Typically the first thing business’ think when they hear ‘trade show’ is sales opportunities. While that may be a big portion of them it’s important to remember trade shows are more than just sales.
For us, at ER2, trade shows provide an important platform for some awesome face time with our current client base. Face time that we would otherwise not necessarily get the chance to have. Trade shows put us out in front of our clients and provides a really easy and relaxed way to interact with them. And because the sales side of it is always going to be there it actually reaffirms for our clients, the many reasons they chose to do business with us in the first place.
The key to this valuable interaction is knowing when it will be an opportunity. When we evaluate trade shows and determine which ones we will attend we are taking a look at few factors.
What is the related industry for the trade show?
Who will the attendee’s be at the trade show?
Have we participated in this trade show in prior years?
Based off the previous questions, does the trade show provide a sales platform, a client engagement platform or both?
For example there are certain trade shows we participate in every year even though most of the attendees are already our clients. We may have a few new client opportunities, however the main purpose for our attendance is simply to connect face to face with our existing clients in a fun environment. It’s an fantastic to pull feedback from our clients, what works for them and maybe what’s not working.
Next time a trade show opportunity arises, filter it through the questions and really understand the full potential of attending. Looking past the sales aspect of trade shows can add value and bring new interactions between you and your clients.