For new companies emerging as leaders in their respective fields, attending a tradeshow is a pivotal moment in their history. It’s a statement to their competitors that they’re a force to be reckoned with and, to their clients, it’s a message of competence and confidence. However, for a startup with revolutionary products and services, it’s the way to get noticed.
Imagine gaining access to industry leaders and investors at the U.S.’s oldest and most famous tech show, CES. What opportunities would that open for you? Perhaps solid investors are already backing you. How does attending a tradeshow market your product? Let’s make a brief comparison between different forms of marketing and advertising and why you should, at the very least, include tradeshows as part of your strategy.
Tough Methods of Advertising
Unless you’re advertising for the Superbowl or some other live sporting event, it isn’t easy to promote effectively through this medium. The most reliable channels are sports and news media since they air live. However, you’ll be paying a premium to appear for both, and with how political everything’s gotten, you’ll have to pick your news outlets wisely. And even still, with DVR and streaming, there’s a fair chance your ad might be skipped.
Online and print ads in papers and magazines
Are you trying to optimize SEO and google ads? Guess what; it’s going to take time. You’ll need a full-on marketing team with content writers, ad experts, and data analysts to make it work effectively. Furthermore, studies show that attention spans continue to decrease, especially regarding reading blogs. One reason for this is we, as a society, are moving from a word-centric to a visual-centric culture, making word-based ads difficult to get noticed.
Going viral isn’t a science. It’s not always certain which videos will launch into the stratosphere, and which will remain in obscurity. Sure, there are some good practices to follow: make quality videos, be funny, keep your content short, etc. But don’t bank on this method as not only are users migrating to new platforms, but the algorithms of the platforms themselves are constantly changing.
Five Reasons to take your Startup to a Tradeshow
While the marketing methods above are tough, businesses and even startups manage to make them work. The key is perseverance and intelligent optimization. And don’t get me wrong, tradeshows have their difficulties, especially with reckoning with the health crisis of 2020. However, as we’ve reported elsewhere, there is an excellent opportunity to succeed at tradeshows. The recent Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) is predicting, based on current data, that tradeshows will make a full recovery by 2023.
Furthermore, while attendance has been low, the quality of attendees has improved. Before the pandemic, 90% of tradeshow attendees used tradeshows as their number one source of purchasing information. There’s reason to suspect that percentage has increased since people attending in this climate are serious buyers. With that being said, here are five reasons startups should attend tradeshows:
1. Boost awareness
The main difference between tradeshows and other marketing methods is that this platform allows you to put your product in the hands of your customers. You can give product demonstrations, samplings, and other experiential elements. Best of all, you can do this without shipping your item out and dealing with possible returns or delayed feedback.
2. Develop strong connections
Consider that 56% of attendees rate tradeshows as having the most value of any face-to-face marketing interactions. Person sales calls are a distant 26%. Greeting someone in-person and asking them for their time is the easiest, most effective way to engage your audience. You can make your online content as personable as possible, but the physical element is still king.
3. Learn about the competition
Attending shows is a perfect way to study your competition. Of course, you have all the martech available to you online, but seeing your competition live reveals not so much their data but how they are pivoting and reacting to industry trends. This kind of insight is helpful for long-term changes for your business and discovering a plausible direction to set yourself apart.
4. Discover new marketing tactics
The personable element inherent with tradeshows allows you to understand your customer’s psyche better. What do they want? Why do they want it that way? How are they responding when they interact directly with your product? Meeting with your target audience face-to-face gives invaluable experience for more accurate customer profiles.
5. Be informed about industry trends
Finally, reading up on the latest hot topics online is one thing, but seeing it is another. Hear directly from like-minded professionals and mentors who talk openly about the industry’s direction. Be the interviewer instead of reading someone else’s interview.
If you’re still mulling over the usefulness of tradeshows or want to know more about how to get started, the Trade Group offers full-turnkey solutions. Think about contacting us for help. To learn more about our fantastic trade show displays and how they help you stand out from the crowd, give The Trade Group a call at 800-343-2005 or contact us here.
Cameron Wilkinson is a writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. His writing for the events industry pairs with his interests in sales and marketing. He also holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Texas.