What is the Benefit of a Trade Show?
September 14, 2023
The spring and autumn bring shows, fabulous big shiny expos. For everything from packaging to IT, toys to pets, there is a show that will be attended by the best in the business, and thousands of people will wander through looking for solutions, services and goods while grazing on sweets and picking up free pens.
The one show we particularly like is the eCommerce Expo. This year, the show is being held in the futuristic and swanky ExCel in London’s Docklands. As a visitor, you’ll be exposed to the great and good in the eCommerce world. We will be there.
Shows cost a small fortune, so as an eCommerce provider, agency, or App, you’d be forgiven for asking: What is the benefit of a trade show? Well, let’s delve into that, shall we?
eCommerce is more than competitive. Think of the US Gold Rush of 1849. The number of businesses in this vertical has grown exponentially in the last ten years. So, staying ahead in eCommerce requires constant innovation and networking. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by attending trade shows and expos. These events bring together businesses and visitors from across the industry and the world, providing many opportunities for growth, learning, and collaboration. In this week's blog post, we'll explore why eCommerce expos are excellent and essential for businesses and visitors.
What are the Benefits of Businesses Attending a Trade Show?
Networking Opportunities: eCommerce expos are bustling hubs of industry professionals, from start-ups to industry giants. These events provide an unparalleled opportunity to network, build partnerships, and establish valuable contacts. You might find your next business collaborator or supplier at an expo. You will also be able to access and speak to high-level managers as they will often be in attendance. This helps with sales and partnerships and saves on cold calling. Most people are happy to talk at a show.
Showcasing Innovations: Exhibiting at an expo allows businesses to showcase their latest products, services, and technologies. It's a chance to demonstrate your offerings to a highly targeted audience actively seeking solutions and innovations. If you have a new product or service, you could do worse than launch it at a show.
Market Research: Expos offer a unique chance to conduct real-time market research. You can gather insights on industry trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies. This information can inform your business decisions and product development. You’ll also get an uninhibited look at your competitors.
Brand Visibility: Attending an expo can significantly boost brand visibility. It is an opportunity to get your brand in front of a large, engaged audience. Effective branding can lead to increased brand recognition and trust.
Learning and Development: Many expos host seminars, workshops, and keynote speakers featuring industry experts. These educational sessions can help businesses stay updated on the latest industry trends and best practices, providing invaluable knowledge to implement in their strategies.
If you’re running a small business or thinking about starting one, you’ll ask:
Why Should I Visit a Trade Show?
Access to Innovations: Visitors get exclusive access to the latest products and technologies in the eCommerce space. This first-hand experience can help them make informed decisions about adopting new solutions.
Learning Opportunities: Seminars and workshops held during expos allow visitors to expand their knowledge and skill set. These sessions cover various topics, from digital marketing to supply chain management.
Networking: Just as it benefits businesses, visitors can also establish valuable connections. Meeting industry professionals, potential suppliers, and peers can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.
Comparing Solutions: Visitors can efficiently compare different solutions and vendors all in one place. This makes the decision-making process more manageable and ensures they choose the right products or services for their needs.
Industry Insights: These shows often feature keynote speakers who share their insights into the eCommerce industry's future. These insights can help visitors stay ahead of the curve and anticipate market changes.
There you have it, the compelling reasons to exhibit or attend a trade show. On to the big issue:
How Do I See a Return on My Investment?
So, you have spent the money, set up the stand, attended the show and met many people. Your feet are sore, and you are missing home, but the FD wants to know how all this money spent will come back through the door. Here are five essential things that both exhibitors and show visitors should do after attending an eCommerce expo or trade show:
Follow-Up Leads Promptly: The contacts and leads you have collected during the expo are incredibly valuable. Make sure to follow up promptly with personalised emails or calls. Thank them for visiting your stand, remind them of your products or services, and offer to address any questions or concerns. The quicker your follow-up, the warmer the lead will be. Better still, book follow-up appointments on the stand if you can.
Review and Analyse Performance: Take the time to assess your performance at the expo. What worked well, and what could be improved? Analyse your ROI by comparing participation costs with the leads and sales generated. Use this information to refine your strategy for future events.
Update Your Database: Add the new contacts and leads to your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or database. Ensure that this information is accurate and complete. Segment your leads based on their interests or needs to tailor your follow-up communication.
Engage on Social Media : Share your expo experience on your company's social media channels: post photos, videos, and highlights from the event. Engage with attendees, other exhibitors, and event organisers by tagging them in your posts. This not only boosts your brand's visibility but also helps build relationships.
Plan for the Next Event: eCommerce expos are ongoing opportunities for growth. Begin planning for your participation in the next event as soon as possible. Consider what worked well and what didn't at the recent expo, and use these insights to refine your strategy for the next one. Early planning ensures you have ample time to prepare effectively.
If You Have Visited a Show.
Organise Your Notes: After attending seminars, workshops, or networking sessions, review and organise your notes. Extract critical takeaways, action items, and contact information you've gathered. Organised notes are more likely to lead to actionable insights.
Follow-Up with Contacts: Reach out to the contacts you have made during the expo. Whether it's potential business partners, suppliers, or peers, send follow-up emails or connect on LinkedIn. Personalise your messages and mention where you met to jog their memory.
Implement New Knowledge: Put into practice the knowledge you have gained from attending seminars and workshops. Whether it's new marketing strategies, technology tools, or industry insights, applying what you've learned can lead to tangible improvements in your business.
Evaluate Your Experience: Reflect on your overall experience at the expo. What were the most valuable sessions or interactions? What could have been better? This self-assessment can help you make more informed decisions about future event attendance.
Stay Engaged: Don't let the momentum from the expo fade away. Stay engaged with the contacts you've made and continue networking within relevant industry groups and associations. Join online forums or communities related to the expo's theme to keep the conversation going.
By taking these post-expo actions, both business exhibitors and show visitors can maximise the benefits of their participation. Whether it's nurturing leads, refining strategies, or implementing new knowledge, these steps help ensure that the value gained from the event is leveraged effectively.
Trade shows and expos are more than just shows; they're dynamic platforms that drive industry growth. Expos offer businesses a chance to network, showcase innovations, and gain a competitive edge. Visitors benefit from cutting-edge solutions, learning opportunities, and valuable industry insights. Whether you're an exhibitor or a visitor, eCommerce expos are essential to staying competitive in the e-commerce landscape.
As eCommerce Expo 2023 approaches, consider the opportunities it presents for your business or your professional development. It is an event where innovation meets opportunity, making it an investment that can yield significant returns.
Feel free to use this blog post as a starting point for your content and modify it as needed to align with your goals and messaging for eCommerce Expo 2023. You can register to visit the eCommerce expo for free, and we will be on stand G62. Pop by to say hello. There could be a sweet treat and a free pen for you.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog. We’ll have another next week.