Why Participate in Tradeshows ?

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Why Participate in Tradeshows ?. Presented by Steven Douglas Organizer of 125 International Tradeshows (1985-2000) . What is a Tradeshow?. A tradeshow is an organized event where two things happen Participants exhibit /showcase their products/solutions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Why Tradeshows/Exhibitions?

Why Participate in Tradeshows?

Presented by Steven DouglasOrganizer of 125 International Tradeshows (1985-2000) What is a Tradeshow?A tradeshow is an organized event where two things happenParticipants exhibit /showcase their products/solutions.Visitors view what is being exhibited and consider buying the products/solutions.What is a Good Tradeshow?A good tradeshow is when the organizer puts as much focus into bringing visitors to the event as they do in selling exhibit space.A good event normally lasts at least 3 days.Day 1 Visitor views exhibits on display.Day 2 Visitor goes back to office to discuss.Day 3 Visitor comes back to negotiate.

What is a bad tradeshow?The organizer puts their investment into selling exhibit space and leaves visitor promotion entirely to the exhibitors.The event takes place for less than 3 days not giving the potential buyers time to discuss options with their colleagues. Decisions are then pushed off until after the event. Quality Visitors The Key to SuccessI have exhibited in events where the visitors had nothing to do with my product or solution portfolio. Before signing a contract to exhibit in an event, make ABSOLUTELY certain that you belong in the event. Make sure that the organizer has the ABILITY to bring visitors to the event that are potentially interested in YOUR products and solutions.Example, just because you may sell to the military does not mean that a show on a military base is the right one for you.The Value of SponsorsA secret to getting good visitors is for organizers to align their events with sponsoring organizations.In the USA/Canada sponsors are typically Associations or Government entities relative to the industry.Outside of the USA sponsors are typically Associations or Government entities relative to the industry.Didnt I just say that? So, whats the difference?Why exhibit at a tradeshow?You have a new product/solution you want to announce to the marketplace.You have potential customers in a market where the event is taking place and you are bringing product samples to show them.Your competition is going to exhibit and you have to be there to keep your face to industry.How do I exhibit?Exhibit spaces can be as small as 10x10 or as large as you can afford. The perfect space is not smaller than 40x40

Literature Stands or show area.Sample AreaKitchenette or Refrigerator and/or storage area to keep literature, give-aways, drinks and snacks to feed your guests. (closed off with a doorway for security.)Negotiation/Meeting Room(Closed off with a doorway for privacy)How to get attention?The size of the stand is important to get people to notice you. Having a small 10x10 stand makes it that much more difficult to be seen and usually results in disappointed exhibitors.Tricks of getting attention (leave your ethics at home).Beautiful People get attention!Amazing giveaways get attention!Free Food gets attention! Free services get attention! (i.e. Shoe Shine Stand)

What else can you do to make your investment payoff?Do your homework. Research the market where the event takes place.Contact all of your current customers and prospects and invite them to visit your stand at the show.Send free tickets to your current customers and prospects with your booth numbers on the tickets making it easy for them to find you.NEVER rely only on the organizer.

They are in the business of making money on tradeshows, not selling your products / solutions. Good organizers will invest moneys in visitor promotion but this is for general visitors, not necessarily exactly matched to your portfolio. Most advertising is done through ad trade-offs with industry publications that are given exhibit space in the events in exchange for adverts for the show.

What if I am new to market?Dont exhibit before you have prospects you can invite to the event unless

You have competitors in the event and you want THEIR customers to see you.

Dont expect too much your first time out in a new marketEvents in Foreign CountriesThe rules for participating in international tradeshows are similar to domestic shows.

Additional Concerns Make sure you speak the language. Organizers should provide translator services for hire.Print literature in the host language. Dont assume they speak English.Know your local competition in the market before you arrive.If you are new to market, contact the US Foreign Commercial Service office closest to the exhibition city and ask about available Gold Key services.Events in Foreign CountriesSimilarities to Domestic Events but.If you intend to have Beautiful people on your stand, make sure it is not offensive to the local culture.If you plan to bring giveaways make sure they are of interest to the host culture.If you plan to bring foods or special gifts, ask the organizers what is best to consider.

Events that support Major ConferencesThere are many events that support conferences. Most of the attendees are participants in the conferences. I do not recommend these events since the priorities of the attendees are not you and the tradeshow. They are there to attend the conference and will most likely be chatting with fellow attendees or on their cellphones during breaks.Events that have ConferencesAlthough Associations tend to have Conferences with tradeshows, there are many industrial associations where the exhibitions are more important and the time for the conference meetings allow for at least 50% of the total time available to view the exhibition. Final ThoughtsTradeshows are supposed to be a 50/50 agreement between the organizer and the exhibitor. Make sure the organizer is putting at least 50% of their organizing budget into visitor promotion.