Home » Business » Marketing and Advertising

Know Your Show, Know Your Market

Aug 20, 2007
Trade show events are held in every major city, numerous times each year. Massive industry marketing campaigns are waged to entice new prospects to come view what is new for the next season. If you have never been to a major industry trade show, it is worth the price of admission to see some of the truly interesting products the vendors are marketing to their customers. Trade shows are also the best face-to-face marketing tool at your disposal.

Trade shows largely attract decision-makers with an interest in the product exhibitors are showing. Trade shows also influence the attendees' buying decisions as well as provide a point of contact for every new customer. Of the potential customers trade shows market to, they will attract on average 80 percent.

Globalization has opened many doors to brand new trade show cities and the ability to expand trade shows around the world. The biggest increases have been in India, China, and many other Asian markets.

The future of trade shows is based on more than the products the vendors are selling. Even non-trendy products can render a good turnout, if you have a good marketing plan. Your marketing plan can be the difference between a good turnout and a great turnout. One of the most important aspects of a good marketing plan is promotion. Promotions are designed to engage potential customers through personalization. There are three effective promotion concepts.

Personal contact with your targeted audience prior to the trade show event. This can include things like pre-selling tickets through phone calls, direct mail and email, personal invitations, and free giveaways, which not only introduce your product but encourage attendees to visit your booth.

Various marketing activities during the trade show that will draw potential customers to your booth. These may include a live demonstration of your product, fun hands-on activities, audio or visual programs, or free giveaways. And, if permitted, food.

Follow-ups after the trade show with the visitors to your booth. It is an essential part of turning leads into sales. Send a handwritten note with an information booklet within one week following the trade show. For your top leads, a personal phone call will go a long way toward making a lasting impression.

Trade show attendance is not what it used to be. In the past, companies would send 3 or 4 key employees to these weekend conventions. Now, the same companies are sending only 1 or 2 employees. These changes led to a significant drop in recorded attendance. However, even though the vendors have seen a drop in attendance, they have not seen a decrease in the quality of attendees.

At present, the hottest trade show trends are medical, high-tech and retail. An average trade show attendee spends approximately 8.5 hours visiting the exhibits. Those who visit medical trade shows spend an average of 7 hours looking at the exhibits; they spend 9 hours at high-tech trade shows and 10 hours visiting the exhibits at retail trade shows.

One of the great new trends for conventions is natural products. The Natural Market Place in Las Vegas is an all-natural trade show. Its a place for retailers to come in search of herbals, organics, sports nutrition, raw materials, natural and green home products and much more. Society is beginning to take back their health and trade shows with a natural theme are a great place for them to see what is out there.

Las Vegas is known as the king of conventions with 19 percent market share. Second is Chicago at 13.5 percent, followed by Orlando with 8.5 percent. Las Vegas is home to 6 of the top 10 trade show 200 events. Fifteen years ago, the industry trend was to build the biggest box and fill it with events. Las Vegas has been successful in doing just that.

What does the future hold for trade shows? Some trade show enthusiasts speculate that if trade shows begin to decline it will be due to the vendors own failure to effectively market and capitalize on the industry opportunities that are made available to them each year. Professional and well-trained trade show staffs are an essential part of your success before, during, and after the event.
About the Author
Lowell Nickens has been in the trade show industry for 27 years as decorating contractor, exhibit builder, and he currently markets trade show and architectural signage through three websites. Interested in exhibits, signage , or displays ? Visit his websites for more information.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 190
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories