Showcasing your business and uncovering trends
A trade show or exhibition is an exhibition organised so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities.
Trade shows were established in late medieval Europe, in the era of merchant capitalism. In this era, produce and craft producers visited towns for trading fairs, to sell and showcase products. The number of trade shows held has exploded with the US for example, holding over 10,000 trade shows every year.
The benefits of trade shows include:
- Improves awareness – It helps build brand, awareness of products, and improves name recognition.
- Gain new customers – Trade shows are a major method for lead generation for business-to-business companies. They are superefficient as the exhibitor can talk to a lot of potential clients at the one spot, thus saving travel costs and travel time.
- Networking – Network with industry suppliers, employees, competitors, and participants. It is a good opportunity to find out what is happening in the industry and gain the ‘industry gossip’. Who is doing well, who is retiring, and who is going broke.
- Build alliances and partnerships with competitors and suppliers.
- See current customers – This is the most efficient way to see your current customers face-to-face. It provides the opportunity to display new products, up-sell customers on other products, and check customer rapport is continuing to grow.
Trade shows involve a considerable marketing investment in space rental, construction of trade show displays, networking, travel, accommodation cost, and promotional literature. To reduce costs many trade shows are happening on-line and these events are called virtual tradeshows.