Trade Shows: How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck

How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck as a Trade Show Participant

One of the oldest and most trusted strategies in marketing are trade shows. Trade shows combine the sales element of business with a uniquely relational take on in-person advertising.

Popular in every major town and city nationwide, trade shows offer industry professionals the opportunity to broadly showcase their products and talents while inviting customers and innovators to come be a part of the experience.

Here are four ways you and your business can ensure every dollar of your trade show investment is put to good use.

1. Set a goal and put a number on it

“Sell more products and generate more leads” might sound like a good plan. In reality, your business won’t experience measurable results unless you tack a number onto your trade show goals.

In short? Make your aim quantifiable. 

Do you want to gather 500 email addresses? Sell $200,000 worth of merchandise? Hand out 1,000 business cards? Write it down, track it, and benchmark your success at regular intervals — during lunch breaks, at day’s end, and once the weekend wraps.

2. Be choosy about which trade shows you participate in

Simply put, more isn’t always better. 

With the average cost of trade show participation costing somewhere between $14,000 – $60,000, spending a whole weekend at a venue where your audience is absent could result in barely breaking even or, worse — flushing money down the drain.

Do your research ahead of time. Depending on your industry and audience, trade shows in different cities and states may be better or less profitable. Understanding your target audience will help you make informed decisions about where and when to invest.

In the medical industry? MedTrade can give you a platform to showcase cutting-edge products and even participate as a featured speaker. An artist or photographer? ClickCon isn’t to be missed.

3. Plan a trade show around a product launch

Get this: 92% of tradeshow attendees report their primary reason for attending a trade show revolves around experiencing a new product launch.

Maximize your impact by planning your attendance around a new product launch, a product upgrade, or a services rollout that will have bystanders engaging with curiosity.

Sure, your business can continue to showcase classic product lines and bestselling merchandise, but highlight the latest and greatest to generate interest and keep onlookers on their toes.

4. Don’t forget to follow up with new leads

On average, more than 80% of trade show attendees expect to be followed up with in the days and weeks following the end of a show. 

What does that mean for your business? If you’re worried about bothering your new contacts, don’t.

People attend trade shows for the purposes of networking, discovery, inspiration, and lead generation. Maintaining and nurturing relationships built during trade shows can result in an exponential boom in email sign ups, customer conversions, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Lost on where to begin? Start by inputting all email addresses into your sale’s funnel, and follow up with a personalized message indicating your appreciation for meeting them. Once the sales funnel kicks in, move contacts through and remember to reach out directly should a sale be made.

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At Goalpost Group, we help our clients break the cycle of bad marketing using strategy, structure, and killer content that drives sales and wins the day. Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more about how we can help transform your marketing.


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