My problem is how do I learn, or keep track of all of the trade shows for my industry. I know about the major trade shows, but so does everybody else. I think I could do just as well if I exhibited in some of the 1 and 2 days local and regional trade shows rather than just concentrate on the major trade shows. I find at the larger trade shows you have a lot of “tire kickers” and yes we collect a lot of business cards, but not as many qualified leads considering the size of the trade show and the number of people in attendance. Got any suggestions?
Al, Director of Marketing
In order to keep track of the Trade Show for your industry, you have to do the research. If you don’t want to do the research, then hire someone to do it for you. As a Trade Show Coach I do this for many of my clients. They may not go to all of the trade shows that I recommend, but at least they are aware of them.
Many of my clients have come to the same conclusion that many of the major trade shows you get a lot of lookers, but not as many qualified leads. There is two ways to look at this. If it is a major trade show, you are not the only company inviting your clients, prospects and suspects. Bigger industry trade shows, more exhibitors therefore a lot more invitations going out to people in your industry. You are attending the major trade show for a number of reasons; 1) the most obvious, is to generate qualified leads. 2) To show your clients that you are alive and well, and continuing to grow your business. 3) To see what your competitors are doing, any new products or services etc., 4) and to look for additional strategic partners that will help you to increase your sphere of influence. Al, a Trade Show is what you make of it, you cannot waste time when you are at a trade show. When traffic gets slow, walk the show and look for exhibiting companies that could possibly use your products or services. Let me give you a something to think about. If you attend a major 3 day show, say in Las Vegas, the show days and hours are, Tuesday, 10 to 6 Wednesday, 10 to 6, Thursday 10 to 4. This amounts to 22 hours of Exhibit trade show time. If the total cost of the show is $25,000.00 (trade shows are between $30,000 and $50,000) this includes Airline tickets, salaries, cost of the show for a 10 foot booth, shipping etc. the cost of one hour of booth time is over $1,136.00. Now you can see why you need to make the most out of every hour you are at the trade show.
The other part of this question deals with Primary and Secondary shows. Some of my clients, although they attend the major trade shows, make more of a concerted effort on some of the regional or local trade shows where they have more of a local but smaller audience. They still do the e-mail blasts, and tell the clients about these shows, they get a smaller number of attendees that get qualified, but this smaller group has, in some cases, have produced more qualified leads that have turned into orders.
To your continued trade show success
John Hill, Trade Show Coach