The Top Five Reasons to Exhibit Now

Today we are featuring a helpful article from
Tips for Exhibitors in a Changing Economy 

Tradeshows are valuable sales and marketing vehicles to generate business through qualified leads and build brand awareness and relationships.

“However, with shrinking budgets and an uncertain economy, executives may be inclined to increase scrutiny of their trade show program,” says Rob Murphy, chief marketing officer, MC2.

To help marketing executives justify continued investment in tradeshow programs, MC2 has five top reasons to exhibit and maximize tradeshow participation in a changing economy.

1. Connect with more customers in less time
Tradeshows are one of the most efficient methods of marketing. It is an opportunity to connect with a lot of customers and specifiers in a short amount of time in one location. This focus translates into efficiency of time and effort, and therefore, dollars.

2. Uncertain times mean serious business
During an uncertain economy, budgets may tighten, but the need for new products and services does not necessarily stop. People attending tradeshows are serious about doing business; by not being present companies risk missed business opportunities. Think in terms of the quality not quantity of the tradeshows in your program.

3. ROI is not a luxury
Tradeshow impressions, contacts, leads and sales have measurable results with an actual value. Overall costs are easily computed. When reporting results to upper management and boards of directors, ROI is not a luxury, it is essential.

4. Showcase your brand without competitors
Consider exhibiting at a vertical tradeshow. This allows your brand to connect with a specific audience without the distraction of your competitors. For example, a high-end auto brand exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show, which put this luxury vehicle in front of a huge, affluent audience.

5. Greater Risk in Being Absent
Consider the long-term effect of not exhibiting at tradeshows. Especially in a bad economy, being absent from key shows instantly makes you a non-player in the field.

What You Can Do Now
• Before you reduce the number of tradeshows from your budget, quantify and qualify your investment. Why are we cutting our tradeshow schedule? Why are we not benefiting from our tradeshow participation? What are we not doing right?

• Establish a process for following up sales leads to get the most out of your tradeshow experience. Are you using all the necessary tools to measure and weigh results properly? Are you gathering and analyzing the right information?

• Engage staff and clearly communicate your company’s strategy to ensure everyone is on the same page. Do you mandate staff training in order to run a well-choreographed, efficient show?

• Consider the architecture of your exhibit to enhance each visitor’s experience with your company and its brand. Are you using or incorporating rental property in your exhibit? Is your booth design consistent with your branding and messaging platforms?

“Texting” for the Trade Show World


In the United States alone, several billion text messages are sent each day. Texting is a form of communication that is here to stay. And with every new form of communication that has evolved, there follows with it a new form of advertising. In this case: SMS (short message service) marketing. Blindly messaging random segments of people may generate negative thoughts about your company, because no one in their right mind enjoys spam. But selectively and creatively incorporating SMS into your trade show marketing campaign can generate interest in your booth, and increase the amount of traffic you see.

Over 80% of consumers own and carry a cell phone on a daily basis. While snail-mail and email marketing can be lost in a pile of junk mail, or the clutter of a full inbox, SMS can target an attendee instantly. Whether trade show visitors are arriving at their hotels, or walking the show floor, they can receive your message. Here are a few ways you can make SMS messages work for you at trade shows:

  • Inform attendees of your booth location and schedule of demonstrations at your booth
  • Offer a special promotion only available by responding to your message
  • Instant follow-up with contacts you have met at your booth to build the first part of a friendly relationship and stay fresh in their minds
  • Inform attendees of any changes to your show schedule or booth location

Another alternative SMS messaging offers you at trade shows is a creative way to run a Q&A session of your both presentation or demonstration. While simply asking your audience for questions will generate a few responses, here are some ways SMS messaging can boost interaction:

  • Help more timid attendees receive the answers to their questions by removing the public speaking aspect
  • Allow visitors to instantly ask questions without interrupting the flow of your presentation
  • Grant you the ability to weed out irrelevant questions and only answer the most pressing and important ones

On the more technologically flashy side, you can purchase a SMS display system to accompany your graphical display. From these screens you can instantly broadcast attendees’ feedback about your booth, your company, or the show in general. These displays will be eye catching and draw in curious onlookers to your booth and also provide an incentive for them to stop back and view updates.

In these economically tight times, SMS messaging is a creative, flexible and a more economical alternative to standard trade show marketing procedures. You can target every attendee, or only a select few, right on the show floor and be assured they have your message in hand. Even though  text messaging is most popular among teenagers and tweens, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it in your marketing strategy. And well, it’s also never too soon to practice and perfect ways to target the next generation of consumers.