8 Jul 2016

This article serves as part of a series called Beginner’s Guide to Trade Fairs, which we started in June to educate companies on the virtues of regular business travel to enhance their place in their respective industry. We launched with an article explaining the chief reasons everyone is better off attending exhibitions, trade fairs and conferences: The 6 Major Reasons It’s Always Good to Attend Trade Fairs. If you haven’t read it, yet, please click on the link so we’re all on the same page.

Ready? Great. Now, let’s move on to this week’s subjects.

Actual physical benefits that turn your attendance into money
You know, the reason that justifies spending the money. You’ll find our argumentation is solid on this one and we’ve broken down all the benefits in three categories: short-term (immediate benefits that manifest during the even), mid-term goals (all benefits that take up months after a trade fair to manifest) and long-term goals (benefits that are slow to show, but are valuable).

Direct Sales: This is the most obvious benefit. For many companies, trade fairs make for their strongest sales and compensate for slow months during the rest of the year. Trade fairs are the uniquely targeted platforms where you’re surrounded by visitors who’re singularly interested in your wares. That’s a powerful tool and it helps to have a nice cash inflow.
Face-to-Face Contact: Appearing as a person in a business environment makes your product and company memorable. The human factor trumps every physical and online marketing you pay for. Not even telephone conversations can achieve what personal interactions do. You’re far more likely to sway current clients to continue working with you and sway new clients to your side. You also know which connections are going to pay off, either during the event or after, so always be at your best behaviour.
Cheap Effective Marketing: The human presence also plays a huge role in making a direct impression. Yes, constructing an eye-catching booth, renting the space and travel do cost a lot compared to other strategies, but once you’re a solid presence, you’re impossible to ignore for all the exposure you pay a lot less. It’s an immediate return on investment. And the best part is that with the right budgeting, you can make at least one business trip per year.
Opportunities: The big industry events attract top talent, the success stories, the movers and shakers. Where before access to these people was restricted, now you’re circling the same floors and you’re once lucky break away from sitting down to talk shop, make a pitch for partnership or seek advice.
Lead Generation: You’ve done well. You’ve registered direct sales, but there’s an untapped potential group of attendees, who passed your booth, inquired about what you do and took a catalog or business card. Although you haven’t converted them then and there, doesn’t mean they won’t seek you out once the trade fair ends and they find a need for your product or service.
Eye on the Market: You’ll be surprised how easy it is to miss something important regarding your industry. A new trend, a popular new product that’s beating yours, a marketing trick that is really successful. You’ll also have a full view of the entire market – a valuable perspective to help you change your course and adjust to the market demands.
Reputation: This happens slowly and over the course of years as you go to the same places all in your industry frequent. You become a familiar face. A presence. These things build trust and the longer you survive in your nice, you’ll have clients come to you because they’d want to do business with someone they know. This is something no marketing can secure you!
Value: Steady attendance to trade fairs exposes you to seminars, workshops and lectures on the best practices, innovative techniques and solutions to problems you are most likely to experience yourself. This practical information helps you build better products, competitive services and smarter strategies. Again, you can’t achieve success in isolation.
These are only some of the benefits that we could think of at the top of our head. We’ll go on our journey next time with another article on trade fairs. If you have any suggestions, replies, critiques and disagreements, don’t stay quiet. Get in touch! Write to us at [email protected] and your feedback might make it into one of our next articles.