Trade shows and exhibitions often ooze with potential to help grow and develop your business.For first-timers, the whole experience can prove to be daunting whereas others may take it in their stride. However, considering how much a stand can cost, we can all appreciate the concern of trying to get the most from our budget. In the scenario of tradeshows, there can be a substantial risk if your attendance does not translate to results.
However, there is a reason why established businesses host huge exhibition stands and it is not just a case of showing off how big their budget is. Often, these events are attended by the major figures in the industry and the show floor presents an ideal opportunity to engage and network with leaders in the field, therefore providing the opening to develop an understanding of market trends as well as tips for building a successful business.
With new organisations and attendees at every trade show, there is never one which is the same. So regardless of whether it is your first time attending or the tenth year in a row, it is important to view each exhibition as a learning curve and perhaps more importantly, to see them as an opportunity to stay ahead of your competitors. Trade shows bring together great minds as well as a wealth of different marketing strategies under one roof and they are often used to launch new initiatives and new products. So take note, which aspects can you apply to your own strategy and which do you think you can build and succeed with?If you are wary of paying a large fee to attend an exhibition then check it out first as an attendee, speak with those who already attend and gauge whether that exhibition will be right for you.
While looking up at the leading lights in your sector may amaze you at what is possible, it is well worth remembering that some of these companies are your competitors. Now, this is where exhibitions can become invaluable for your market research. As companies come together to essentially show off what they have been working on, it poses a unique opportunity to take a look into the underbelly of their techniques and a get a glimpse of the strategies they are pursuing to help their company grow over the next year. While on a day-to-day basis, the only insight you have of competitors is often restricted to their website and what you see on their social media, being able to see them in the flesh offers insight into why their strategy is working or potentially failing.
The most obvious piece of advice for anything you may be concerned about is to make sure you are ready beforehand. Make sure you are equipped with the necessities; business cards, a rough plan of exhibitors you wish to see and if you are exhibiting yourself – a great exhibition stand. This all seems a little bit generic, but it does not get any worse than meeting a potential client and then having no means to pass your details on because you left your business cards on your desk. If you do all the prep beforehand, then this helps to keep your focus on what matters and not worrying about menial matters.
An exhibition is exactly what the word suggests – it is an opportunity for companies to show what they have been working on and gain a few bragging rights. These are not the situations where rivals are furiously going head-to-head to generate the most leads. Instead they provide the platform for like-minded individuals to interact and hopefully, to begin forging partnerships which can benefit both organisations. Nerves are a given on this kind of stage, but try to enjoy yourself because you will do well to find an individual who finds a grumpy mood endearing.
If you are really looking to stay ahead of the curve, then there is one final way of really squeezing everything from the exhibition experience. Many exhibitors will hold meetings throughout the day to meet with clients who have contacted them in the run-up to the trade show. Therefore, do your research and find out whether there are any potential partners you hope to worth with or any other companies that you are interested in and set up an appointment. This way, you can set up a schedule to work around, providing you with time to look around organisations which you may not have heard of, while guaranteeing a face-to-face conversation with companies who you would like to speak to.