Trade shows are an incredibly effective lead generation tactic. They put you directly inside of a room filled with people that are generally in the market for your company’s products and services. If you approach these shows properly, you can walk away with an abundance of highly quality leads.
Trade shows do have their negatives; they’re often expensive. Many companies spend thousands, or, in some cases, millions of dollars, to make a lasting impression at a single trade show. But don’t let that scare you off. Trade shows can be worth the money, if you can properly calculate the return on investment of trade show attendance.
There are several steps involved in trade show participation. First, you need to pick the show that’s going to put you in a room with your target audience. Most shows provide demographic information about their attendees, which simplifies this process. You also need to decide to what extent you want to participate at the show.
You can participate in several different ways. Exhibiting with a booth gives you an excellent opportunity to demo your product in front of a live audience – but it’s also the most expensive way to attend a show.
You can also engage in sponsorship opportunities at the show. These vary in price and content. Sponsorships help you promote your brand to attendees, and if you’re also exhibiting, drive attendees to your booth.
Speaking is the final, and perhaps, best way to participate at a trade show. Speaking conveys a sense of credibility. Attendees tend to view speakers as industry experts, not sales people pitching to an audience. Unlike sponsoring and exhibiting, speaking engagements are free. But due to demand, it can be challenging to convince trade show management that you’re the right person for the job.
The flexibility that you have when deciding how you want to participate in a trade show, coupled with the presence of overwhelmingly strong leads, positions trade shows as an excellent lead generation tactic.