The trade show is a combination of 2 essential elements: trade which means sales and show which means marketing and PR.
It’s an occasion held by organizations of the specific marketplace to showcase, establish, or talk about their own most recent products or solutions. Tradeshows usually are available just for people who have enrolled by themselves, corporation agents, and press of course.
Trade show marketing is another type of traditional marketing, but with time and technological development, it has evolved itself.
WHAT’S IN IT
There’s not much about the history of trade show marketing, but did you know that the concept of trade shows began more than 160 years ago. The beginning can be traced to the ancient bazaars of the middle east in the 4th century.
On May 1, 1851, the first trade show ever held was The Great Exhibition at Hyde Park in Central London in a beautifully structured building known as the Crystal Palace, the opening celebration was held by Queen Victoria herself, and this trade show was attended by 5 million people.
This first trade show provided a platform for many businesses for displaying their products.
From the 20th century, so lots of businesses came to presence who specialised in controlling commerce demonstrates, including Embarq C-Reative.
In 1963 Dick Swandby developed key performance metrics techniques for the exhibitors to calculate their ROI, and in 1975 the world’s first portable display was patented by Ted Zeigler to help the brands and marketers exhibit profoundly.
By the 21st century, this industry has shown drastic changes and developments, but one thing remained the same and, i.e., the core of people sharing knowledge with people.
Certainly, these trade shows have now become commonplace for the exhibitors and businesses to showcase their innovation and creativity. Thousands of trade shows are held every year, like in the U.S 10000 trade shows are held every year.
Effective Strategies for Trade Show Marketing
Determine trade show goals:
Goals define the results; it describes the purpose of doing something. Firstly, before executing or making a plan for your trade show, you must identify your goals, what is the main objective of doing the trade show as having a clear vision before starting anything will make sure that the trade show will succeed.
For instance, the goal for some companies may be sales-specific like to generate leads or to increase the target-rich contacts, for some the goal may be to make the products known to as many people as possible or maybe a combination of both the goals.
Just keep in mind that the goal you set up should be SMART i.e
Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Result-oriented, Time-bound.
For example, if your goal is to make sales, be specific about it like “My goal is to make 15 sales within the 1st day of the trade show”. Don’t be a daydreamer; be realistic.
Find a suitable trade show event:
Secondly, after setting up goals, you must determine for whom are you preparing the trade show. There may be two types of trade shows are:
For example, a company that makes robots can host a trade show for their industry, or they can also invite the ideal audience in their trade show.
But it is recommended nowadays to cover both the areas as that way it will help the company to keep up with their industry news and as well as it will help them to position themselves in front of the ones who will purchase their products.
Plan far in advance:
As we know, the last minute preparation always causes a mess. That’s why you should plan a trade show; it takes not one or two months but six or maybe one year is needed to plan out a trade show because it is a very big event and it isn’t easy.
It is a strategic process and consists of three events: pre-show, during-show, and post-show. Plan everything, including your budget, conduct thorough research, run a cost-benefit analysis, etc.
There are many things included before you start the show and they are known as the pre-show events. They are:
Firstly, advertising or spreading out a word of the event is a must to make the people of your industry and the public in general aware of your trade show. How you can do so:
1. Social Media
In this era of the internet, social media provides a great platform for everyone. For instance, there are various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, What’s App, etc.
You can run ads on these social media platforms, create your page on these platforms, search hashtags related to your event, and post about the show on your page using those hashtags.
2. Blog/Website promotion
Your company may have a website, you can let the visitors know about your trade show through it, and you can also develop a blog about the event and link the blog to the event’s registration page which will help to increase traffic.
3. Direct mail
Mailing your contacts to let them know why they should attend the event can help you a lot or handing out hand-written letters or notes can be a creative idea to pursue someone.
The most important thing for the trade show is the booth display. Firstly, the location of a booth plays a vital role in the success of the trade shows.
After that, choose a booth location where high traffic and engagement opportunities will be more.
Secondly, the attractiveness of your booth is very important. Creatively setting up your booth can attract more prospects towards your booth. Some of the creative ideas are:
1. A pop-up tent which provides a more intimate environment.
2. Make your booth camp interactive.
3. If you have the budget, blow your attendees’ minds by designing an eye-catching, sleek, and big booth.
4. Use virtual reality.
5. Let them test the products.
Not only these use your creativity and be in trend.
During the show strategies:
During the trade show, you can do many things to attract visitors and convert them into customers.
The pre-show will only let them know about the happening of the event, but there will be more than one booth.
So to attract the visitors during the show strategies is a must. Some strategies include:
1. Be a speaker.
2. Product information handouts.
3. Promotional product giveaways.
4. Merchandise and point sale interaction.
Take rests for a while and be ready with a cup of coffee/tea because the show is over, not your work. xhibitoThere are a few strategies you need to follow after the show is over and they are:
1. The teams need to meet up and evaluate the leads and customers they gained during the show. Make a list of the ones who made purchases, of who entered a contest with their business cards and the ones who visited and communicated with them.
2. Above all, do not forget to contact those mentioned on your list. Ask them some questions politely for instance: Did you like the product? How was the show? etc.
After that, send them an email of thank you and for those who couldn’t make it up to send a message of “sorry, we missed you”.
There are many other ways to be in touch with your attendees. Just be sure to first identify those who are interested and then keep up with them. Post your after-trade content on your blog and social media.
Lastly, measure your results with the goals that you have set up for your show.
Difference between some similar terms related to trade show marketing
People often get confused with these terms and use them interchangeably, but there’s a slight difference between them though the core is the same to display the products.
As the name itself suggests, it is an event where companies of a specific industry gather together to display, discuss and demonstrate their new products or services, and also to study the market trends and opportunities.
Trade shows are generally meant for B2B events, they do not remain open for the general public, only the company representatives, industry officials, and media are allowed to attend them. It also provides a networking platform for professionals.
On the other hand, trade fairs are generally B2C or Business to clients or customers type of events.
The sole purpose of these fairs is not only to demonstrate or showcase their products but also to market or sell them to the prospects.
And it is not only for one specific industry, but companies from 2-3 industries can participate in this event. Usually, it lasts up to 3-5 days, maybe longer sometimes.
Exhibitions are primarily held for the main objective of showcasing products or services rather than selling or marketing the product.
Exhibitions are usually held for one industry at a time e.g. Art Exhibitions where paintings of famous painters are showcased to show their talent.
Expo or Exposition is a mixture of both Trade show and an Exhibition, which means like an exhibition it is open to the public, but like a trade show event, it is focused on business networking as well.
They are large scale events with many industries participating even internationally. They get a lot of government support and government exhibitors as well.
Some Major Trade Shows
|AgQuip||Agriculture||100,000 in 2005|
|Arab Health||Healthcare||102,666 in 2017|
|SIAL Paris||Food Industry||150,258 in 2010|
|ITB Berlin||tourism||149,776 in 2008|
|Gamescom||Video games||350,000 in 2017|
|Euroflora||Flower show||730,000 in 1986|
|Comic Market||Comics||550,000 in summer 2008|
|Kolkata InternationalBook Fair||Books||2,000,000 in 2010|
|BAUMA||Construction||620,000 in 2019|
|Geona International boat show||boats||236,322 in 2008|
|high point market||furniture||70,000-80,000|
In short, there are some benefits of trade show marketing that companies or brands want to get benefited from like: increased awareness, improved customer relationships, higher conversion rates, brand building, and many more.
To sum up, trade shows are evolving from a boring place for people to meet up to a fun place where many innovations take place.
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