7 Benefits of Trade Show Marketing

Industry Insights and Trends

Crowd of people surrounding a trade show exhibit for Hyster.

Trade show marketing is without a doubt a big investment, but the high costs can lead to even higher returns. In fact, 99% of exhibitors had more success marketing at trade shows than other mediums. 51% of them valued the face-to-face meetings, something that is difficult to materialize in a primarily digital world (Source: CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions). Human to human connections present important opportunities for more conversations, leads, and sales.

Benefits of Trade Shows

Easy on the pocketbook – Marketing at trade shows is like speed dating; offering an opportunity to speak to a great deal of people within a short period instead of approaching prospects one by one. And can make it possible to qualify prospects you might otherwise waste time and money on. From a business perspective, we hear a lot about the expense of trade shows, but this method can contribute to a lower cost per lead than any other medium, if done right.

Brand awareness – Investing in online, print, and media marketing is a necessary requirement for successful business promotion. But unlike these channels, trade show marketing offers a personal experience that can be more effective. Having a stellar exhibit on the floor draws attendees in and allows companies to market their products and services directly to their target audience in-person at a single location.

In the interest of time – Tending a booth at a trade show is a time-saving and efficient way to meet buyers and suppliers. Think about it – scheduling individual appointments, both short and long distance, consumes a large amount of time and money. Having all your buyers under a single roof enables quick purchasing decisions. But don’t wait until the show begins to start contacting prospects: reach out well before the show opens to schedule appointments during the event. 

Access – Imagine all the possibilities offered by in-person meetings with buyers normally scattered far and wide. With companies from around the world attending trade shows, you have a great opportunity to access buyers who are otherwise unreachable simply because of geography. Don’t assume this will happen – plan ahead by identifying your best prospects, deciding what you will say to them, and how your entire interaction with them will play out on the floor. 

Marketing opportunity – Bringing a new product to market is an expensive gamble. Got a new product that you’re itching to sell? The temptation is to listen to your team only when what you really need to know is whether your new product is going to induce buyers to sign purchase orders. With your target market standing right in front of you as you make your pitch, you can get honest feedback and ask the questions that can help avoid disasters and lead to product success. 

Connect with attendees – One of the most important benefits of trade shows is that the attendees are buyers; the people who help keep your business alive. Trade shows offer an intimate atmosphere for meeting potential buyers, creating meaningful relationships, and ultimately building a loyal customer base. Your interaction with these buyers should begin well before the show through email, social media posts, and personal invites to visit your booth at the show.  Don’t forget during- and after-show followup. It’s amazing how many hot leads from shows are never followed up with. 

Gather market knowledge – Keeping close tabs on what your competitors are up to is critical to business success and trade shows put most of your competitors just a stone’s throw away. This is an ideal situation to study your competition and gather insight on the market. With a little work, companies can get a good overview of where they stand in their industry and then use that research to improve future business plans.


Trade shows can open the door to emotional connections that can be difficult to obtain through virtual marketing. Planned and executed well, they can result in sales, leads, press coverage, new customers, and partnerships with all the right people. Not to say you shouldn’t use other channels for engagement. Combining both face-to-face and online engagement will maximize reach. 

The return on investment is worth it. Just ask the 1.5 million companies already capitalizing on the benefits of trade shows. 

Want to learn how you can maximize your trade show program? Get in touch.

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