Ready. Set. Show!

04/20/12 by Brandon

With all the tips and how-to articles floating around the internet these days, an exhibitor has a myriad of resources available to help them pull off a spectacular exhibit.  Add to that the help of a professional exhibiting company, and you’ve got yourself the best booth at the show!

Oh, wait…the show.

With a trade show or event for just about everything you could imagine, where do you even begin to narrow down your choices?  Should you tackle them all?

There are obviously numerous factors to consider when selecting a trade show, and within those, the application to your business and marketing will vary.  However, consider these general guidelines when determining where to invest your exhibiting dollars.

Research the Audience

That anime convention that brought thousands of costumed adults into your town might not be the best venue to showcase your financial investment company.   It’s not that these individuals do not care about their financial future; but when they are there to have fun with their hobby or pastime, these attendees will likely not want to take a more serious turn and think about their asset portfolio.

When deciding on a trade show to pick, you must start with the audience.  Who is going to be there?  What will they be doing?  What will they be learning about from guest speakers?  Are they going to be motivated into any kind of call to action that you may be able to capitalize on?  Put yourself in their shoes and determine if you think your business would attract their attention and satisfy any of their expectations or interests while attending that specific trade show.  If not, move on.  If so, go for it!

Look at the Competition

The rock ‘n roll convention rolling into town will likely bring musicians, professionals in the music industry, electronics and instrument manufacturers, record companies, and other similar businesses.  Those are likely to be your fellow exhibitors standing next to you, while the attendees will likely either be people that just love music or musicians trying to learn more or get visibility in the rock ‘n roll arena.

For your company, you must determine if your exhibit will be a good fit with the others.  If your direct competitors are there, you also should be in order to ensure your position in your market.  This will give you a chance not only to give the attendees an opportunity to compare your company against your competition (we already know your booth will be better), but also to provide you with an avenue to evaluate your competitors’ booths, promotions, and marketing schemes.  This knowledge allows you to readjust and tailor your marketing and public relations to best retaliate.

If your competition or businesses similar to yours will not be there, another factor to consider is if you can complement other exhibitors or provide a service that might not yet be represented.  For example, with the rock ‘n roll convention, you might not be directly connected to the music industry, but can you contribute in any way?  Are you a graphic designer who may be able to create branding for a band?  Are you a web firm who may be able to help a musician launch his career through the internet?  Are you a club manager looking for live entertainment on the weekends?  Thinking creatively may just get your foot in the door before any of your competition is even knocking!

Read the Fine Print

If you have narrowed down your search and are comparing a few choices, look at the details.  The trendy (and expensive) CRM gathering with the hottest guest speaker out there right now may be out of your budget.  You may not see enough of an ROI to make that investment worth it.  However, the local equivalent, which actually will have more of your client market in attendance, may produce better results.

Look at the requirements of the venue.  Will your exhibit display work within their specifications?  Are you free to do everything you want to pull off the outcomes you desire?  Also, consider the location of the venue.  There are great costs involved in shipping displays, travelling, etc.  If you have to go far, will it ultimately pay off or not?

Bottom line, you need to determine if what you expect to get out of the specific show will outweigh what you have to put in it.  Some may not, while others will be worth every penny!

With all the variety of trade shows, events, and conventions available to you, the decision can be hard!  Have fun with it, but just be careful not to get caught up in trends or what you personally like without considering all the benefits and disadvantages to each one.  If you need some assistance in this decision, contact Exhibit Edge for help in sorting through your options and creating a memorable and profitable exhibit, no matter what the scene!