Trade shows are an effective way for businesses to network with prospects and gain new sales opportunities. A custom trade show exhibit design will help you stand out from your competitors, but exhibiting at the right trade show or marketing events is the first step to effectively increasing brand awareness across a broader segment of the market. Your custom design process should include trade show ROI consultation to ensure you’re setting the right goals to maximize success for your brand.
Use these tips to increase your odds at choosing the best trade show events and setting the best goals for your company.
Determine Your Trade Show Goals
Your first step is to define your objectives for your trade show program.
- Is the goal to get publicity and increase brand awareness?
- Do you want to promote your company as an innovative, industry leader?
- Are you trying to introduce current and potential customers to a new product you are launching?
- Are you looking for new partners for the next ground-breaking project on the drawing boards?
- Do you want to gather leads and influence people to purchase?
- Is it one, or maybe some combination of all of the above?
Do Your Homework on What Each Show Offers
The best way to evaluate a show’s potential for your brand is to gather as much information as possible. Look for statics or demographics on past shows and identify previous show participants. Obtaining a prospectus from the show organizer or better yet, an audit of the most recent show, will assist in determining whether the show is a good fit for your program.
To evaluate the quality of attendees, you must first identify your market. Defining the target audience you seek to reach by using the following descriptive hierarchy will provide a guide as you evaluate shows:
- Industry or Market Segment (ex: Construction)
- Company Type (ex: Aggregate Paving, Demolition)
- Company Size (ex: $1+ million in revenue)
- Functional Responsibility (ex: Executive)
- Title (CFO)
If it is a trade show you have not participated in before, speaking to past exhibitors and attendees or reading posts on the event’s Facebook page will provide insight as to whether the information provided by show management is accurate. If your company has previously exhibited at the trade show, run the numbers based on ROI to determine if it is effective at meeting both corporate objectives and goals for your trade show program.
Look at Location and Timing of the Trade Show
As an event marketer, you’re likely to have more trade show opportunities than your budget will allow, so you’ll have to be judicious in deciding which ones to put on the calendar. If there are other events scheduled at the same time of the trade show, will this have an impact on attendance numbers? Geographic location factors heavily into a trade show’s potential, because around half of the show’s attendees are typically within a 200-mile radius of the show’s location. If a show’s location falls outside of your distribution area, you may want to select an alternative that includes your target audience. You may also want to exhibit at fewer shows, but with a larger footprint to make a larger impression.
Find the Right Space for Your Custom Trade Show Exhibit
Once you’ve identified the best trade shows for your brand, you’ll want to choose the best space for your custom trade show exhibit. Drawing the right traffic to your exhibit affects the success or failure of your marketing program. Familiarize yourself with the floor plan to choose the right space for your exhibit and then work with a custom design house to create an exhibit that is a magnet for attendees.
Exhibitus makes your company’s success our top priority. We’ll work with you on your custom exhibit to ensure it speaks to your brand and draws attendees over to your space. Contact us today to speak with one of our team members to get started on your custom trade show design or with our Results Division if you are looking to evaluate attending the right shows for your program.