Are Trade Show Exhibits Worth It?

Graphic of visitors at a trade show

After a difficult couple of years, trade shows are making a big comeback. In fact, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research predicted in its 2021 report that trade shows would make a significant comeback in 2023. As fear of COVID-19 begins to lessen, more people are comfortable attending in-person events. Although the pandemic left behind stricter safety protocols, it also birthed hybrid trade shows, which feature a mix of in-person and online events, making them more accessible to individuals who can’t travel and giving exhibitors even more visibility. 

So, what does all of this mean for your business? Simply put, you’re missing out on new leads and brand exposure if you do not include trade shows in your marketing strategy.

Let’s take a deeper look into why trade show exhibits are a worthy investment. 

Why Exhibit at a Trade Show?

Many experienced exhibitors consider trade shows to be an effective marketing tool. According to the 2022 Economic Outlook by Exhibitor Magazine, 45% of exhibitors/marketers felt hopeful about the effectiveness of trade show marketing, while 39% were optimistic. Only 16% of exhibitors reported feeling cautious or pessimistic. The same report also highlighted the dramatic increase in attended trade shows between 2015 and 2022. Although 2019 remains the best year for trade shows during that period, there was a 143% increase in attendance from 2021 to 2022. 

PwC also reported in their Global Entertainment and Media Outlook Survey that B2B trade shows will continue to rise in value in 2023, making a complete comeback (akin to pre-pandemic years) by 2026. 

If you haven’t considered investing in trade show marketing, you still have time to plan. In addition to trade shows continuing to rise in popularity, there are other benefits of having your own trade show exhibit. These include:

Increased Brand Visibility

Trade shows can help small, medium, and large businesses boost brand awareness. Trade shows allow you to proudly display your logo, mission statement, and other factors of your brand to potential leads. It also allows you to gift attendees practical, branded products, whether refrigerator magnets, pens, or bags. 

Improved Leads & Sales Generation

The people attending trade shows aren’t there by accident—they’ve paid money to see new technologies and learn more about how these technologies can help solve the problems they’re experiencing. They’re often looking to buy or at least scope out the businesses selling the products and services they want to invest in.

Even if attendees don’t buy from you during the trade show, they are still excellent leads that your sales team can follow up with. Remember to give attendees brochures, gifts, or other products that will help them remember your brand. 

Stronger Industry Connections & Partnerships

Trade shows are also fantastic networking opportunities. You’ll be spending time under the same roof with a large community of related professionals. You’ll be able to communicate with other major players in your industry, make valuable connections, and even establish potential partnerships. 

You’ll also gain more insight into how the industry is doing, what problems others are having, and the solutions they’ve created to solve these problems. Make sure to attend any meetings or seminars held during the trade show.

Better Opportunities to Advertise to Your Target Audience

Remember that attendees will primarily be your target audience. Trade shows are among the very few places that allow you to get face-to-face with your target audience. Being close to your target audience allows you to test a general reaction to new products. What general feedback are you getting from your audience? Could you have done anything differently to improve how you market/showcase your business and mission? What elements did your audience expect from your trade show exhibit that weren’t there? Conversely, what elements were there that they enjoyed? This can help you modify your marketing strategy and know how to plan better for future trade shows!

Plan Your Next Trade Show With Help From GraphiColor

Do you have questions or reservations about trade shows? Reach out to GraphiColor Exhibits. We’re an industry-leading graphic design and trade show exhibit company. We’ve helped thousands of clients in all industries design and build effective trade show displays, banners, and more. We understand the impact an effective display can have on a business. 

Contact us today with general questions you may have about trade show exhibiting or to learn more about our capabilities and project successes.

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