Most events provide professionals with opportunities to spend time with others sharing experiences and expertise. More specifically, trade shows bring together like-minded individuals either through the same profession or similar industries to exchange contact information and grow the company’s marketing message and brand image. The audience can include current customers or new customers, suppliers and/or future talent from other organizations where face-to-face meetings can be very beneficial.
Organizations and their marketing departments are always looking for opportunities to expand their brand and build awareness. Either as an attendee or as an exhibitor, there are numerous ways to get the brand in front of existing or new customers. Certainly as an exhibitor, there are methods of connecting the brand with the trade show visitors like booth design, booth placement, advertising and others. As an attendee, there are also ways to connect the brand and make it visible through wearing company attire, hosting a training session during the event, sponsoring an organization and others.
Another key reason for organizations and their staff to attend trade shows, conferences and events is the ability to train. Usually, there are industrial associations, academia or professional organizations that utilize trade shows to assemble a learning environment to showcase their member’s expertise. Research the trade show and determine if there is training available and take advantage of the opportunity to gain knowledge while visiting. An example of trade show that combines an exhibition with training is The CAMX Show – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo. This year, CAMX 2016 will be held in Anaheim, California and is noted as
the must-attend event for training, products, solutions, networking, and advanced industry thinking.
Negotiations and Order Taking
Trade show bring all aspects of an industry together – suppliers, OEMs, distributors and sometimes even consumers. This broad audience being together in one place at a specific time enables key partners to conduct meetings, negotiate sales opportunities and/or collaborate on product development projects. Since there can be face-to-face meetings, trade show events can facilitate discussions and move projects to another level. In addition, since products can be displayed within the company booth, orders can be taken from existing or new customers thereby bringing an immediate return on investment (ROI) for the organization.
Research and Surveillance
Organizations can further benefit in attending trade shows by researching their competitors and suppliers. The research, also referred to as market surveillance, allows the organization’s staff to see first hand what the competition or supplier may be launching or focusing on beyond what is displayed on their website or other public domains. Many times, companies will test market products or services at a trade show to get feedback long before it is publicly launched. Therefore, during research and surveillance, an organization can get an advanced look into the competitor’s plans. In addition, the research and surveillance can provide organizations with exposure to innovative products as well.
By: Ron Poff, Partner