7 Spot On Trade Show Marketing Myths

Myths are everywhere – from mythical creatures like unicorns or mermaids, lightning never strikes in the same place twice, dogs’ mouths are cleaner than our mouths – but that’s not they type of myths were talking about. Today we’re debunking a few of the most common trade show marketing myths, with a few compelling stats to back them up. Brace yourself, because it’s about to get real. 

Myth #1:
IF YOU’VE BEEN TO ONE TRADE SHOW, YOU’VE BEEN TO THEM ALL
If you agree with this statement, then your trade show marketing efforts are already in jeopardy. You’re success at a trade show has everything to do with the ability to reach the target audience interested in what you have to offer. And unfortunately if you don’t know where to reach them, it’s highly likely you aren’t getting much by attending. In your early planning process, look over the attendee and exhibitor data for any shows you’re considering attending to find out whether that show is the right one to market your brand.

84% of exhibitors say “High quality of attendees” is the most important factor when deciding whether to exhibit or expand booth size. Also, 54% say “favorable return-on-investment,” is an important factor when deciding to exhibit or expand booth size, while 50% consider “Positive past performance” and important factor. Source: CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions

Myth #2:
YOU DON’T PARTICIPATE AFTER HOURS
Trade shows are often held in some of the highly populated, most desirable cities in the US. However, you must resist the urge to wander around the city on your own time because this trip is all business and you don’t get leads by sightseeing.

About 50% of the largest 200 shows in the USA take place in just 3 cities: Las Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando. Source: TSNN.com, The Trade Show News Network

You’re there for one reason and one reason only: to develop relationships, build new contacts, and turn those contacts into customers. And every activity you undertake while there should support this goal. Attending after-hours trade show events offer a huge opportunity to network and get your name out there, but keep in mind you’re representing your company and your approach to these events should always remain professional. Consider passing on that second glass of beer or wine so you’re able to listen carefully to hear the sound of opportunity knocking.

Myth #3:
THERE’S NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT TRADE SHOW MARKETING
Many companies only consider the physical aspect of attending a trade show: setting up a booth, displaying some marketing collateral and showing a few samples of your products. This is the wrong approach. Start by understanding why you’re attending trade shows in the first place and who you’re marketing to.

45% of attendees visit only one exhibition per year. So when you exhibit at a show you will find unique prospects there you can’t reach at other trade shows. Source: CEIR Report ACRR 1152.12

You can’t just show up, stand in your booth and hand out brochures to everyone passing by. The whole point of a trade show is to engage with attendees, capture leads, and if you’ve prepared you might even meet with new prospects eager to hear more about what you have to offer. The success of your marketing efforts at any trade show takes proper planning well before the show.

Myth #4:
ANYONE CAN STAFF A BOOTH
Sending Sandy from accounting or Bob from human resources to staff your booth at a trade show might not be the best idea. Booth staffers should be energetic and excited to tell everyone about your company, products or services. To ensure you’ve chosen effective trade show booth staffers, they should be well-trained in what your goals are for each and every show. There’s nothing worse than investing time and money in a booth, incurring shipping and travel expenses, only to have your booth staff standing around and not engaging with attendees walking by.

Myth #5:
TRADE SHOWS ARE A WASTE OF TIME
Of course if you’ve been unsuccessful at trade shows in the past you may feel they are a waste of time or that they take you away from more important business at the office. Consider these stats for a moment:

According to a recent survey, more than 75% of tradeshow attendees ask for quotes at the show, more than 22% are likely to sign an agreement with an intent to order AND 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows they did not get from other marketing mediums.

Does that sound like a waste of time to you? You must always remember the outcome, whether positive or negative, has a direct correlation to the effort you put in. If you approach a show as a positive opportunity, you are more likely to get those positive results and continue reaping the benefits weeks and months after.

Myth #6:
TRADE SHOW LEADS ARE A WASTE OF TIME
We get it, leads can seem like a waste of time if: a) You ask attendees to drop their business card in a bowl to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card, b) You’re not taking notes when talking to potential customers so you can send them more information after the show, or c) You wait until a month or two after the show to contact leads. Lead quality is a direct byproduct of your pre-show planning, proper booth staff training and timely post-show followup.

The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products. 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products. It has been the number one reason to attend for 25 years! So trade shows are a great place to introduce or feature your newest products. Source: CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face

Trade shows offer a captive audience interested in your products or services. It would be a rare instance if you acquired a new lead while grabbing a cup of coffee, walking to the bathroom or chatting it up with co-workers. Lead generating takes time and a lot of patience. You have to be at the top of your game, because right after you hooked that lead they can (and will) walk down the aisle and fall right into your competitors arms.

Myth #7
SMALLER BRANDS DON’T STAND OUT AT LARGE TRADE SHOWS
You’ve heard the saying “small fish, big pond” but when it comes to trade shows, it’s every man for himself – small business or big brand. Small businesses simply need to be more strategic in their trade show marketing and when choosing the shows they attend. If budget is an issue, consider more targeted shows or smaller regional shows for now. Later on down the road, as your business grows so will your trade show budget. The opportunity to exhibit in the larger shows can be something to look forward to in the future and compete with the big guys at an even level.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Trade shows are an important aspect to your marketing strategy offering the opportunity to network with other people in your industry, form new relationships with potential clients and promote your business in a completely different way. Trade shows should simply be a way of life because it has the potential to be the lifeblood of your business.

Top 5 Trade Shows in January

It’s a new year and that means a new trade show season! To some this is an exciting time – however, to others it might seem like a daunting task choosing which trade shows would be best for your company to attend. If you’re starting from square 1, check out our  Trade Show Calendar to start your research journey. Easily narrow down your search for a specific show, specific city or state and even search for trade shows just within your industry. You’ll also find important information such as the number of attendees, number of exhibitors and even the square fottage for each of the trade shows listed. Your list of trade shows will even has a link to more information making it even easier for you to find out more information on how to sign up as an exhibitor.

Consider these TOP 5 trade shows happening this month:

International Builders’ Show
Show Dates: January 9-11, 2018
Orange County Convention Center – Orlando
Orlando, FL
IBS 2017
The International Builders’ Show is organized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and is the largest light construction building industry tradeshow in the United States.

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Kitchen/Bath Industry Show
Show Dates: January 9-11, 2018
Orange County Convention Center – Orlando
Orlando, FL
KBIS 2018
KBIS, in conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is an inspiring, interactive platform that showcases the latest industry products, trends and technologies. KBIS is the voice of the kitchen and bath industry and has been for 50 years.

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Consumer Electronics Show
Show Dates: January 9-12, 2018
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV
CES 2018
The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a major technology-related Trade Show held yearly in January in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. While the CES is not open to the public, the sponsored show is known for its preview of trendy products and new product announcements.

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SHOT Show
Show Dates: January 23-26, 2018
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV
Shot Show 2018
The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) and Conference is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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International Production and Processing Expo
Show Dates: January 30 – February 1, 2018
Georgia World Congress – Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
IPPE 2018
The International Production & Processing Expo is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind. A wide range of international decision-makers attend this annual event to network and become informed on the latest technological developments and issues facing the industry.

 

Once you’ve narrowed down your trade show selection, remember you also have to make sure your choosing the right trade show displays for your needs. Contact AffordableDisplays.com to insure your image will represent you perfectly as well.

How to Find Trade Shows FAST!

Online Trade Show Finder
Use this free online tool to find other trade shows you’ve been missing out on.
This is the biggest part of attending Trade Shows and possibly the most overlooked is Planning in Advance on where you’ll be exhibiting. Who isn’t a procrastinator now and again but planning ahead for a trade show is what will make or break it.

Sounds simple but it can be if you do your homework. If you’ve never attended a show before and want to start it will make a difference if you research the shows that will be worthwhile for you to attend. With numerous trade shows every year in the United States, there should never be a loss of places to exhibit.

Researching potential shows to find out where your company or product best fits is a must-do. We’ve taken the guesswork out of searching for other potential hot trade shows to attend.  With the use of our free online Trade Show Calendar, you’ll easily connect with finding other trade shows you’ve been missing out on.  We’ve got a completely free, always updated way to get in touch with the latest trade shows all around the USA!  It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s all FREE.

Give it a try today.  Locate the show when you want and where you want.  It’s all online so access our trade show finder from work or your home office.  It’s that easy.  Use this free online tool to find other trade shows you’ve been missing out on.

Here are a few places to start your research:
– Ask your local and area Chamber of Commerce leaders
– Contact any Associations or Organizations you belong to
– Ask friends or colleagues in the same business as you and get their advice

Good luck in your search for potential trade shows to attend!  While you’re finding new venues to exhibit at don’t forget to give some attention to your trade show booth needs as well.  If you are in need of a trade show display, or just need an updated look for your brand then take a look at our Trade Show products.  Partner with Affordable Exhibit Displays today to perfectly present your image.