How to Profit from Due Diligence on Trade Show Planning and Budgeting

Exhibiting at trade shows is a big investment of time, effort and money. It needs to pay off in measurable results.

What makes trade shows so appealing as a marketing tool is the ability to conduct face-to-face marketing, to design a display that reflects well on your brand image and to staff your exhibit with your best representatives. Where else can you find so many potential customers in person in one place?

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), in their study, Purchase Process and Customer Relationships, found, “The ‘sweet spots’ for exhibitions lie in the pre-purchase and post-purchase relationship management phases. More than a majority of exhibitors and attendees assign high importance to interacting face-to-face at exhibitions at all pre-purchase stages. Many attendees also place high importance on interacting for the purpose of maintaining relationships with vendors after they buy, with 63 percent of attendees assigning high importance and 76 percent of exhibitors.

“When it comes to settings for face-to-face interactions at exhibitions, the most preferred are one-on-one interactions. Over half of attendees, 56 percent, and over two-thirds of exhibitors, 67 percent, rank this setting number one. No other setting comes close for top ranking, with product demonstrations the second most mentioned by 20 percent of attendees and 19 percent of exhibitors. “

It is clear that attendees to trade shows are serious about purchasing and solidifying vendor relationships. The key to success is matching your business objectives to your target market and show selections, while maximizing your budget.

Step 1.  Match your business objectives to your trade show marketing efforts.

Trade show marketing should be tied to overall sales and marketing objectives, as well as the strategy of the business itself.

You can focus your trade show efforts on your strategy by asking questions such as:

·         What are we looking to achieve with our trade show marketing efforts – increase awareness, generate leads, change perception, etc.?

·         How do we want to be perceived in the marketplace?  How would we like a customer to describe our company and our products?

·         Who is our target audience, the size of their business, and their professional titles? What shows do they attend?

·         What measureable results can we expect to accomplish at each trade show?

With your business objectives in mind, you can narrow down your trade show schedule to concentrate on those shows that best reach your target audience.

– See more at: TSNN

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