Trade Fairs … All Marketing and NO Sales…
Exhibiting at Trade Fairs can cost tens of thousands of pounds if you include stand design, build, space, services, marketing, product, travel, accommodation, subsistence etc and I know it prompts debate in the boardroom when the final orders are counted.
Last week I walked several miles up and down the aisles of two leading International trade fairs, the Autumn Fair International and International Jewellery London , combined they boasted over 2,000 exhibitors launching over 60,000 new products – a quite considerable investment in npd alone!
From my conversations with exhibitors, the days of covering your costs with orders are long gone but in many companies this still remains the single most important criteria used to judge if the fair was a success.
Trade fairs are no longer just about writing orders on the stand, they provide companies with the opportunity to reach their target market with a variety of value added activities that should be incorporated in their attendance objectives, for example:
Securing buyer feedback on potential activity
Informing and building trust
New customer acquisition
On trend focus
New product launches
Showcase how to present your brand in store
Networking and connecting
Confirming follow up appointments
Plus the opportunity to assess if your pre-fair marketing activity worked or not – which on one occasion worked too well and prompted the organisers of a fair to close our stand by 1pm on the first day due to, aisle congestion, health and safety concerns and competitor complaints.
Fortunately we were relocated to a larger space in an adjoining hall, in time for opening on the following day. It did however mean one member of our team had to remain on the vacated stand to provide directions to our new location – we live and learn.