Trade shows play a crucial role in the marketing strategy of most industrial brands. Even so, a lot of work goes into preparing booths, sourcing prototypes and creating marketing paraphernalia. If the trade show is far away, then it might also involve travel without getting enough time to experience the location. This can make many people feel that trade shows are more trouble than they are worth. Here are 5 reasons for attending a trade show that may make business executives and their employees reconsider.
Making Product Announcements
For companies who do product releases at least once per year, trade shows play an indispensable role in their industrial marketing strategy. Brands that are known for using trade shows for showcasing product releases and making announcements include Tesla, Apple and Google. Car manufacturers, smartphone makers and software developers, in general, tend to fall into this category.
Trade shows partnered with great LED screens from Visual Impact Productions is sure to be a success. Showcasing a product at trade shows provides an opportunity to attract the first set of customers. For example, Tesla recently launched its polarizing Cybertruck. Many people dislike the look of the pickup truck, but for those who need to haul up to 14,000 pounds, the truck is impressive. These might include not just blue-collar workers but even owners of recreational vehicles.
Bringing this truck into trade show spaces usually dominated by more popular truck brands, such as Ford or Chevrolet, could help Tesla to carve out yet another new niche. For example, truck brands often join RV events because owners use trucks to haul travel trailers and tiny homes. Tesla might tap into a whole new market of full time RVers by attending one of these.
Getting Industry Updates
Some trade shows focus less on products and more on delivering information and discussing industry changes. In other cases, the product releases and announcements are exactly what determines industry trends and customer demands.
Companies that operate in dynamic fields, such as technology or the sciences, may rely on these to keep their workers up to date on this year’s trends and next year’s predictions. The more a company and its employees stay on top of industry changes, the better position they are in to innovate ahead of it.
This proactive approach to product development keeps them one step ahead of their competitors by mapping out long term trends. Other sources of industry updates at trade shows include keynote speakers, sponsored presentations, industry peers and informational booklets.
Learning New Skills
For the same reason highlighted above, some companies rely on trade shows to train top performers. Getting industry updates forms a part of this but only scratch the surface. Employees may also learn how to use new software that their company relies on before it even launches by watching product demonstrations.
Sometimes, companies also provide workshops related to their services. For example, at RV rallies, companies teach owners a variety of skills related to the maintenance of their home on wheels. This may range from cleaning EPDM roofs to doing full renovations of an RV for resale.
Additionally, companies that specialize in training and certifications use trade shows to showcase their services. Attendees may take one introductory class or witness a few demonstrations to decide if the training program is beneficial for the company. They can then inform their colleagues at work who are responsible for making training decisions. This helps them to narrow down their options.
Building a Network
In today’s interconnected world of commerce, no business can operate in isolation. Companies must seek out allies to partner with on various tasks. As more companies focus on specializing and honing in on a niche, they realize greater economies of scale that benefit their partners.
One example of this is outsourcing industrial marketing. Marketing companies who specialize in this area often visit industrial trade shows with their clients to oversee the setup and help out with the execution of the event plan. Some agencies attend these trade shows independently as well to find new potential clients.
Networking also has benefits on an individual level, though it may lead to some poaching of talent between companies. Making the right connections can help executives and lower-level workers to move into better-paying jobs and advance their careers.
Reducing Marketing Costs
Trade shows often seem expensive at the onset. Companies may need to pay a fee to attend and even more to set up a booth. Then, there are costs associated with creating that booth, such as printed marketing material and tutorial videos. Add the cost of transportation and accommodations and the upfront cost continues to rise.
In spite of this, several sources speak to the high return on investments for trade shows. To return to Tesla as an example, the company recently received 250,000 preorders for the futuristic Cybertruck with zero dollars spent on marketing beyond the trade show.
This is also despite the fact that the trade show was a botched debut. Workers broke what should have been two impenetrable windows. After the incident, news media and social media gave Tesla the type of earned press it probably would have preferred to do without. Yet, the company raked in $25 million dollars in refundable preorders all the same.