Are trade shows relevant in the digital era?

• Trade shows and events have long been a key weapon in the B2B marketer’s arsenal. From lead generation to maintaining existing relationships to sealing deals to hunting new partners; trade shows perform a whole host of functions in the life of the average business.
• On an average, the cost of a face-to-face meeting with a prospect at a trade show is US$ 142. The cost of a face-to-face meeting at a prospect’s office on the other hand is US$ 259. By displaying at an expo, someone find a much more cost-effective way to have face-to-face conversations with potential prospects.
• Large numbers of potential visitors have became a key factor in attracting exhibitors, which, from their point of view, confirmed the effectiveness of their marketing investment.
• Thus, it is important for any aspiring exporter or trader to consider trade exhibitions and promote their product in an aligned manner. Importance of trade shows has proliferated over time, specifically for the traders of developing nations and LDCs.

TPCI-IBT-Business-Perspectives

The trade show industry has experienced a sharp and rapid growth during the last couple of decades. They are considered as an imperative communication technique, especially for those companies that operate in international markets and aim to reach specific & targeted audiences. Making them an integral part of the marketing communication strategy enables companies to develop customer relationships; offering possibilities for sales and sales promotion; undertaking and maintaining good international business relations; monitoring international competition as well as minimizing entry barriers in new markets. Some of the established trade shows across globe include ANUGA, SIAL, HANNOVER MESSE, Gulf Food, The Big Five, etc.

Trade fairs have been linked to sales & marketing platforms, where the number and value of commercial contracts resided as a crucial and often the only barometer of how effective participation in a fair was. In the initial period of development, the success of the trade fair depended on the quality and quantity of exhibitors. Subsequently a large number of potential visitors became a key factor in attracting exhibitors, which, from their point of view, confirmed the effectiveness of their marketing investment.

During the development of trade fairs, exhibitors started to perceive those events not only as a place to sell but also as a place to build their image. It led to change in visitors’ profile, buyers constitute a decreasing percentage of trade fair attendees, and increasingly more people are seeking non-commercial information.

Trade show as a platform

Trade shows and events have long been a key weapon in the B2B marketer’s arsenal. From lead generation to maintaining existing relationships to sealing deals to hunting new partners; trade shows perform a whole host of functions in the life of an average business.

Digital marketing has seen an astounding rise in adoption over the last ten to fifteen years. It has eclipsed all other offline marketing channels and it is safe to say that offline marketing is losing importance day by day. However, trade shows are still of great importance to B2B businesses and take up a major part of their budgets. Mingling with suppliers at trade events also means that you’ll stay current with innovations in manufacturing and service delivery in your industry. That can definitely give your business an edge over competition.

Takeaways of Trade shows

• Trade shows Create Lasting Impressions If Done Right
• Trade Shows Are Incredible Face-To-Face Marketing Events
• Tradeshow Lead Generation Potential
• Trade Shows Target Audiences Result in Direct Sales Opportunities
• Trade Shows Are Cost-Effective Networking and Advertising
• Trade Shows Level the Marketing Field

Filtering Products for Specific Trade Shows

 Identify and evaluate the competitiveness of the product
 Accordingly filter vital trade shows and trade events in target markets
 Look at the recent demand that has been generated in the target market
 Match demand potential through quantity and quality

Branding – Pillar for Market Access

 Concentrated Positioning
 Exclusive Positioning
 Interrelated Positioning
 Uniform Positioning

Below are some facts on trade shows based on Centre for Exhibition Industry Research’s findings:

• On an average the cost of a face-to-face meeting with a prospect at a tradeshow is US$ 142. The cost of a face-to-face meeting at a prospect’s office is US$ 259. By displaying at an expo, one finds a much more cost-effective way to have a face-to-face conversations with potential prospects.
• 92% of trade show attendees come to see and learn about what’s new in products and services. Expos and trade shows are a perfect opportunity to highlight new products, services, or technology you offer. And by doing so, you will meet your attendee’s expectations at the expo.
77% of executive decision makers found at least one new supplier at the last show they attended. Expos do create new business opportunities for exhibitors. If you are sitting on the fence about attending an expo because you’re not sure if it is worth it, remember that your competitors will be closing deals that you could have been closing.

Thus, it is to an extent important for any aspiring exporter or trader to participate in trade exhibitions and promote his/her products in an aligned manner. Importance of trade shows has proliferated over time, specifically for the traders of developing nations and LDCs.

HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL EXPORTERS

Germane preparation is a key element for successful trade fair attendance. Attending a foreign trade fair without proper market research and customer analysis is like trying to navigate a ship without map, radar and compass. Competition analysis, too, is a mandatory part of your trade fair preparation. Markets like Europe value and recognize certain behavioural traits. Clear, precise and committed in-time communication is most important, followed by punctuality. Exporters from developing countries should try to remember this when they establish relationships with their business partners. Customers in the European market usually have several options to source their goods as many exporters frequently offer the same goods.

Money and budgets are usually a limiting factor for small and medium-sized exporters from developing countries. Therefore, exporters need to understand that everything connected with a trade fair attendance will cost money at some point.  Also, it is vital to keep in mind that costs will occur even after the trade fair is over. Usually, samples will have to be sent, analysis conducted or production ramped up.  Proactivity is a key habit of successful exporters.

Yes, there is heterogeneity with respect to the success of the trade shows across countries, but the key takeaways are common. No doubt, trade fairs do provide a platform for showcasing the brand, exchanging taste & preference and culture. But the idea of purely depending on trade shows to fetch business deals and accelerate exports value is not logical. If there is a quality product to offer, trade fairs will serve the right platform to facilitate the deal. So, the idea is to have a proper homework done before proceeding to participate in a trade fair.

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Rakesh Bhavsar
Rakesh Bhavsar
1 year ago

We are mfg machine parts for liquid food and beverage industry. Is it suitable for us ??

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