How trade shows go to work for you

Trade shows work!

How trade shows go to work for you

It’s natural that you want your marketing budget to provide you with a good return on investment but is the money you spend on a trade show an investment or expense?

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 88% of trade shows attendees have not been seen by a member of your company’s sales staff in last year. 76% of visitors asked for quotes and 26% signed purchase orders while 72% say that the show influenced their buying decision. A knock-on benefit is that people who attended the show will spread the word about your products and service, with 87% of attendees sharing some of the information they obtained at the exhibition and 64% of attendees telling at least six other people about the event.

Before you exhibit it’s a good idea to:

  • Know why you’re there. Do you want to win new customers, raise brand awareness, unveil a new product or service or seek potential partnerships? By answering this simple question you can determine which staff members need to be at the show, what your budget will be and what activities you should focus on while you are there.
  • Define your show goals. Perhaps you want to focus on how many clients you want to land and leads you need to generate so you can track your performance.
  • Rank leads according to priority and determine what needs to be delivered to each group to win their business.
  • Map out who’s going to follow up with which leads, what materials will be needed to make the sale and implement a way to manage and monitor the process.
  • Outline the plan and involve all team members to make sure you are all on the same page.

Buyers love attending trade shows because these events save them valuable time and money by enabling them to find multiple vendors under one roof, selling the products they are already looking to buy. If you try to find buyers without exhibiting at a targeted show, then you will probably manage to visit a maximum of only three or four buyers a day.

According to data from the CEIR, it costs 62% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than one originated in the field.

And remember….quality counts over quantity every time. It might take only one substantial sale to recoup all of your exhibition expenses.

Are you still not sure if a trade show is the right marketing vehicle for your products or services? A recent study from the CEIR highlights that 63% of show attendees assign high importance to face-to-face interactions at exhibitions in helping with the narrowing of choices in the buying process. So if you don’t have a stand at KITE, you risk missing valuable business opportunities.

Click here to connect with Loftie Eaton or Mark Anderson or email them on or

Check in here next month for the next blog in this series – ‘How to get the most from your exhibition experience’

Author: Natasha Heiberg

Trade Exhibition Marketer | Creative Geek | Bibliophile