Saturday, November 1, 2008

Should I exhibit at a trade show or just attend?

This is a question that every business owner asks themselves at one time or another. If you have never been to the type of trade show you thinking about exhibiting, then take the time to attend the show you find out the real value in showing. Why? Tradeshows can be an expensive means to advertise and you may be able to attend a show, spend minimal costs to obtain the same amount of exposure. Also, it may be tough to determine your return on investment at first glance.

If the trade show is not local you can safely assume your company will incur these costs:
Travel costs (i.e. Airfare, Car Rental, Gasoline, etc.)
Hotel Expenses
Exhibiting fees including but not limited to:
Booth costs (average 10 x 10 $1,000 or more)
Internet fees
Shipping and freight fees
Higher food costs at the event and
Personnel cost because you will need more than one person to staff the booth for breaks, etc.

By attending an event you will meet other attendees who would have been potential visitors to your booth and can interact with them by exchanging business cards and telling them about your business all the while, test the waters in terms of interest.

Typically, there is a designated area to for breaks, take several coffee or soda breaks and sit at tables where people are congregating. Talk with them; ask them how they like the event and what they do. They will undoubtedly ask you what you do and you can test out your product’s offering by discussing it with the groups. Take their input and generate from there solutions to best reach your target audience. Spend as much time as you can meeting and talking to people at this show and stay at a hotel where attendees or exhibitors are and network with as many people as possible.

Lastly, while at the show, talk to exhibitors with similar type products/ services that you offer. Before you tell them that you are contemplating getting a booth next time, casually ask if they are having good luck at the show and if it is prompting sales.

By taking all these steps you can decide if you want to exhibit the next time around with “eyes wide open” to all of the costs and the potential benefits.

Tell us how your visit to the next show goes!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC