What is the real value of a major event like a trade show for your company? In a recent survey done by the Exhibit & Event Marketers Association (E2MA), many businesses felt that events like trade shows were important, but struggled to actually quantify exactly why. In fact, events like trade shows are kind of in a class by themselves in terms of marketing today. The rest of the marketing that a company is likely to engage in might include radio and television advertising, online marketing and email or direct mail outreach. Trade shows are one of the few forms of marketing that still involves direct, face-to-face connection with clients and customers.
In a day and age where most of our connection seems to be through some kind of technology, whether that be a television, computer or smartphone, there is definitely something to be said for getting to actually speak with potential clients, customers and partners. A trade show booth at the next expo will provide you with a chance to do just that. The communication and networking that comes from face-to-face meeting still can’t be matched by many other forms of marketing. Companies know this intuitively, even if it isn’t articulately explicitly.
That’s why hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes spend the money each year of exhibit fabrication, transportation, staffing, lodging, exhibit set up and the rest. Let’s not kid ourselves, here. Putting on an event like a trade show is a massive undertaking. If a sincere effort is made to manage the costs intelligently, any company can come out ahead, but trade shows still aren’t commonly referred to as a low-cost affair.
However, they simply provide so much value in so many areas that a company is unwise to discount them. A trade show presence can provide a whole lot more than lead or prospect generation. It is great for public relations, provides an avenue for professional networking and development and builds confidence in your brand, not only with attendees, but within your own organization as well. For many companies a trade show booth is one of the most visual and real representations of their company’s achievements. Add this to the long list to the more tangible benefits of trade show events and the cost of exhibit fabrication and exhibit set up seem eminently reasonable.