What makes trade shows so special?

Maybe it’s meeting someone face-to-face for the first time after months of phone calls and e-mail exchanges. How about reconnecting with former clients or spending time with key customers? Perhaps, it’s the chance to make your ads come to life with real-live demos on the show floor. Trade shows are also a powerful way to grow your network and expand your mind.

Are you thinking about the idea of exhibiting at a trade show such as PROCESS EXPO? Do you need ways to justify your participation? Look no further!

We reached out to PROCESS EXPO exhibitors and trade show experts and posed the question: Why do you exhibit at shows?

101 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

  1. Generate new leads.
  2. Meet people face-to-face who have been difficult to reach via phone or e-mail.
  3. Showcase your products.
  4. Establish your brand.
  5. Reinforce your e-mail and direct mail campaigns.
  6. Qualify leads and advance the sales cycle.
  7. Trade shows allow us to introduce our equipment to customers in a hands-on environment that results in a large majority of our sales. ~Jill Sadlak, Urschel Laboratories
  8. Reposition your offerings.
  9. Solve customer issues and concerns.
  10. Grow your business.
  11. Competition is there. See what they’re doing right.
  12. Haven’t exhibited in a show in the past year.
  13. Highlight new solutions to a captive crowd.
  14. Cross-sell current customers.
  15. Trade shows are valuable networking tools. They provide a great opportunity to meet new people in our industry and build on existing relationships. ~Jon Miller, @AMKingGroup, A M King
  16. See and learn what’s new in the marketplace.
  17. See more customers in 1 day and in 1 location than you can see in 1 month in the field.
  18. Continue conversations with prospects.
  19. 81% of show attendees have buying authority. Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers. ~CEIR
  20. Upsell existing clientele.
  21. I can see a ton of customers all in one place. Trade shows are also a great time to discuss and work with other manufactures on upcoming projects. The networking is incredible. ~Kate Rome, @empresskateromeRome Grinding Solutions
  22. New to the marketplace? Exhibit to gauge your existing offerings to a specific audience. Capture their responses to adjust for future planning.
  23. Tell customer success stories to an engaged and interested audience.1442
  24. Try a new market segment for your current products.
  25. Shake hands and hug current customers. ~Emilie Barta, @emiliebarta, Emilie Barta Presentations
  26. Give buyers the chance to see and feel the quality of your product(s).
  27. Train new employees, partners.
  28. Get new ideas.
  29. Assess the market’s awareness of your company, your brand.
  30. Trade Shows are an excellent way to introduce our offerings to Processors that may not be familiar with us. It’s challenging to cover our existing client base, let alone prospect. Shows like PROCESS EXPO help bring potential customers to us. ~Tom Tonra, @NuTECmfg, NuTec Manufacturing
  31. Research companies for possible M+A.
  32. It costs 62% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than one originated in the field. ~CEIR
  33. Obtain feedback on new products or services.
  34. Close sales.
  35. Network – meet new people in the industry.
  36. What better way to have your clients and prospects visit with you to demonstrate the features and benefits of your products and services. ~John Sciabarrasi, Reiser
  37. Meet with key clients. Interview them for case studies.
  38. Maintain relationships with clients and business partners.
  39. Establish new partnerships.
  40. Learn about and observe industry trends and emerging technology in a face-to-face, hands-on environment.
  41. The #1 reason why we exhibit is nothing replaces Face-to-face interaction with existing clients and also potential clients. I personally love being on a show floor! ~Rachel Wimberley, @tsnn_rachel, Trade Show News Network
  42. Provide personalized customer education with in-booth presentations, demos, one-on-one meetings.
  43. Get publicity.
  44. Gain insight into the food and beverage marketplace.
  45. Meeting face-to-face with open-minded prospects; people who are in the market to buy.
  46. Reconnect with current customers and meet new ones. It gives us a chance to visit with them face-to-face and learn what we can do to help them and their industry. ~Tracy Long, @BaldorElectric, Baldor Electric Company
  47. See colleagues from other offices.
  48. Re-establish your brand.
  49. Demo “soon to be released” offerings in your booth.
  50. Place your company in the global spotlight.
  51. Tradeshows are about FACE! Face-to-face contact with customers and prospects is critically important in acquisition and retention of customers. The average salesperson only sees 2 to 3 buyers per day and is finding it harder to get face time in the field. ~Jefferson Davis, President, Competitive Edge
  52. New to the marketplace? Exhibit to understand what’s out there.1505
  53. Catch up or stay in front of industry trends.
  54. Exhibitions are the #1 source for attendees who make the final purchasing decisions! ~CEIR
  55. Host a press event to introduce the industry to a new product.
  56. We love any opportunity to meet and speak with our customers one-on-one. Trade shows are wonderful opportunities to build relationships and make new ones. ~Dawn Wollesen, @BunzlPD, BunzlUSA
  57. Help customers and prospects understand how a product or service works.
  58. Provide price quotes.
  59. Support your channel partners and build relationships.
  60. Grow a new market segment.
  61. Trade shows also showcase the latest trends in the industry, serving as a great launch pad for A M King innovation in the future. ~Jon Miller, @AMKingGroup, A M King
  62. Identify new product ideas from customer feedback
  63. Continue conversations with current customers, partners, prospects.
  64. Together with business partners, showcase your offerings to an engaged audience.
  65. Discover companies who can help grow your business.
  66. Van der Graaf participates in trade shows to build long term relationships with clients. We can showcasing the latest & greatest in conveyor drive technology as well as engaging them in educational seminars to improve their business efficiencies. ~Melissa Lara, @_vandergraaf, Van der Graaf
  67. Re-brand your company.
  68. Give media a sneak peak of new offerings that you’re planning to unveil at the show.
  69. Meet face-to-face with key accounts. Interview them in-person and write up a success story.
  70. Grow your team: recruit new hires.
  71. 72% of show visitors say the show influenced their buying decision. ~CEIR
  72. Hold a product launch party or reception.
  73. Test new product ideas.
  74. Several reasons for exhibiting: promotion/brand awareness, business development, vendor/professional research, etc. But if we had to pick the #1 reason, it’s to connect with potential clients & reconnect with past clients. ~Noel Abbott, @EpsteinGlobal, Epstein
  75. Recruit new distributors and dealers for your product.
  76. Conduct competitive research.
  77. Meet new companies that can grow your business.
  78. Communicate directly with your target audience.1551
  79. Invite PR contacts to the press room for an interview on your newest solution. Give them the chance to take pictures.
  80. Make Your Business Stand Out: Trade shows provide exposure to current clients AND to potential new business opportunities by using industry press to get your brand and message out to a multitude of people. ~ Steve Mannarino, @GESGlobal, Global Experience Specialists, Inc.
  81. Manage Key Accounts.
  82. Reinforce your brand in the industry.
  83. Schedule face-to-face appointments with key accounts.
  84. Distributed a beta model to current customers. Get them to test it and get feedback.
  85. Customer Maintenance – address and update service issues with accounts.
  86. The value of exhibiting at trade shows lies in relationship-building. Face to face connections with customers and prospects help solidify relationships and often outweigh connections based solely upon email, text, and social media communication. Trade shows act as a conduit to build better business relationships. ~Amanda Sasse,  @nelsonjameson, Nelson-Jameson
  87. Grow + expand your revenue base.
  88. Conduct market research and analysis.
  89. Invite the media to your booth for a private demo.
  90. Showcase new products in your booth. Invite show guests to try it out. Get immediate feedback.
  91. Tradeshows are the best, most economical way to gain competitive knowledge, compare products and learn what is hot, what is not, and how your company can stay current. And it’s all under one roof! ~Steve Mannarino, @GESGlobal, Global Experience Specialists, Inc.
  92. Negotiate or renegotiate terms with current account.
  93. Continue discussions with existing contacts, partners.
  94. Schedule demos of existing and proven products.
  95. Perfect your lead generation strategy – test new sales pitches and messages on-site.
  96. I work with companies who exhibit at trade shows and the number 1 reasons that they exhibit is either to generate leads OR for branding purposes / to be recognized. ~Michael Flavin, @michaelflavin, MichaelFlavin.com
  97. Run live demonstrations and presentations of new products and services.
  98. Get clients to act quickly with show specials.
  99. Celebrate a company milestone.
  100. Smile and look a prospect in the eye when you meet him or her for the first time. ~Emilie Barta, @emiliebarta, Emilie Barta Presentations
  101. To add the human factor into the buying decision. Shows allow you to build trust. You can look them in the eye to address their issues. They can see your enthusiasm when sharing solutions to their needs.1516

As you can see from the list above, trade shows are a worthwhile, proven investment that yields a high ROI. Do you exhibit at trade shows? What are your reasons for exhibiting?