Digital Marketing Trends for 2017

Essential Digital Marketing megatrends that will give you the edge in the new year


4 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

An introduction to the benefits of exhibiting if you haven't taken the plunge yet

From visibility to credibility, exhibiting at a trade show has hundreds of benefits for your business. Establishing a presence, whether big or small, for your company at a trade show gives you a powerful platform for meeting new customers, reaching out to your existing clientèle, and building a more established and reliable brand.

CES Las Vegas

One of the largest exhibitions - CES Las Vegas. Image credit - AskDaveTaylor.

A lot of businesses are put off exhibiting at a trade show because of the cost. It’s true – developing a great trade show exhibit, training your staff members, and travelling to the event itself isn’t a very cheap process. However, like most forms of marketing, with the right strategy, a trade show can be a very profitable choice.

In this run-down, we discuss the four core benefits of exhibiting at a trade show.

Generate lucrative, highly targeted business leads

With the right strategy, every trade show you attend is an opportunity to drastically expand your company’s customer base. The people who attend trade shows tend to be motivated, interested in the products or services your company offers, and often ready to commit to a deal on the spot.

In short, they’re much more worthwhile leads than names and numbers picked out of a business directory.

Make your sales goals clear to your team before your next trade show and ask them to generate as many leads as possible. A good show could keep your sales team busy for months connecting with prospects and closing deals.

  • Establish key sales goals before the event to give your team an objective
  • Interact with all visitors to your exhibit, as they could turn into customers
  • Keep notes of your interactions so that you can follow up after the event

Learn what’s working (and what isn't)

Trade shows are great opportunities to learn which direction your industry is (and isn’t) going in. During a slow period, leave your booth and walk around the floor on a fact-finding mission searching for what your competitors are doing right, and what they’re doing wrong.

Look at the type of giveaways that people remember, and take note of the type they forget. Pose as a customer and ask your competitors for price lists and information about their latest products. After a couple of hours on the sales floor, you’ll be able to piece together the sales strategies and marketing tactics of your competitors.

  • See which booths are attracting the most attendees and learn from their tactics
  • Keep notes of prices and special deals offered by your competitors to see how competitive your offers are
  • Pose as a customer and see how other salespeople interact with you, and what their objectives are

Develop and strengthen your brand

Branding is a huge aspect of business success, especially in industries that depend on trust and reputation. Exhibiting at a trade show is a wonderful way to tell your industry that your company is serious, reliable, and large enough to afford its own presence at leading events and conferences.

By using your exhibit strategically, you can even position your company as being part of a niche within your market. Positioning your booth next to your industry’s ‘blue chip’ companies creates a powerful psychological image that can help your company move from ‘startup’ to ‘established brand’ in the eyes of your customers.

With the right strategy, even a small startup can strengthen its brand by exhibiting at a trade show. Display Wizard advises startups and small companies to choose a modular display system, as these are far easier to customise and adjust to suit any type of space than static display stands.

  • Position your exhibit close to your industry’s blue chip’ companies to enhance your brand
  • Use eye-catching, recognisable display banners to make your exhibit easy for customers and prospects to notice
  • Include your social media information on your exhibit so event attendees can connect with you online

Close sales without causing resentment

Not all prospects respond well to telesales or direct mail. Some see direct marketing as an intrusion into their lives, while others are annoyed by sales calls, regardless of how much value they might offer.

Exhibiting at a trade show gives your company’s sales team an unprecedented level of access to important prospects, all without the resentment and apprehension that characterises traditional direct sales. Typical objections disappear as customers are in a buying (or research-focused) mood.

Capitalise on this opportunity. Prospects rarely give up their time; at a trade show, they do so enthusiastically. View every interaction with a prospect as a chance to close the deal and you’ll exit the trade show with a folder full of ready-to-buy sales leads.

  • Whenever possible, try to close deals on the spot to capitalise on the buying mood of the event
  • Take a direct approach to sales, as most attendees are already interested in your company’s products or services
  • If you can’t close deals during the event, try to set up appointments with key prospects for the week after the trade show

Thinking of exhibiting? Make sure you choose the right show

The four benefits listed above are some of the most lucrative trade shows have to offer, but they’re certainly not the only ones. Trade shows can be used to generate buzz for a new product, for competitive research, and even for expanding your own professional network.

All of this depends on you choosing the right trade show for your company. Patrick Hull, an entrepreneur and trade show expert, recommends asking competitors and peers for their trade show recommendations. Attending the wrong trade show can cost your business far more than it produces in sales income.

Have you researched trade shows to find the best choice for your company? Do you have an experienced, capable sales team? If so, exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to transform your business from a small startup into a talked-about, profitable, and highly effective enterprise.

Peter Symonds is a trade show marketing expert from Display Wizard. He'll be posting more tips about how to make the most of your trade show experience over the coming months. Meanwhile, if you're considering marketing your business at a trade show, visit to browse the range of promotional material and contact the team for a quote.

Share your thoughts

  • Martin commented on August 20, 2016

    An interesting read, our clients have found that the real work comes after the show where they need to make the most of the leads and interest gained on their stand. Getting this bit right by organising leads and follow ups correctly is just as, if not more important than discussions made at the event.


  • Trade shows are the only marketing&sales activity where you can meet prospects that have both the time and interest to listen to your product demo. It is an essential piece of your strategy, yet it is both expensive and time consuming.
    If you decide to participate in an exhibition and have a booth, you must take it very seriously and put all chances on your side. Plan carefully, have a clear budget, promote your presence, capture leads efficiently, follow-up quickly and monitor your progress, there is no way around it!
    At we offer an efficient solution to cover these steps and provide the right platform to manage your event efficiently, give it a try!

  • Amie commented on January 28, 2016

    We agree that branding is a huge aspect of business success, but remember, small is beautiful: Exhibiting is about your BIG ambitions not your big budget. Don’t just try to go for a bigger stand in the hopes of ‘filling a space,’ especially if your budget can cope. You want to make sure that the stand you create really does your brand justice. Take time to look at our amazing range of Exhibition Stand Bundles that are perfect for any business with any budget!

    • Lee Bierton commented on January 29, 2016

      Agreed, making the most of the space you have available is very important when exhibiting. Also, getting the design of the Exhibition Stand Bundles perfect can go a long way towards attracting new clients.

  • Robert commented on October 22, 2014

    Exhibiting at a trade show *can* do incredible things for your business, so long as you keep your wits about you. All too many people seem to think that trade show success begins as the expo opens and closes at the end of the day. We always try to advise our clients that to get the best results, you research and lead generation should start some weeks before attending a show, and your lead nurturing should carry on some time afterwards.

    In other words, success can be great, but you need to be willing to “go the extra mile” to get the very best results.


  • Ryan Legge commented on February 26, 2014

    You’ve stated all the benefits of exhibitions and touched, at the end, fleetingly on the potential disadvantages. For example cost. The cost of exhibiting and the hire or purchase of your exhibition equipment is perceived to be incredibly high and regularly seen as a reason not to exhibit. Hence the importance of finding the correct trade-shows and exhibitions to display at and utilising reasonably priced exhibition pop up stands.

  • michael commented on February 22, 2014

    nice article. thank you for this.

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