To the average small business, the prospect of attending a trade show is one of neither great promise nor appeal. Bigger brands and market leaders perhaps, but for the small business with a relatively minimal audience and customer base, is there any real point?
Well, in simple terms the answer is yes – and a very large point at that. Just as is the case with largely all businesses at all levels, there are certain inherent benefits that come with trade show attendance that simply cannot be replicated with any other marketing strategy. And while it may be natural to assume that trade shows are attended for the most part by larger brands and businesses, the truth is actually quite to the contrary.
After all – who could possibly benefit for solid exposure more than those among the small business community?
So for those still requiring a helpful poke in the right direction, here’s a quick rundown of five reasons why any small business owner should consider making an appearance at a trade show:
1 – Attract New Customers
First up comes the single most important reason of all – it’s a unique opportunity to target and attract new customers. What makes the trade show such a powerful business resource is the way in which 100% of those in attendance are already interested in what it is you do and what you have to offer. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have come to the show – a refined, filtered and highly-lucrative audience of potential new customers from all over the place. Do your job right and your client-base could explode in numbers after attending just a single trade show.
2 – Network with Other Brands
It’s also worth remembering that strength in numbers can be a powerful thing when it comes to small brands and businesses. Trade shows offer the unique opportunity to liaise and network with those who are in the exact same line of work as you – some rivals, some peers, some potential partners and so on. In any case, not only will you have the chance to build meaningful networks, but you’ll also get an important insight into what they do and how they succeed. And once you know all this, you can imitate/exceed their method of operating for your own gain!
3 – Effective, Affordable Marketing
Another hugely attractive plus point in favour of trade show appearances is the way in which the whole thing represents an incredibly affordable and powerful marketing strategy in its own right. Overall costs have the potential to be kept to absolute minimums, which when considering the valuable and highly selective ‘captive’ audience is incredible to say the least. The simple truth of the matter is that there’s real viral potential to be tapped into when it comes to trade show marketing – word of mouth can be a game changer. Impress your prospects enough for them to spread the word far and wide and…well, let’s just say you might not in fact qualify as a ‘small’ business for much longer!
4 – Professional Presentation
Trade shows give you the fabulous opportunity to present your brand in a uniquely professional manner, creating a lasting first-impression among potential prospects the likes of which could prove incredibly valuable. Simply by investing in the market’s most exquisite branded pop-up exhibition stands to shout and scream your name to your target audience members, you immediately become synonymous with all things respectable and professional.
5 – A Face Behind the Brand
In the instances of businesses that exist primarily or exclusively online, there’s often no better way of putting a face to the brand than by appearing at a trade show. This can not only help those who already do business with you to build real trust and respect for who you are and what you do, but can be particularly effective in winning over new customers too.
6 – Expand, Go National?
Last but not least, trade shows have the potential to serve as the most powerful springboards imaginable for smaller businesses with the eventual intention of branching out and perhaps expanding to other parts of the country. You may represent a local business, but those attending the show will undoubtedly travel from far and wide to see what’s on offer – your reputation potentially going back with them to where it is they came from. And just as soon as it becomes clear there’s demand for what you do elsewhere, invaluable expansion becomes a very plausible prospect.