Attending a trade show offers some clear benefits for most businesses – but cost and other factors could influence your decision to attend. Learning more about the advantages and disadvantages of attending or exhibiting could help you maximize your ROI and ensure that you are truly targeting the right approach for your business.
Trade Show Advantages
- Exposure to a Larger Market: If you’ve been selling locally or regionally, then attending a trade show expands your possibilities. You’ll also be getting your concept and product in front of a fresh new audience and making valuable in person connections you can build on later.
- Enhanced Brand Visibility: If you are debuting a new product or want to improve your brand recognition, then a trade show allows you to present your product or service to a wide group and reinforces your image; if brand building is at the top of your list of goals, then a trade show could help you break out and really shine.
- In Person Networking: In an increasingly digital environment, the personal connection your forge by connecting in person will give you an edge with prospects. By meeting in person even once, you make sure your messages are relevant and that you create a valuable connection one on one connection with a prospect.
- A Presentation Platform: By speaking or presenting at a trade show you can position yourself as an expert in your field – -and your business as a place to turn to when a prospect has a need.
Trade Show Disadvantages
- Affordability: Cost is the biggest drawback to tradeshow attendance for most businesses. Simply getting your exhibit and team to the show and then setting up adds a significant expense to your marketing budget, even if the show fees are reasonable.
- Attendance Numbers: You can’t control who shows up for an event, so if attendee numbers are smaller than expected or feature a different demographic, you may not be able to reach the right audience at all.
- Timing: Exhibiting at or even attending a trade show takes time away from your business. In addition to the time it takes to travel to and attend the show, you’ll need to spend time preparing your exhibit, shipping your items and even contacting those prospects you hope to snag some time with on site. If you can’t afford to take time away from your daily activities, your business could suffer.
The Bottom Line
For most businesses, trade shows are a good investment, provided you attend with a clear goal in mind and an idea of how you will measure success. Attending a show because you feel like you should, or because everyone else does may not yield the best results. Regardless of your reasons for attending, following up on your connections after the show can help you boost your ROI and get the most from the experience.
Our team is dedicated with providing you with top quality products and service – and the information you need to grow your business. You can find us in person on the trade show circuit this year or connect any time with one of our sales team professionals.