Why are companies joining the trade show bandwagon? One of the major reasons for continuing trade show popularity is the opportunities for personal contact and observing innovations in business products and services. In an era of impersonal electronic communication, trade shows offer face-to-face meetings that are critical for companies to compete in an ever-changing marketplace.
The size of the trade show display industry is impressive, and it is growing. According to the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA), 51 million people attended trade shows last year in the United States. There were more than 13,000 trade shows in the nation, with 1.2 million companies exhibiting. This is a testimony to the tremendous value in networking and being able to demonstrate new products, with attendees able to interact with them. Trade shows connect buyers to sellers and people to people in a way that virtual marketing can never achieve.
Here are five compelling reasons why trade show displays across the U.S. are successful:
1. Networking with the right people at the trade show.
You get to see and be seen. You meet your clients and client prospects face-to-face and get instant feedback. This is certainly good news, since there has been a dramatic business shift to online marketing, home offices, smaller field sales forces, and the depersonalization of the sales function. With e-commerce dominating the business process, cell phones, email communications, and Web commerce, there are fewer opportunities for face-to-face business development.
The realization that relationships drive commerce has forced companies to view trade shows as key opportunities for personal encounters. And research shows that two or three days of dealing directly with decision-makers in a trade show exhibit environment can cut the cost and time of closing deals by as much as 50%.
2. Showcase your company’s new products and innovations.
Trade shows draw massive attention to new products and get them seen by the right people. At a trade show, your booth staff can help educate attendees on your company’s array of products and services and walk prospects through the decision-making process. People need to see and feel new products because it helps build business relationships.
3. Expand business by reaching the people who make purchasing decisions for their businesses.
Trade shows attract decision-makers, influence purchasing decisions, provide a point of contact for new customers, and make lasting impressions.
4. Achieve brand exposure and identity enhancement.
Exhibitors think of trade show displays as the grand launch of their most valued new products or business services. They are excellent opportunities to give customer prospects your best, most memorable, and consistent look to increase brand exposure.
5. Learn about the new trends in your industry.
You can bet that at a trade show you will learn what the “buzz” is in your own industry and watch what attracts prospects’ interest.
The trade show exhibit industry continues to grow, and the added value of this personal prospecting environment suggests continued growth.