3 Benefits To Trade shows | How To Make the Most of Your Trade Show

3 Trade Show Benefits (Besides Leads)

BoothLet’s face it, at any industry trade show, we all exhibit for one primary purpose – to get leads.  However, we should not sell ourselves short.  There are learning opportunities that we can’t afford to overlook.  Whether you are in sales or marketing (or both), a trade show provides access to an enormous amount of information that could be beneficial to you for future shows and potential deals.

The TuffWrap Sales & Marketing team has spent more time than ever in our trade show booth over the past year.  We’ve tried to make the most of it.  Here are 3 examples of where we’ve seen additional benefits beyond procuring new leads.

  1. Make friends with your neighbors. Ask a lot of questions, especially of those whose industry or product you are not familiar with. You might be amazed with what they have to offer.  You are exhibiting at the same show, so it’s likely there is a shared reason you are both there.  Many times, there are synergies between what you and another vendor are trying to accomplish with your businesses.  You don’t have to be in the same industry to have similar challenges.  (By the way, it never hurts to stop by the snack booth and strike up a conversation with whoever is in line.)
  2. Booth shop. You can surf the web forever trying to figure out what works best for your display.  In truth, there’s nothing like seeing it in person.  Have one of your co-workers man the area for a few minutes and take a walk.  Check out the different set-ups people have and take notes for yourself or your marketing department.  (Bonus: “Hey that banner is pretty awesome!” goes a long way with meeting new people.)
  3. Spy on swag. Again, surfing the web does not effectively answer the universally challenging marketing question: What do people like?  Take a look at what people are carrying around.  What’s in those free bags they received at registration?  There’s nothing like witnessing the interest in giveaways to get an idea of what people are going to take home as a reminder of meeting you.  (And you can always make a new connection by asking, “What IS that thing?”)

A trade show ultimately delivers its most tangible value via the leads you generate while you are there.  However, if you proactively acquire valuable knowledge along the way, chances are your next exhibiting opportunity will be even more successful.

What have you learned during your exhibiting experiences?