Trade shows – benefit even when not exhibiting
Benefit even when not exhibiting in Trade-shows
There is an opinion today, especially among the crowd that is associated with online marketing, where they say that trade shows are pretty much deceased and that they have become more obsolete than the steam engine.
In reality, trade shows are doing perfectly fine and they are still a fantastic way to increase the penetration of your brand on the market, as well as make new contacts and more, according to this comprehensive report by the Exhibit Surveys Inc. Trade shows are still attended by most of the largest players in any industry and they can be an invaluable source of information and knowledge, even for business owners, entrepreneurs and startup owners who are still not exhibiting.
As we have already mentioned, a truly great trade show (you will also need to make sure you are in the right place) will be attended by the professionals from the industry who have already made a name for themselves and who may be exhibiting their products and/or services. You can easily approach them at trade shows because they expect people to approach them. Ask them what they have done to make it that far. Ask them if they have advice for someone who is just starting off. Play to their ego and they will reveal a lot.
You may also talk to people who are in the same situation as you are, perhaps a step ahead. You can make friends with them, see what their experiences have been up to that point; check whether they have some insight that you might have missed out on. Be friendly. Talk to people.
Checking out the competition
At any given trade show in your industry, you will find a huge number of your direct competitors who may be a bit ahead of you and who have already had significant (or less significant) success. Visit their exhibition booths, pretend that you are just an ordinary visitor and see what they do. See how they are attracting customers and clients. See how they do the work that you also plan on doing. In addition to this, you can learn a lot about actual exhibiting at a trade show, something that you might want to do in the future, when your business grows. Be investigative and sly.
Attending lectures and such
At most trade shows, there will also be a section where the most successful people from a certain industry will hold lectures, seminars or simple meet-ups where you can listen to what they have to say and where you can hear a lot about their success and how they achieved it. You will have the chance to attend lectures where you may learn a ton of new stuff about a field and the industry that you thought you knew all about.
In short, it pays off to visit trade shows in your industry. You can learn so much and you can see what other people are doing; many of them far ahead of you and more successful than you are at the moment. All of the information and knowledge that you will gather, as well as the connections that you make will only benefit you down the road.
James Burbank has years of professional experience in trade shows and traditional marketing in general and he loves sharing his knowledge and experiences. This article was written in collaboration with experts from NVP, exhibition displays firm from Sydney. Check out James on Twitter.