By Mark Lee
Exhibit marketing is more than just selling from a booth space. It’s about bringing people and companies together to promote accomplishments, stimulate thought, share knowledge, build relationships, spur the competitive spirit, and reward entrepreneurial efforts.
Exhibit marketing not only introduces buyers to sellers, but also fuels the competitive spirit by filling a hall with competitors, partners, and suppliers, each with goals and dreams of success. Trade shows allow companies to showcase their achievements, build their business, and maintain their competitive edge.
There are different types of exhibit marketing: retail, business-to-business, and event marketing. Retail shows typically focus on selling products and closing deals directly at the booth. Business-to-business shows focus on forging new relationships that are cemented after the show. Event marketing aims more towards delivering a message or creating brand awareness.
Beyond the major trade show, your exhibit is a local sales tool as well. Keep in mind that about 60 percent of all trade show displays never go to large, industry shows in Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago. Rather, they are more often used at Chamber of Commerce mixers, local business shows, corporate events, regional industry shows, and hiring and recruitment fairs. At these shows, you’ll mostly see pop ups, table tops, banner stands, and lightweight hybrids.
If you do go to a large trade show, you should be aware that research reported by Classic Exhibits shows that attendees recall only 15% of the companies they visit on the show floor. The other 85 percent are forgotten. The reasons vary. The company may have a weak exhibit or an ineffective sales presentation. Some companies are simply forgotten due to the inherent clutter and sensory overload of a trade show. This research data should be very important to you.
Don’t forget that show participation is a competition for attendee time and retention. Your ROI is directly related to your attention to, and overall performance in, all aspects of trade show marketing.
If you are new to exhibit marketing, you can learn all about it from your local AlphaGraphics exhibits consultant before risking a single marketing dollar.