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Show of Expectations: The Opportunities at Exhibitions

Exhibitions are not a sales opportunity

Having spent my fair share of time exhibiting at trade shows and other similar events, it’s always frustrating hearing exhibitors bemoaning the outcome of such events: people all too often see trade shows as a sales opportunity when they almost always aren’t. However, there are plenty of opportunities at exhibitions.

The opportunities at exhibitions are marketing ones

It’s a show. Delegates go to a show to see, to gather information, to gain awareness, inspiration or enlightenment. There’s a strong possibility that a sale might occur through awareness gained initially by attending that show and that a delegate might even have budget allocated to spend on your product or service when they are browsing, talking and gathering.
But delegates just don’t expect to buy at a show, and neither should you. So what can you expect? Raise awareness, build an audience, generate opportunities, make friends, build commercial relationships.

How much has your audience cost?

Calculate the footfall from previous events, the relevance of your message to the demographic, the percentage of delegates / companies that you are likely to engage with. Divide the cost of exhibiting by that number and you’ll have a rough cost per head for your audience: now, is it worth it?

How many Emirates flights are bought during an Arsenal match? But would you ‘Fly Emirates’, if the opportunity presented itself?

Shows are a marketing exercise. Expect anything more and you should expect to fall short.

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