q4 of 2012, trade show attendance has grown each quarter and is forecasted to continue increasing through 2015.

Don’t miss out on all the opportunities trade shows bring you. For more trade show tips, or information on Direct Capital, please visit our website!