A trade show is an international exhibition usually held in one location in order to display and promote the products and services of a particular industry, meet with clients and other business associates, explore current market trends and possibilities, and discuss future promotional activities. It may be a single day event or a weekend-long affair. Trade shows are usually an essential part of marketing activity for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as for those wishing to join or expand into a new industry. The impact of a trade show on the results of a company’s sales, which are usually the main driving force of any company’s budget, cannot be underestimated. Trade show displays, therefore, play a very important role in the business world.
Trade shows are used by the manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and marketers to promote and provide exposure to their products. They are used to attract new customers, to explain products and services, to gather feedback about current products and services, to build contacts, to provide samples and to offer advice and training. Most expos and fairs also serve as a forum for networking and information sharing among industry participants. Exhibitors at tradeshows represent the full range of the enterprise. Sometimes, the aim of an expo is to recruit new personnel, such as marketing executives. Trade shows also provide an excellent venue for testing the products or services offered by competitors.
The number of tradeshows and fairs grows every year. They are generally well received by the exhibitors, and the publicity provided by these events greatly helps to spread the word about a company or product. In most cases, the presence at a tradeshow or fair of hundreds of eager competitors is a great deterrent to potential customers. This is why companies do everything possible to ensure that they have the best representation at shows, by putting on the most up-to-date and effective exhibits and making the necessary arrangements for shipping and handling.
Trade shows, though perhaps not the most effective advertising venues, are nevertheless still important in terms of generating new business. Each show allows potential customers to get a first-hand look at the performance of a company and of the product or service it provides. The larger and more established companies often choose to use trade show displays and exhibits to provide a face-to-face opportunity to present their offerings. Smaller firms, on the other hand, may consider renting or leasing trade show display space, or even using hired booths, for the same purpose.
When using trade shows to boost sales, company representatives and booth attendants need to remember that they are not just talking to people walking past the exhibits. They are also speaking to people sitting at the table or in the audience. Therefore, they need to be engaged with the people sitting at those seats. For this, sales presentations need to be carefully planned. In addition to effective marketing tools like exhibits, displays, giveaway gifts and other promotional materials, the presentation should also be accompanied by a corporate hospitality approach that is designed to create an environment that will make the most of each visitor and become more than just a passing presence.
By providing food and refreshments to trade show attendees, as well as offering them with plenty of hands-on activities like demonstrations and question and answer sessions, a company can create a setting that truly captures the interest of each visitor. Additionally, the hands-on nature of the activities offered at a trade show will create a sense of community among visitors, something that can only enhance the relationship between companies and their clients. Finally, by taking full advantage of the design and exhibits at the show, a company can encourage its attendees to actually stay at the booth or exhibit longer, creating a greater opportunity for networking. By keeping all these elements in mind, a company can maximize the potential of its trade show display appearance. After all, a well-chosen exhibit will allow it to attract and convert more show attendees than it would without a well-planned exhibit.