24 Jun 2016

In Beginner’s Guide to Trade Fairs, we decided to take on the unenviable task of discussing the importance of trade fairs, etiquette and strategies to maximize your gains from attending any industry event no matter the size and location. Click on the link to get yourself acquainted with what subjects we’re going to discuss in greater details in the weeks to come. Before we can move to any practical advice, there’s a big question to answer:

Why do trade fairs matter?
We firmly believe in trade fairs as the vehicles of success for any business with ambitions to grow, expand and build on reputation. It’s why we do what we do, but this article is not a confessional. Go Fair has discussed the subject time and time again with peers and clients who are a regular presence in their industry’s fairs and exhibitions.

From our conversations, we’ve located several main reasons businesses have found trade fairs to be extremely beneficial:

Create and strengthen connections
In competitive industries, companies fight over clients and will do anything to gain the upper hand. Trade fairs provide the perfect opportunity to sit down with your clients and discuss your mutual future together – a crucial cornerstone in your relationship with clients as overloaded schedules and distance reduce your communication to emails and phone calls. Face to face strengthens your commitment to each other. You also get to sell new products directly, which is a nice short-term boost to match.

Immersing yourself in the hectic pace of a trade fair also brings you opportunities to talk shop with colleagues. Don’t discredit good business relationships with colleagues, cause you never know who might come on to work with you as a future partner. The gossip mill is a valuable resource to research how your main competitors are doing and take notes on how to best meet your competition. Speaking of competition…

Remain relevant in the current competitive landscape
It’s a strategic error to miss out on an opportunity to attend events where your main competitors are going to attend. Not only do you risk for them to break into new markets and increase their customer list, but you also put your existing clients at risk. Your presence at trade fairs secures your current successes while opening up opportunities to pull ahead by converting visitors into new clients. This mixture of defense and offense benefits you in the long-term and more than enough returns on your investment by attending. It will do wonders for your reputation!

Put your name in the spotlight
In the current information overload, the main challenge lies in making yourself be heard. Online marketing, emails, pamphlets and phone calls become an annoying buzz that can be ignored and delegated in the background, but no one is invisible in a booth with their best product on display. Participation guarantees you will reach potential new clients in a meaningful way and leave an impression, which serves your brand in the grand scheme of things.

Conduct business whether you’re exhibiting or visiting
Trade fairs are more or less the entire industry condensed into a marketplace, where you generate leads and make purchases. Exhibitors are on the hunt to boost interest in their equipment, products and services – a very healthy short-term benefit, while visitors are doing market research. They compare prices and technical specifications to make the most strategic purchase to justify their time and money in coming to the event. In the end, it’s all about getting the best deal!

Divine the future and improve skills
Most trade fairs come with a conference track and workshops planned as an additional incentive to attend. Conferences focus on presenting a possible future for the industry with talks challenging current ideas, presenting innovations that might be market ready soon and also broaching a sensitive subject with proposals for solutions. Workshops further professionals’ growth and benefit the industry as a whole.

Support an association
It never hurts to give something back, especially if you’re a member of an association, which organizes the trade fair. Revenue from trade fair attendance feeds the organizer’s budget and in the cases, the association is popular and effective, attendance is also a sign of support. After all, the conference and workshops? Yes, you can thank the association in charge of the event for them.

There you have it. Undeniable proof trade fairs do you good. Attending even once a year will do wonders for your company, whether you’re a start-up, a small enterprise or a veteran in the industry of your choice.