For many years now, trade shows have been a staple of many companies' marketing plans. Business leaders have invested heavily in sending their talented team members on the road, having them mingle with other industry professionals and make connections that will help them bolster their brand.
No company should commit to a trade show without evidence that the move will create ROI.
Here's a question that's rarely asked – why, specifically, do they do it? What are businesses hoping to get out of this transaction? Attending shows is a big financial commitment, as the costs of travel, lodging and meals can really add up. That's not to mention the opportunity cost of losing productive days at the office. No company should commit to a trade show without tangible evidence that the move will create sufficient ROI.
Below is an attempt to figure out how companies can gain from their trade show investments.
Three common trade show marketing objectives
If your company has decided to produce and show off trade show exhibits, it undoubtedly has to sink a great deal of time, money and energy into that endeavour. Therefore, one big question must be asked – why do it?
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), there are a few reasons that companies focus so much on trade shows. In its "Changing Environment Study," CEIR polled various business leaders on why they use trade shows for marketing, and they found that a majority of them could identify three key objectives.
- Cited by 83 per cent of trade show exhibitors, building and expanding brand awareness led the way. The first step toward business success is simply letting the world know you exist, and being present at a trade show is a great way to put yourself on the map.
- Meanwhile, 63 per cent said new product promotions and launches were important. If you're about to roll out something new and you want people to see it, a trade show is a great way to get some visibility.
- Finally, another 63 per cent said brand awareness reinforcement is a key goal. This makes a lot of sense. After all, it's one thing to tell people you exist, but it's quite another to follow up and remind them a second time, a third and so on. Recognition is the product of reinforcing your brand.
How can your company pursue its goals?
Once you understand that trade shows are a fantastic opportunity for brand activation, you can get to work on drawing up specific tactics for success.
According to HubSpot research, one of the most important things is to establish the right tone for your brand. Innocent Community manager Joe McEwan told the organisation that companies are more likely to win people's favour if they have a tone that's "natural, honest, and engaging." Finding this voice and projecting it with your trade show exhibit is key.
It's also worth noting that the best exhibits get their point across without being bland or boring. If your message sounds the same as everyone else's, it's likely to get overlooked. The best brands are able to consistently offer a little original flair.
Know the role of your exhibit design plan
As you begin planning for your company's next trade show, it's crucial to keep in mind that trade show exhibit design will play a pivotal role. If you can bolster your brand with well-designed graphics, you are sure to have a much stronger communications strategy overall.
At Proj-X Design, we're ready to help you with that. We have a world-class team of designers who are able to help with the entire process, starting with your initial idea and ending with an impeccably printed, ready-to-use finished product. Contact us today and we'll help you achieve your trade show marketing goals.