As the pervasiveness of the digital world has evolved, there have been predictions that face-to-face activities, such as in-person meetings between colleagues in different geographies, or trade show attendance that requires a plane ride, would no longer be necessary.
However, over the past four years, global business travel has continued to climb six percent annually, and growth is forecasted to be around seven percent in both 2019 and 2020. For the exhibition industry, research forecasts that the industry has now entered an expansion phase that will persist for several years.
Although digital access does have the advantage of “any time and place,” in-person meetings, whether in a conference room or on a trade show floor, continue to be a foundation of business success. It is during these times that relationships are built, goodwill is generated and trust is earned. This is because we do business with people, not entities.
If a company has planned appropriately, a targeted attendee visiting its trade show exhibit will leave with a sense of the company’s focus, perspective and personality. A positive trade show experience has the power to create a lasting, favorable impression of what a company can deliver and entice attendees to further their relationship with the company.
As with most corporate activities, the ultimate goal of exhibiting at a trade show is to support the company’s desired level of revenue growth. But contributions to this success can come from various sources, such as the following:
- Brand Awareness – A brand is the definition people hold in their minds of your company and the products it offers. Brand is built by what a company says about their offerings and by what customers experience.
- Lead Generation – Having targets all in one place is special, but often lead generation is thought to be the ONLY goal of a trade show. It is important to set realistic goals for sales leads, while also planning appropriate support for the other contributors of success.
- Customer Engagement and Upsell – Retaining and growing existing customers is an effective way to increase sales. By engaging these important attendees, additional brand loyalty can be cultivated, and a sense of partnership around products and services offered can be established.
- Education – As customers and prospects learn more about your company and offerings, they gain a greater level of confidence in a long-term relationship with a company. Imparting valuable knowledge is key to greater understanding, and success. These face-to-face interactions build a true sense of a shared mission.
As you develop your strategic plan for your trade show program, remember to consider how to best support and then measure the contribution of these sources. For more information about developing a strategic plan that delivers measurable results for your trade show program, contact Exhibitus’ Result Division today.