Exhibiting at Trade Shows, Why and Why Not?

All About Trade Shows: Exhibiting

Attending trade shows is a proven method to increase your brand awareness and to generate leads. Like all methods however, if done incorrectly it can also bring harm. In this article we will discuss the benefits of trade shows and also address potential problems that could encourage you to not exhibit at a trade show.

 Importance of Exhibiting at Trade Shows

The benefits of attending trade shows are countless. The straightforward benefits are lead generation and exposure. It’s important to note that most trade shows are not revenue generating opportunities, even if it does happen from time to time. Certain trade shows are more likely to generate revenue, especially if you are well prepared for that purpose, however, trade shows are primarily marketing and networking opportunities. To start off, we’ll identify some common reasons to exhibit at trade shows.

  • Exposure
  • Fresh, Original Content for Your Company
  • Direct Lead Generation
  • Indirect Lead Generation
  • Brand Image
  • New Product Introduction

When talking about Indirect Lead generation, we are led back to exposure. Just being out in the open will get you noticed. Passerbys might not directly convert into leads at the trade show, but because they saw you there, they might turn to you in the future. In addition, if asked by a colleague “do you know a company that does ****” they could recall your name. There are many other examples similar to these that are simply impossible to track. On the other hand, you can also directly gain leads from people who interact with you or participate in some of the lead generation activities you have prepared for the event. For ideas about lead generating activities, you can check out our article on Driving Traffic at Trade Shows, and the section about social media cards in our article about Handouts in Trade Shows.

Customers and potential customers value seeing their company be active. Participating in trade shows is one way to do that. Make sure to take pictures and videos when participating events and exhibiting at trade shows. These original media become a priceless marketing collateral that can be used in countless ways. Having your own original pictures to put on social media, e-mails, reports, brochures etc. is extremely effective. Similarly, these pictures and trade shows can help refine your brand image. For example, if your company wants to be viewed in a green-friendly light, participating in events that are hosted by green companies or have a green-initiative is a great way to spread awareness to your company’s green-initiative.

Many companies have used trade shows to feature new products. This is particular effective as it can be hard to attract customers towards new products. Having your new product out in the open for people to test and see in person is very good exposure for it and can propel the product towards success.

 Criteria for Opting Out of Trade Shows

In a different light, we wanted to address 3 circumstances that are important to consider before exhibiting at a trade show.

  • lack of funding
  • different target audience
  • lack of preparation

Lack of funding and preparation are two separate reasons, however the case they make is a similar one. Both of these can actually hurt your company. If your company is not willing to put in the minimum amount of funding for a decent quality exhibit, you might seriously consider whether or not you would like to go. I have personally seen companies exhibiting with a just wooden table with their name printed on a white piece of paper that was taped to the table. Two booths away was a company with a table cover, 2 standing banners, 5 staff members, promotional products and some other informative handouts. Needless to say the former company did not receive many visitors. In fact I knew two people who attended with the one of their goals being to talk to company A but did not end up doing so. One person said they could not find them at all. This was probably because of how underwhelming their exhibit was. The other person said they were disheartened by their display and looked at other companies instead. This might have been due to a lack of funding, or just that they did not allocate the required time to prepare for the event.

Exhibiting at trade shows can be pricey depending on the size of trade show. Many of those costs however are fixed costs and will cost you less the more trade shows you go to. For example our Trade Show Starter Pack costs $750, which for a small company new to trade shows can seem expensive. However you can reuse the products for multiple trade shows. If you go to 10 trade shows the cost will be just $75 per trade show!

The final point we wanted cover is the target audience. Usually there is some way of knowing some statistics about the expected audience. If the age, or general interest of the audience is much different than what your company usually attracts then you might want to consider if it is worth to exhibit. This is a relatively weak argument as you can still exhibit in these trade shows to increase your brand awareness and chances are you will at least be able to find a handful of people who are interested in your company that will make it worth your time. Ultimately, this arguement is only valid if you are understaffed and really can not afford to spare your resources for an exhibit that is potentially much less valuable in comparison to the other things they could be doing.

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

Trade Show Starter Pack

We are excited to announce our new Trade Show Starter Pack! Whether you are new to trade shows, or just want to refresh you trade show equipment, this starter pack has all your essential needs to have a respectable, attractive set up. When ordering this Trade Show Starter Pack, you receive over $150 in discounts that you would not get if you ordered the items separately!

Trade shows

The above picture includes everything you will receive in this offer.

  • 1 Convertible Table cover for 6 and 8 feet tables
  • 1 Retractable Banner Stand
    • 1 26″ x 72″ Banner
  • 1 Foamcore mounted Easel, 11″ x 17″
  • 250 Business Cards, Full Color, 100 lb. Cover Stock
  • 250 Customizable, Derby Ball Point Pens
  • 100 Single Sided Color Handouts can be included for an additional $49

For a total price of $750. *the banner in the picture is a full size banner (92″ tall), up-charge of $40 to upgrade to it*

Under the Contact Us button, you will find further explanations of the products included in the Trade Show Starter Pack.

For additional information and ordering, please feel free to contact us through the button below, or calling us!

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

The Table Cover

The table cover might just be the most important part of your showing, not because of what it provides, but because of what your showing would lack without it. Some venues will give you a table to work with, others you might have to bring your own. Either way, nothing says “I’m unprepared” like showing up to a trade show without even a table cover. The overall quality of your appearance will decrease significantly without one and as a result you will attract less people! To learn more about table covers and other types of table covers that we provide, click here.

The Retractable Banner Stand (and Banner)

The retractable banner stand is a personal favorite of ours. The banners we use for them are made from a material called Pospro 200. It stays flatter than others, reflects less glare and has a higher quality finish. The banner is fitted into the retractable banner stand before delivery so that when you receive the retractable banner stand, it will take you less than 1 minute to set-up! The set-up video is located here. The banner stand is vital in attracting customers from far away and improving your visibility. You can use the banner stand to overview what your company does to attract the right people. What you choose to display however, is flexible based on the type of event you are going and your company. To learn more about the retractable banner stand and other similar trade show displays, click here.

The Easel

The Easel is a relatively cheap product that you can have multiples of even in the same event. There are two more prominent ways to use your easel. The first way is to design it so that it bring attention to a specific product or service that you want to highlight. The another popular way to use it would be overview what your company offers to people that are closer. The second way might seem redundant if you are also using the retractable banner stand to summarize your business, but fear not; the retractable banner stand is going to be touching people further away from your location while the easel is for people who are closer. In addition, the overview on the Easel can focus on a few key aspects as opposed to the overall company overview. Easels are just extremely flexible in terms of what you can put on them and can significantly improve your appearance.

The Business Cards

This should be relatively self-explanatory. You need to make sure that you have business cards with you at trade shows. However you can also have trade show specific business cards. These trade show specific cards do not even have to represent a specific person. They can be designed so they highlight a specific purpose your company is trying to draw attention to through these trade shows. To look at some unique designs and features for business cards, click here.

The Pens

Pens are a commonly used promotional product, and for good reason. People are more likely to want your freebie if it is easy to pick up and transport, this is obviously a feature that pens excel in. Usability is another important factor to consider when choosing a promotional product. For people to see your company logo on the product you give them, they need to actually use it! To learn about more Promotional Product examples, click here.

 

Please keep in mind that when changing and/or adding products to your offer, you may lose some of the discounts offered.

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

Event Sponsorship

Event Sponsorship - TEDxBoston Sponsor Sign ©KeithSpiroPhoto

At Kendall Press, we work with a lot of companies hosting events, and event sponsorship is a topic that frequently comes up in our conversations. Whether the host is a Meetup group that has secured funds for food and drink at an evening session, or a nonprofit needing to impress at its most important fundraising event of the year, any company defraying costs through sponsorship needs to provide the right attention and benefits to their underwriters.

Based on our experience with event hosts and sponsors alike, here are three best practices to keep in mind when it comes to providing a sponsor with sufficient return on investment. While every sponsor has unique needs, these three ideas are a good starting point to ensure that sponsors not only come away happy with the event, but open to repeat participation.

[Read more…]

Wordless Wednesday – Roxbury Youth Orchestra Underground

 

The Roxbury Youth Orchestra, led by David France, performs underground at the North Station T stop in Boston ©KeithSpiroPhoto