If you’re building a new business from the ground up, there are a lot of different strategies you can employ to expand your client base, get noticed, and create long-lasting partnerships. When it comes to doing all three at once, there’s nothing like getting an exhibition booth at a trade show to solidify your business’s reputation. When you decide to exhibit at a trade show, you’re showing the world who you are and what you can do while letting potential clients know that you’re open for business. While building a great marketing strategy to get the word out about a new business is always a great way to boost visibility, getting a booth at a trade show is an even better way to get in some face time with new business contacts and customers. If you’re on the fence about being an exhibitor at a trade show, here are some reasons why you should take the plunge.
1. Boost Brand Visibility
While the cost of booking a trade show booth can be expensive at $5,000 a pop, the amount of brand visibility you’ll receive will be able to make that money back in no time. Not only will you be on display for hundreds, even thousands of potential new clients, you’ll be able to spread your brand imagery around by handing out free swag, encouraging your booth visitors to follow you on social media, and creating a sense of buzz around your brand. Trade shows are a great way to get people talking about your business and an even better way to get them asking questions. When setting up your booth, encourage visitors to ask you anything and engage in conversation about what you’re offering. You’ll be able to talk in a casual way about how your product or service is changing the game, and it won’t feel like an overbearing pitch.
2. Perfect Your Brand
Trade shows aren’t just a great way to get your name out there: They’re a perfect way for you to do some covert learning about the marketplace itself. When you’re at a trade show, you’re able to do research about what your competitors are doing that you’re not, or what more and more businesses are starting to offer. If you take the time to walk around and take note of your competition, you’ll be able to notice some trends that will help you re-shape your business and make it fit into the marketplace in a more competitive way. For instance, do you notice your competitors doing something interesting with their social media presence? How do you see them boosting their brand? What kind of contacts are they working with? All of this is information you can use to get a leg up in the industry.
Most brands come to trade shows for one thing above all else: Networking. Being in the same space as a ton of other brands, potential clients, and investors can be a make-or-break moment for a lot of businesses that are just starting out. It’s not just about finding the right angel investor or partner brand, either. At trade shows, you’ll be able to rub shoulders with intermediaries like brokers, marketers, sales reps, and wholesalers who will be able to take your product to the next level. If you make yourself visible, you’ll be able to show potential new team members that there’s a great opportunity for them at your company should it expand quickly. This will give intermediaries more incentive to work for you and help boost your brand.
4. Build Credibility
Even if you’ve had your business for a long time, it takes a while to become established in the eyes of investors and competitors. Attending trade shows regularly doesn’t just show the world that you have the money to invest in your business image. It shows that you’re ready to be taken seriously as a brand and that you’re ready to do the legwork it takes to get your business not just moving, but soaring. You’ll be able to present a polished, professional front and show your colleagues that you mean business.
5. Make Sales
Perhaps most importantly, trade shows will enable you to make individual sales in person, as opposed to on the phone or over email, where clients are at their most guarded. While making in-person sales takes skill and an incredibly gentle touch, being at an event like a trade show creates the perfect opportunity to pitch potential clients without seeming to come on too strong or aggressively. You’re both there to better your business: Why not make the most of it?