Is exhibiting still a viable marketing channel?

19 June, 2017

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Is exhibiting still a viable marketing channel?

With a number of exhibition benefits to be enjoyed, there is no doubt that exhibiting can be a great way to market your business. Trade shows and other exhibition related events offer a unique opportunity to connect to customers on a face-to-face level. Needless to say, this means plenty of opportunities to network and expand your audience’s knowledge. Exhibitions also offer the chance to create a major impression about your brand, bring in new leads, and enjoy a number of direct sales opportunities.

In this round up of exhibition benefits, we focus on the specific advantages offered in the way of promotion and marketing.

Exhibition Benefits for Promotion and Marketing

Some of the most notable exhibition benefits that can help you promote and market your business include the following:

1. Create an instant, lasting impression. The primary purpose of any exhibition is, of course, to showcase your products and services. The right exhibition stand can make a powerful first impression that is long-lasting and geared towards conversion. The trick to get this right is to focus on choosing the right exhibition stand that will attract attention from the very start. Ideas that you could consider include shell scheme as well as custom designed stands. You will also need to consider all the other factors that make up a 'wow' stand... lighting, branding, furniture, audio visuals, VIP booths and even project management will all make a difference when it comes to making an impression at trade shows.

2. Face-to-face marketing opportunities. Exhibitions give you the chance to meet your audience, and chat to them in person. Face-to-face marketing can be vital in the influencing of decisions. You will have the chance to engage with current and prospective customers and event attendees. This level of interaction can be a great way to get instant feedback on your products and services, while also showing prospective customers what you have to offer. On-site demonstrations and product showcases are especially effective as a form of face-to-face promotion.

3. Bringing in new leads. Exhibiting can help you bring in new leads – from your primary audience as well as audiences you may not have explored. Thanks to the large attendance rates that exhibitions typically see each year, you could potentially have thousands of people at your stand. While not all of those people will end up as leads, a large number of them will go through the lead cycle, by enquiring, and ultimately purchasing. To reap the rewards that this type of lead generation strategy has to offer, make sure that you offer an easy way to connect to your audience after the show, when the event is still fresh in their minds.

4. Direct sales opportunities. What makes exhibitions an ideal platform for direct sales is that it allows customers to connect directly to your products in an engaging way. People who attend your shows are far more likely to make a sale, as they are already primed and interested. The most effective way to encourage more direct sales is to choose events that are closely tied to your industry. For example, a home décor and lifestyle expo is a more viable choice for a business that specialises in custom made furniture, while a clothing manufacturer would be best suited to a wedding or fashion expo. It is also essential to offer something for sale at every event – even if it is only your latest product.

5. Cost-effective networking and word-of-mouth advertising. With the help of a beautifully designed custom exhibition stand, and some carefully chosen event infrastructure or technology component that further showcases your brand, you will soon catch the attention of consumers in your industry. Word-of-mouth advertising goes hand in hand with networking. Both of these are a major advantage of exhibiting. This goes back to making that powerful first impression. People remember exhibitors that stand out. They are more likely to recommend your business to friends. By taking the time to meet people, talk to visitors at your stand and network, you will continue to benefit from word-of-mouth promotion. The best part is that, after your investment in initial stand and event infrastructure, the networking costs little to nothing besides your time and effort.

6. Exhibiting can complement your other marketing efforts. Exhibiting offers an excellent opportunity for businesses wanting to implement an integrated marketing campaign. By taking advantage of online channels such as social media, as well as complementary events taking place at events, whether that is speaking at a conference, sponsoring a breakfast or organising a brand activation that links your stand to a giveaway or social media contest, there are many ways to integrate your exhibition with additional marketing efforts. This makes exhibiting even more of a powerful tool to promote your business.

Ready to find out how your business can STAND out at your next exhibition? Contact the Compex team today, for further information on how expertly custom designed stands and event infrastructure can reap the many exhibition benefits on offer.