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The ROI of Exhibiting – The Seen and Unseen


In today’s economy, every dollar counts and any investment must return measurable benefits to your business.   Because of this, you need to strategically focus your marketing efforts to achieve the biggest bang for the lowest buck.  In evaluating your business and which marketing efforts will best benefit your company, consider trade show exhibiting.

There will be some initial costs that may seem overwhelming at first, especially if this is your first time.  However, exhibiting, if done right, will be an investment that pays off exponentially in ways both seen and unseen.

The Seen

Sales

If your product or service is one that you can “sell” during a trade show, you should ensure that you have a point of purchase at your trade show exhibit.  While you have people’s attention at your display and have them excited about your company, make the sell right then before your competitors can steal them away.  The nature of the personal interaction that comes from trade shows provides the perfect opportunity to close deals and make sells that would not have normally occurred.

Contacts

A trade show creates the ideal environment for collecting contact information.  Attendees have chosen to attend the event, so they are open-minded and ready to hear what you have to say.  Because of this, they are much more inclined to give you their information for a follow-up.  It is also advantageous to offer some kind of contest or give-away as an incentive to leave you with their information.

Referrals

Even if an attendee is not personally in need of what your company offers, chances are they know someone who would be interested.  The benefit of being able to talk and develop that personal relationship with such a diverse gathering of potential customers is that you reap the benefits of their social network, as well.  If you make a good impression, then they will likely refer people to you and you to them.

The Unseen

Creating Buzz

If you invest in a quality and creative display, you will get people talking about your business.  Take advantage of the services of a good exhibit company that will work with you to understand you needs.  This will allow them to ensure that your presence at the trade show is memorable and unique.  By doing this, you will stand out above your competition, make a lasting impression with your customers, and stake a claim in your market.  Pro tip:  If you don’t have the budget to purchase a trade show exhibit, many exhibit companies have rental exhibits that you can use for a fraction of the price.  This will still give you that professional appearance without the high upfront cost.

Branding

The value of branding your company cannot be underestimated.  The more your product or service is recognized and associated with your company, the more powerful your presence is in your market.  At a trade show, people have the chance to see your logo and colors reinforced throughout your display, to associate you (and the impression you make) with your company, and to take home a giveaway with your branding as a continual reminder.  It is also critical to continue branding after the event through your social media avenues and online marketing.  Checkout the post “Using Online Brand Management to Help Your Small Business Succeed” on this site for some great info on branding that directly translates to trade show exhibiting.

Research

If you are displaying at a trade show, then so are your competitors.  Where else will you have an opportunity to scope out your competition at one time in one location?  You can see what they’re offering, how attendees are responding, and then reevaluate your approach in order to stand out above them, both during the event and after.  On this same note, you have a chance to discuss with your customers and research their needs in order to tailor your services and marketing to most effectively reach them.

If done correctly, exhibiting at a trade show is a wise and profitable investment for any business owner.  Even if not seen immediately, you will reap benefits during and after the event in ways that other marketing efforts fail or fall short.  Consider the possibilities of this strategic and successful method of reaching your market!

Do you have any questions about trade shows?  or any tips and advice? Let us know in the comments, and I’ll answer any questions you may have!