Anyone in the manufacturing industry knows the importance of trade shows. Many companies, large and small, spend many months and thousands of dollars preparing for the most important events of the year.
The Importance of Trade Shows
Why are trade shows so important? Historically, they have been used to showcase and sell new products to potential customers. These customers are there with the intent to buy. With such a high concentration of hot leads, trade shows are a hub of sales.
According to a survey conducted by Statista, 74% of responders said that they were more likely to purchase products they had seen at a trade show. This makes sense; why purchase something online when you can see it in person and talk to someone who knows the ins and outs of that particular part?
Not only are trade shows important for buyers, but they are also essential for manufacturers. Many of the most important, high-dollar sales come from trade shows. According to spingo.com, “The cost of a face-to-face meeting with a prospect at a trade show is $142. The cost of a face-to-face meeting at a prospect’s office is $259. By displaying at an expo, you find a much more cost-effective way to have face-to-face conversations with potential prospects.” Companies typically begin gearing up for the next trade show almost as soon as the last one ends.
The 2020 Roadblock
Companies have run into a roadblock this year when it comes to trade shows: most of the biggest events in the country have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Once the news came that a huge selling and marketing opportunity would be lost, many manufacturers began to ask the same question: what do we do now?
The answer is easier said than done. Don’t spend time lamenting the loss of the marketing venue. The organizations who will come out on top will be the ones who can quickly pivot, adapt their plans, and refocus their efforts.
When and how depend on what your objectives and goals were for the show and how best you can adapt to get your message out to that same group. With these avenues closed for the foreseeable future, what are things that can be done to develop those relationships, provide information, and grow business?
First, you need to assess what your trade show goals were and what you wanted to accomplish. Do you have a new product to introduce, an exciting update, or fix to a common problem? Who, specifically, were you hoping to reach with your message?
Establish your goals and shift the trade show dollars into other marketing areas. Take this chance to be creative in your messaging and tactics. Look at this as a new opportunity and not as a lost opportunity.
Though trade shows may be cancelled, your chances at marketing don’t have to be. With a little reworking, you can still have a successful 2020!
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