Expos provide a unique platform for companies to increase brand success through engagement and meaningful interactions. Although they can be time-consuming and costly, they provide benefits unlike any other form of experiential marketing.
If you are currently thinking about exhibiting at an expo but you’re not 100% sure of the value, this article is perfect for you. Here are our top 10 reasons why you should be exhibiting at expos to drive brand success.
1. Meet and connect with prospects
Exhibitions are a great opportunity for exhibitors to connect with prospects through face-to-face communication and engagement, rather than through cold calls or emails. As an exhibitor, you can interact with attendees to inform them of your company, its offers and its value in a more relaxed and personal atmosphere. Trade shows provide access to sometimes hundreds of attendees you can turn into prospects. These are numbers that are difficult and time-consuming to obtain through sales calls or emails lists.
2. Strengthen relationships with existing customers
When you make the decision to exhibit, you should extend an invite to your existing customers to attend and interact with your company at your exhibition stand. Exhibiting presents you with an opportunity to meet with customers you currently or previously worked with to strengthen your relationship with them and encourage future purchases. By reaching out to your current customers it reinforces your commitment to your customers and helps to strengthen their loyalty.
3. Face to face is more effective
One of the most valuable experiences an expo offers is face-to-face communication with prospects and professionals. Engaging with someone in person to close sales or discuss business opportunities is more effective than through email or phone. A recent report by the Harvard Business Review found that between email and face-to-face communication, making requests in person is a significantly more effective approach. In fact, the study suggested that you would only need to talk to six people in person to equal the power of a 200-recipient email. At an expo, you have the opportunity to communicate with attendees face-to-face and build a mutually beneficial relationship that you can continue to develop through ongoing communication via email or phone calls. Attendees can feel introduced to your brand and your staff physically, rather than hearing about it on the phone or online.
4. Learn about new products/services in the industry
Expos welcome a wide range of companies to showcase their products and services at their exhibition stand. Some expos can have hundreds of exhibitors in the one show, with each stand displaying something different. This is a good opportunity to conduct market research into current trends in products and customer preferences. You can also be aware of what your competitors are offering and how you can compete. Pay attention to which stands are attracting the most attendees and why that might be; do they have a unique exhibition stand design, are they launching a new product, are the staff well trained? This will help you identify what is currently popular within your industry and what it takes to interest customers.
5. Generate sales
The ideal attendee will come to the event seeking meaningful interactions and a willingness to invest in products or services. Engaging with these attendees provides the opportunity to increase your sales. This can be achieved with either on the spot sales at your exhibition stand or by gathering leads and following up with these after the expo to close any sales. Putting in the effort to interact with attendees and increase your sales will also help you increase your ROI, making the event worthwhile for your business.
6. Capture leads and build a database
Exhibitions are a great opportunity to gather contact information to capture leads and build your business network. With the high attendance rate, you can reach out to many attendees with interests in the industry and a willingness to interact. Unlike the time-consuming task of researching potential customers in the office, meeting attendees at an expo is a fast and effective way to gather contacts for potential sales. You can capture your leads by using classic paper forms, business card collections, business card scanning, badge scanning and lead management apps.
7. Build brand awareness
Exhibiting is one of the most effective ways to build your brand image. Having a creative and eye-catching custom exhibition stand will help your brand stand out at an expo, while still reflecting your brand. There are many ways you can have a great stand; from overhead signage and themed graphics, to LED lighting and giveaways. At an expo, your company’s values, accomplishments, and everything you stand for are exhibited on the show floor so it's important to make them stand out. Attracting visitors to your stand will also help you to create positive relationships with them, which develops a positive brand image.
8. Speak directly to target market
There’s no use introducing your product, service or brand to the wide world if you’re not reaching an audience that has a genuine interest in what you offer. Exhibitions are targeted towards a specific industry and the people interested in that industry. If you choose the right expo to attend then you can assure that you will be able to communicate to a receptive market who can relate to and value your business. Exhibiting at an expo saves you time and energy researching companies within your target market to contact by sending the right people straight to your door step (or exhibition stand).
9. Introduce new products/services
If you have a brand-new product or service, there’s no better way to introduce them to the public than at an expo with product demonstrations. This attracts attendees to your exhibition stand to interact with the product and learn about your brand, presenting you with an opportunity to engage with them and capture any possible leads. Product demonstrations at exhibitions are also a great way to ensure your product or service is reaching the correct audience.
10. Network and learn
Often expos will offer workshops, networking activities and guest speakers to their exhibitors. This is a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your field, get new ideas, learn a new skill and become inspired. Not every other exhibitor is a competitor – some can be very useful to your business if you choose to partner with them and share your expertise. Expos don’t have to be stressful and exhausting, they can be fun and insightful experiences that you can take back to your company and benefit from.
Although they can be strenuous and time-consuming, expos provide big benefits to companies of all shapes and sizes from any industry. With a willingness to engage and learn from an expo and its attendees, you can start seeing some great results and take a huge step towards success.