So for most companies, trade shows are worth the effort. In fact, before you decide to nix a show your company has attended for years, think about what that might say to your current customers who expect to see you there. This is especially damaging if your company has been through recent staffing/management changes, mergers, acquisitions, or other changes your clients may have caught wind of. Your competition will use your absence to their advantage. This doesn't mean you can't ever stop attending a show, but just be sure you think about whom you see there and what your company's absence may lead them to believe. If necessary, send a post card to your primary clients that you know attend that particular show, and explain your decision to attend show B rather than show A.
Before you even start looking for shows, you need to set your goals. To help you do this, there are four questions you need to ask yourself:
- Why are you exhibiting?
Are you trying to extend your relationship with existing customers? Introducing a new product? Positioning your company within the market? Generating qualified leads for new sales? Countering a competitor's claim?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the message you want to convey?
- What do you want to get out of the show?
Do you want to bring home leads, sell your product/service, or create/improve/build upon your company image?
You need specific, measurable goals if you want your trade show activities to succeed.
Next, let's find out how to find the best shows.