Exhibiting at trade shows and other industry events can be incredibly effective in promoting your tech business. Trade shows are fantastic networking opportunities, as well as generating leads and helps in building your business’ brand. However, it is essential to choose the right trade show for your business. There are hundreds, if not thousands of exhibition options available, with varying strengths and weaknesses. Attending a trade show can be costly in terms of not just financial investment, but also time and staff resources, therefore it is critical to choose wisely.
It is not just enough to visit a popular trade show. For grabbing maximum outcome, these trade shows will definitely render the best opportunities to the business folks. You must carry out some essential homework in order to prepare for the trade show exhibition. It is necessary to list out all the possible reasons to exhibit the products at a trade show. It is also crucial to find out the best trade shows that could enhance your business as well as the target audience. Here are some of the best tips and tricks to choose a precise exhibition in a wise manner. Have a glimpse!
Top 5 Tips to Pick the Right Exhibition for your Business
Expanding one’s business definitely requires some sort of advertisement and promotions. To promote any business, the owners need to have the best platform for exhibiting their product to the public. The thing is that business owners need to look forward to the right place to exhibit their goods and services in the vast world. See our top 5 tips below for choosing the right exhibition for your tech business.
Set a Budget
Before you make a decision on which exhibition to attend, you will first need to set your budget. Confirm the budget you have available for the project, and then allocate maximum costs for all aspects, including exhibition fees. If you are on a tight budget, this may restrict which shows you are able to attend.
Budgets will vary depending on your business and the event, however essential items for any trade show budget include the following:
- Exhibiting space rental
- Other fees associated with the exhibiting space, such as service fees
- Booth/exhibit design and manufacture
- Warehousing and storage
- Promotions and Marketing
- Staffing costs, including staff travel and overtime/temporary staff.
It is important to stick within your budget, however, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily rule out good options because they are too expensive. If you are set on attending a trade show which you feel is out of your budget, consider whether you can cut down on other project costs. Companies like Fret free productions can help you with budget booth design options to minimize expenses.
Once you have set your budget, continue to update it as your project rolls out. Note down the actual costs of items, and be sure to be vigilant in tracking all expenses related to the exhibition. After the show has completed, review the budget against final expenditure: did you stick to the budget? If not, was this due to factors outside of your control or are there ways to avoid this in future? This will let you assess whether the show has a good return on investment (ROI) and whether you should repeat this in the future.
Check In Your Goals
As with any project, you should have clearly defined goals and objectives. Outline what you are hoping to achieve by attending the event – whether it is driving leads and sales, launching a new product, building brand awareness, growing or firming up your customer base, or all of the above.
Make objectives as specific as possible, and wherever you can attach specific figures or numbers to them. For example, you may want to gather a certain number of new contacts, generate a certain number of new sales leads, or even achieve a certain figure in product sales.
This will make it easier to assess the event’s success against these objectives afterward. Assessing the event’s performance after it is complete is important so that you can decide whether to conduct similar activities in the future and whether any adjustments should be made to your approach next time.
Once you have set your goals, use these as a guide to all decisions you make regarding your exhibition. What you are trying to achieve will dictate what your booth looks like, how many staff members you will bring with you, what kind of staff should attend (for example sales, product development or customer service) and your marketing strategy.
Most particularly, this will strongly influence which show or shows you should attend. When considering a particular trade show, critically assess it against your predefined goals and objectives. Will, this show makes it easy, difficult or impossible for you to meet your goals? Find the show or shows which most closely match your goals and objectives.
Ask Your Network
Seeking advice from others who have attended a particular trade show in the past, or shows in general is another useful way to establish which show is right for your business. Ask your colleagues, contacts, and competitors which trade shows they have attended, and how they felt about them.
Questions to ask could include:
- What were your overall impressions of the show?
- What did you like about it?
- What didn’t you like about it?
- How many sales leads did the show generate for you, and were they quality leads?
- Were the fees reasonable and were you surprised by any “hidden” fees or costs?
Of course, just because one show is suitable for another company doesn’t mean the same will apply to your business. However, by building a clear picture of the event’s strengths and weaknesses you will be able to assess these against your own goals for the event and know whether it is right for you.
Investigate Event History and Details
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential trade shows, find out as much as you can about the events. Check the list of other confirmed exhibitors (or exhibitors at past shows if this is not yet available) – are they relevant to your customer base? Are all or most of your major competitors exhibiting?
Look into the event history: if it is an established show that has been running for many years, this can be a good indicator. However, also check the event’s reputation to see if it is well regarded.
Finally, check what press opportunities will be associated with each event, including checking the media attendees registered for this year as well as those who attended in previous years. Some shows also offer the possibility of associated seminars and sponsorship opportunities. All of these can be important, along with a strong digital marketing strategy, to make the most of your attendance at the exhibition.
Evaluate the Event’s Audience
Much of knowing whether a trade show or exhibition event is right for your business comes down to the attendees. It is imperative to attend shows which are frequented by your target audience. Compare your target audience with the profile of attendees in previous years, which is information you should be able to get from the trade show’s website. Otherwise, you can get in touch with the production company responsible for the exhibition and request this information.
You should already have an idea of your target audience, but if not, now is a good time to define it! Start by looking at your current customer base: what are the demographics, individual characteristics and purchasing patterns of your current customers? Think about recent success stories of big sales or important clients.
Also, consider your ideal customer profile. What would your perfect customer look like and what are their characteristics and demographics? Is there a type of customer who would be great for your business: for example a customer who is more likely to buy your most expensive products, or who will represent repeat business and return to buy your products on a regular basis. If you are currently not reaching this customer, or not as much as you would like, you may prioritize this as your target audience over your existing customer base.
Finally, assess whether your target audience for exhibitions is the same as your business’ overall target audience. It may be that trade shows are the perfect opportunity to reach a particular sub-group or segment of your target audience. If so, make sure the particular trade show you choose is well suited to this group.