Questions To Ask: How Do Trade Shows Impact Marketing Programs?

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 10:36am
How Do Trade Shows Impact Marketing Programs? | Global Exhibit Management

Executive leaders may ask or question, what is the power of trade shows in the marketing program? Exhibitions are a unique selling environment and there is no substitute for face-to-face marketing. New products, services and branding, are presented to existing and new customers that generate immediate feedback that isn’t possible with an advertisement or on the internet. When budget planning time comes, be ready with information about the ROI (Return on Investment), prospects that are now customers, and clear strategies to achieve goals for the coming year.

Setting guidelines and expectations for each exhibition is the first step. Did you think about the possible results that only exhibitions can deliver, and how to measure those results? Are you exhibiting at a particular show because your company has for many years? If the show is a broad-based, perhaps spending money on a smaller show with a stronger buyer profile for your company could be a better investment. As budget money is allocated, give careful consideration to which shows will give the best return on investment. Is the space size appropriate to delivering the message- is it large enough or too big?

Social media does reach a mass audience but lacks personal interaction of face-to-face engagement that is possible at a trade show. Use social media to engage the attendees and attract them to your booth. Interaction with prospects and customers is what makes visiting your exhibit a memorable experience.

Be ready with information for negative discussions about your company’s trade show program. Utilize information from the CEIR (Center Exhibition Industry Research) recent study on exhibition metrics for ROI,   Cost – the best exhibit is not necessarily the most expensive one at a trade show. Success can be achieved in varied space sizes. It’s how your message is delivered, how the staff engages with the audience and post show follow-up are all important to achieving measurable goals. There are several display systems on the market that won’t break the bank but will create the selling platform you need. Poor Results – think about why those results were perceived as poor and take steps to correct missteps. Lack of pre-show marketing, exhibiting at the wrong show, staff not being prepare can contribute the sentiment of failure. Spend the time to research which shows are best to showcase your product, service and branding. Engage the visitors before the show with pre-show promotions and explore ideas to bring them to the exhibit. Does your exhibit design create the environment to clearly deliver the message?

Trade show marketing is as important as other elements of the marketing plan. Trade shows encourage dialog and provide customer reactions that can’t be gauged in other marketing channels. Teaching prospects and current customers about what’s new at your company is invaluable. Taking time for research and a thoughtful plan will ensure the success of your trade show program and win over executive support.When you need help planning your next trade show, contact us.