When you think of marketing your small business, what comes to mind? Print advertising, digital marketing, social media? What about trade shows?  

Sometimes it is easy to forget the impact that face-to-face marketing can have. Trade shows offer a place for your company to display its product or service to an audience of people who are invested in the industry, while assessing the competition and gaining new leads.   

Need more reasons to exhibit at a trade show?

Here are 14 reasons why your business should exhibit at a Trade Show.  

1. Connect with Potential Customers in Person

One of the biggest benefits of trade shows is that it allows you to speak to potential customers in person, rather than trying to reach them over the phone or through an email campaign. Once a personal connection is made, customers are more likely to be responsive to your company’s outreach.  Creating a personal relationship with potential customers is vital in sales, and trade shows accomplish this.

2. Speak Directly with Your Target Market 

Another advantage of trade shows is that they are full of potential customers in your target market. An individual or company is not likely to attend a trade show unless they are interested or invested in the industryTrade shows are a targeted way of interacting with your desired market.

3. Showcase Your New Products or Services

Trade shows provide another outlet for customers to learn about your products or services, in addition to your current marketing materials. They give your company a platform to teach customers about the advantages of using your product, as well as teaching them about new innovations in the industry, which will present you as a thought leader.

4. Position Your Company as a Leader in the Industry 

Attending and exhibiting at trade shows can help establish your position as a leader and serious player in your industry. Exhibiting your products and services can help maintain your company’s presence in the industry and legitimize you as a resource for industry solutions.

5. Meet New Companies That Can Help Your Business 

Trade shows are a way for your company to learn about the industry and connect with other companies. Chances are, there are companies attending the trade shows that are not competitors but can actually help you in your business. You might meet a wholesaler that can get you a better discount on raw materials, or a distribution team that could help you streamline your shipping. Trade shows facilitate in making new business connections.

6. Gain Industry Contacts

The exhibitor handbook and exhibitor guide both have information about every company that is exhibiting at the show. If you do not have time to visit every booth at the show, the exhibitor handbook and guide are helpful in gaining industry contacts which could be useful to your company. 

7. Keep an Eye on the Competition

It is important to maintain a competitive edge in any industry. Check out what your competitors are doing right, or wrong, and evaluate if you are keeping up or if you need to adjust some strategies. Trade shows allow you to size up the competition in person and make sure that your company is staying up-to-date in the industry.

8. Gain Exposure in the Exhibitor Guide

Most trade shows have an exhibitor guide which lists names and company descriptions of all exhibitors. Exhibitors can also take advantage of purchasing additional advertising space in the exhibitor guide. The exhibitor guides offer another point of contact with customers to maintain brand awareness.  

9. Maintain Top-of-Mind Awareness

Trade shows help your company maintain top-of-mind recognition. If you are utilizing an integrated marketing campaign, you are most likely utilizing print ads, email campaigns, social media, and more to interact with your customers. Trade shows give customers an additional point of contact with your brand. Continuing to present your company or brand to consumers will maintain top-of-mind awareness. 

10. Get Customer Feedback

One of the easiest ways to learn about your brand is by asking your customers. A quick survey of attendees is not only an easy way to record leads but also can help provide valuable information about how your customers perceive your brand. While not the main goal of trade shows, learning more about your brand is a perk of exhibiting.

11. Recruit New Employees

This is not a reason to attend a trade show, but it could be an added benefit. Trade shows are full of industry professionals, some of whom could be looking for a new position. If one of them falls in love with your product, you could be recruiting your newest sales representative.

12. Qualified Lead Generation

While gaining leads can seem simple by flipping through a phone book or purchasing a contact list, gaining qualified leads can be a little bit trickier. At a trade show, everyone who visits your booth is a good lead because attendees of trade shows are all there due to interest in the industry. If your sales team inputs information for every person that visits your booth, you have a large list of qualified leads.

13. Increased Sales

Many trade show attendees register with the intention of taking advantage of the lower trade show prices that exhibitors offer. Exhibitors have access to many potential customers who are eager to buy their products. It is an easier, and more personal, way to close a deal than other sales tactics.

14. High ROI

The return on Investment at trade shows can be exponential. While the cost of a booth may be high, depending on the size of the show and the industry, the return is worth it. Personal contact with customers, market research, brand awareness, lead generation, and potential sales are just some of the reasons that make trade shows a great investment and, in our opinion, totally worth it! 


How Marketing Influence can help:

Are you interested in exhibiting at a trade show but don’t know where to start? Marketing Influence specializes in Trade Show Management. We can research which trade shows are best for your company, organize the purchase of booth space and shipment of materials, create a comprehensive show plan for your management and sales teams to follow, and much more. Contact us if you are interested in finding new leads for your company at a trade show.