Each year, thousands of trade shows are held around the world for a wide range of business industries, as well as niches. Some of these are very small shows with local or regional attendance, and others are huge affairs that attract attendees from across the country and beyond. As a business owner, you can benefit significantly by hosting a booth at trade shows. However, the last thing you want is to spend time and money hosting a booth that generates minimal results for you. You can better choose the right trade shows to attend by focusing your attention on these points.
Focus on Other Companies That Will Be Exhibitors
Whether you have a smaller or larger business, it is critical to know which other companies will be showcased at the event. If your primary competitors will be in attendance, it is critical that you also have a presence at the show. Ideally, you will even have a booth set up very close to your competitions’ booths. This ensures that you get the same recognition that they benefit from at the event and gives you the opportunity to show off your benefits to win business.
Determine How Many Attendees Will Be Present
Trade shows give you an excellent opportunity to generate leads, but only when attendance is worthwhile. All trade shows will provide you with stats regarding previous years attendance, current registered attendees and projected attendance. In a smaller trade show, you can expect most or all attendees to at least see your both and hopefully stop by. In a larger trade show, there is a chance that some attendees may not make it all the way to your booth.
Explore Attendee Demographics
While numbers matter, it is important to dig a little deeper. Ask the trade show organizer for information about projected demographics. For example, will key decision makers be at the event? What types of businesses will be in attendance? If your niche is a direct consumer, are their demographics available about their age, gender, occupation or income level? These factors may help you to better determine if your target audience will be in attendance.
Analyze the Return on Investment
You also need to examine all aspects of cost associated with hosting a booth. Consider the exhibition fees, your travel fees, hotel and food expenses, the cost to develop a booth and marketing materials for the trade show and more. Then, estimate the number of leads you reasonably expect to generate from the event, how you plan to use those leads repeatedly for various marketing endeavors and how many leads you believe you can convert. In some cases, leads will make a purchase at the event allowing exhibitors to turn a direct profit immediately. In other cases, exhibitors find that a specific trade show actually lost them money. It’s most important to observe these metrics beforehand, as most of us aren’t starting a small business because we’ve just won the lottery, but rather are trying to build something that is uniquely our own. The last thing we want to do is lose money on what should be a great growth opportunity.
The decision to host a booth at top industry events is often easy to make, but smaller events can also be lucrative. Take time to analyze these points as you plan your trade show marketing efforts for the coming months.