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Showing off your brand at exhibitions and trade shows can be far from cheap. Businesses, especially those who are just starting out, may find it hard to justify the huge costs which often come hand in hand with these events. Not to mention, the time spent out of the office which can be a bit of a sacrifice for small, up and coming businesses.

No matter the size of the event, whether a local B2B exhibition or a national trade show, there are bound to be a number of benefits which will make it worth the investment. Otherwise, why do businesses sign up, right?

Let’s take a look at how exhibitions could transform your brand.

7 benefits of trade shows and exhibitions

1. Brand Exposure

It can be difficult for businesses to crack their market, especially if it’s a particularly saturated one or you are a new business. Despite all the enthusiasm in the world, building brand awareness can be a slow and laborious task. With a stand at an exhibition, you have the advantage of reaching a large portion of your target audience in one go.

What could be achieved over the few days you’re at an exhibition, could take months and months of hard work from the office.

2. People buy from people

Whether you’re looking to make an impact in a certain market, build brand awareness or simply generate a host of new leads, some would argue that face to face is the best way to do it. Getting out there and putting a face and personality behind your brand means people are more likely to remember you. It can help to build trust and enforce your brand values.

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of spreading brand awareness. If a customer has had a connection with a person behind your brand, chances are they are more likely to recommend you to someone they know.

3. Understand your target audience

Having a deep understanding of your audience is Business 101. What better way is there to conduct market research than by having an informal conversation? Exhibitions and events provide the ability to chat to your target consumer and allows you to perform better as a business, really delivering the products and services consumers are looking for.

4. Competitor analysis

In a similar way, by the very nature of trade shows and exhibitions, there are going to be businesses there who you’re in direct competition with. But don’t let this put you off (and don’t turn to underhand tactics either) instead turn it into a great opportunity for some competitor analysis.

Take a walk around the room, see what other companies are doing, what is working and what you may actually be doing better.

5. Seeing is believing

People are more inclined to buy, or invest in, a product or system if they can see it first-hand. Demonstrations can be invaluable when encouraging new customers. It gives consumers the opportunity to ask questions and fully understand what is on offer. Which in turn, builds confidence in the product.

Businesses often use trade shows and exhibitions to soft launch a new product or service. It allows them to gauge an initial reaction and address any issues which might arise before releasing to a wider audience.

6. Use it as an opportunity to learn

There are often free seminars and Q&A sessions which you may find very useful. Use these opportunities to keep up to date with the latest industry trends, learn something new and maybe even make a connection with a mentor. Which brings us on to our next point.

7. Networking

Trade shows and exhibitions aren’t all about attracting new customers; they are also a brilliant opportunity to network and make connections. Use it as a chance to get advice and discuss ideas and industry trends with like-minded people.

There is plenty of time for chatting before the doors open and once they have closed in the evening. Chances are, loads of the exhibitors will be staying at local hotels, so how about arranging to meet for drinks and unwind after a long day at the show.

You never know who you might meet and what opportunities this could present to you and your business.

Our top tips

Let people know you will be there

Social media is your friend when it comes to attending exhibitions. It’s first role is to let people know where you will be and when. Secondly, you can use it whilst at the show to give running updates of how things are going, comment on an interesting seminar or show a glimpse behind the scenes. People love to feel involved.

It’s a great way to reach out to current customers or those who are on the verge of becoming one. Letting your followers know you will be attending a certain event presents the opportunity to come and meet you in person and see what you’re all about.

Don’t neglect your current customers! Yes, one of your primary aims is probably to build new relationships and generate new customers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about those who are already supporting you. Arrange to meet up with customers or show them a new product they may be interested. The best way to build loyalty is to show your appreciation by taking time to focus on them.

A month or so before the event, start planting the seed that you will be attending. Ask anyone you speak to whether they will be going and add a note to your website. You could even consider offering something exclusive to those who come to see you at the show. Incentives tend to work, who doesn’t enjoy a freebie or great offer?

Get noticed

Having a strong brand identity and choosing a set up with a bold, impactful design will go miles towards getting you noticed.

Spend some time creating a strong identity which you can use across your stand design and printed collateral if you’re having any. Tie this design into any social graphics you create, and you will have a strong and cohesive campaign in no time.

Choosing your exhibition kit

There are numerous stand options on the market. Which one is most suitable will depend on the type of space you’re hiring. New businesses are likely to opt for a shell scheme as these tend to be the most affordable. But, choosing space only doesn’t mean you will have to fork out thousands of pounds on building a stand to go in the space.

Fabric exhibition stands are an affordable option

Whether you choose to have a shell scheme, or space only, fabric exhibition stands and furniture are a really affordable way to kit out your space.

Not only do reusable stands spread the cost across multiple events but our fabrics can be bought separately from the frames. This easily allows you to update your message for each event if necessary.

Other benefits of a fabric exhibition stand include:

  • Superb quality
  • Easy to assemble
  • Washable
  • Flexibility

Take a look at our full range of exhibition products which can help you stand out from the crowd. Consider more than just a fabric backdrop, how about offering your customers somewhere to sit whilst you have a chat, or maybe offer a more private area if you need to discuss numbers.