When your brand is considering a trade show appearance, there are often naysayers who will try to convince you to stay home. Are they worried that these events do nothing to promote your brand and earn revenue – or is it the competition who are worried they will? In either case, here are six reasons they will often give you – and which you should promptly dismiss! The research just doesn’t back them up.
- No one goes to trade shows. While there was a dip following the economic downturn, beginning in 2008, tradeshow attendance has rebounded. Many experts predict it will keep growing through 2015 and remain steady. Attendance is very healthy. Not only are more visitors going, more vendors are signing up. If your competition is there, shouldn’t you be as well?
- People don’t buy anything at trade shows. Did you know that 81 percent of attendees have purchasing power? And that the number one reason people go to a trade show is to look at new products? If your brand is not represented, you’re missing out on highly-qualified leads and potential customers.
- We can just do digital marketing for less. Digital campaigns are critical and they do produce results. But, at the same time, consumers need face-to-face contact, the ability to put a face to your brand, and the opportunity to interact with your products/services. They can communicate online, but if you offer them in-person experience that aligns with your virtual one, you build greater recognition and credibility.
- It’s too hard to stand out. True, there are many other vendors, vying for attendee attention. But innovative and inviting trade show exhibits attract visitors. Creative use of banner stands or kiosks with product demos, for instance, draw attention and generate buzz. You can also use social media to generate excitement before, during, and after the event. Consider setting up a special hashtag or running a Facebook contest.
- There’s no ROI. Exhibiting at trade shows can be expensive, but this is an opportunity to interact with customers and Not only can you sell, you can generate leads and build brand awareness that can translate into future sales.
- It’s over after the show. After the trade show booths have been packed up and the audience is gone, it’s time to follow up on leads. That’s often where you’ll see your ROI grow exponentially, especially considering 80 percent of exhibitors will not follow-up. It’s not over when the show’s over. In fact, that’s when most of your opportunity comes knocking!
While there are certainly legitimate reasons you may choose not to exhibit at a trade show, they are usually outweighed by the potential benefits your business can realize.