Along with conventional advertising and below the line activities, organizations and corporate bodies have come to realize that they need to invest in trade shows in order to create maximum recall for their product or brand name. There are several benefits to participating in a trade show. Some of them are:
A trade show offers the manufacturer a direct platform to interact with the very people who will be making purchasing decisions. Most purchasing managers of corporations make it a point to attend trade shows relevant to their needs in order to evaluate a wide range of products and services, all under one roof. If offers them variety, at a fraction of the time regular meetings with sales personnel form all those companies ever could. If this is the reason why they visit trade shows, isn’t it obvious that your product or service needs to be showcased in the trade show as well?
Two, trade shows offer all manufacturers a level playing field. Of course it may not seem like this as some manufacturers have bigger spaces with far better stalls and displays, but at the heart of it all, a trade show is where conventional competitors come together to provide the end user with the best possible information to make a purchasing judgement.
Three, trade shows provide manufacturers, especially relatively unknown ones, with a readymade audience that is focused, targeted and in the best frame of mind to make a purchasing decision. As far as targeted advertising goes, a trade show is by far the most effective way to reach the target audience.
A trade show also allows for demonstrations. Conventional print advertising is not interactive and showing demonstrations on television could prove really expensive and not worth the investment. But in a trade show, a demonstrations is almost a pre-requisite. I still remember a heavy machinety trade show I had the opportunity to attend. On one hand, there was Ingersoll-Rand with their range of diggers, back hoes and dump trucks. On the other hand, there was caterpillar with their ‘Cat’ range of equipment. Elsewhere, Komatsu had lined up their state-of-the-art equipment. Being able to see all these equipment on display, performing actual tasks that they were created for gave not only me, but all other purchasing managers there an unforgettable demonstration. You can be sure that when the time to take a decision arrived, we had no problems in picking our personal preferences!
But not all trade shows are effective. It is a sad part of the competitive world we live I that several fly-by-night operators have entered the trade show industry. Out to make a quick buck, these unscrupulous operators try and organize events and trade shows that neither have a reputation, nor attract manufacturers with one. As a result, the gullible manufacturers who invest time, money and effort in these trade shows, lose a lot. The best way to stay clear of such operators is to stick with trade show organizers who have a proven track record, are reliable and provide you with measurable service.
Online and offline organizations like the National Trade Productions and the Trade Show Exhibitors Association of America (www.tsea.org) offers several tips and guidelines on how you can get the maximum value from your investment in trade shows. By linking organizations and individuals involved with trade shows and the trade events businesses, these associations enable a connected trade show exhibitor’s world where each and every member can learn from the collective experience of all the members. Where applicable or necessary, local chapters also exist and provide the same services to exhibits on a local scale. You can never go wrong if you follow the simple guidelines these associations offer.