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  • Frank Gussoni

The Pros and Cons of Trade Show Investments

Exhibiting your products or services at trade shows can add value to your business. You can meet directly with potential customers and generate sales leads. However, success is not always guaranteed and there are some substantial costs involved. You need to consider some of the pros and cons before you decide to invest your time and your money.

One of the biggest advantages of exhibiting at industry events is that it is a good way to raise your profile and generate brand awareness. As well as taking a stand at an event, there are usually other advertising and sponsorship opportunities. It’s an opportunity to get your product or service in front of a relevant audience that may not yet know about it.

Meeting face-to-face with potential customers is a great way to start building relationships. Trade shows are a great way to meet potential new customers and suppliers and to learn more about your competitors.

Exhibitors can introduce new products or services and explain what you’re offering in person. And the opportunity to answer questions is ideal if your product is innovative. Meeting with potential customers at an exhibition also helps you to start building your marketing lists and generate more qualified sales leads.

The networking component is also a big advantage. Trade Shows often also have a business socializing element which provides receptions, morning teas, lunch events, and evening cocktails and dinners. The shows are just as much about people as they are about products and brands.

Although there are many advantages to attending or exhibiting at trade shows, there are also some disadvantages. The first of which is the cost. You may have to pay for the shipping of equipment, stand space, stand design and build, electricity, as well as travel and accommodation for staff. You may even need to invest in staff training for your products and services. Expenses will obviously vary by show, the production and build, the space necessary to accommodate your exhibit, and the distance to travel as necessary. But it is likely that your competitors will also be exhibiting at the event. And you'll want to stand out from them to get the attention of potential customers. Despite the time and expenses that come with exhibiting, you’re never guaranteed any sales leads.

If a trade show is poorly attended, this can make the investment even more difficult to recoup, let alone generate more business. Every trade show is different, so be sure to conduct the proper research prior to signing up for any convention appearance. Find out if the show has a solid reputation within the industry. Look at social media forums as well as any reviews from previous events. It’s important to make sure that the show is within your budget and that your team has enough time to develop an effective strategy to ensure success.

The key to finding the best trade shows for your products or services is to identify the audience that you want to reach. Determine who is most likely to want or need what you offer, and then select the shows that attract the best audience to expose your brands to the right people so they can see your business in action.



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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