In this article, we will explain the reasons why companies participate to professional exhibition and trade fairs for the general public, as well as their different objectives.
Every year, about 1100 exhibitions take place in France and this number is constantly increasing. This growth is explained by the annual creation of new exhibitions to meet the new demands of the business sectors. Thanks to trade fairs and exhibitions, exhibiting companies generate a turnover of approximately 30.5 billion euros each year.
By participating in these events, companies have several objectives:
Prospect / recruit new customers
The search for new customers is the main motivation for exhibiting companies at trade and consumer shows. Indeed, exhibitions represent an excellent opportunity for companies to develop their address book and their reputation. By bringing together professionals with common interests, these unmissable events attract a large number of visitors who could become potential customers for your business. Therefore, it is important to talk to as many visitors as possible in order to present your company on the one hand, and then, in a second step, the services and products offered by your company. For greater confidentiality, we advise you to take them to a more intimate space, away from view. This allows you to detail your offers and, if you wish, to discuss your pricing. If you have any questions regarding the creation of a lounge area on your stand, please do not hesitate to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maintaining commercial relations with your customers
Your presence at exhibitions does not only include finding future prospects. It is an excellent way for you to maintain the relationship with your customers and to keep them loyal! To do this, don’t hesitate to send them an invitation to come and meet you before the event. It is essential to note on this invitation the location of your stand and the number of the hall, to guide them to your stand during the show. This can be an opportunity for you to build a trusting and lasting relationship with your customers. You can also use this opportunity to introduce them to a new product, a company-related innovation, or simply to chat over a coffee.
Selling/taking orders at the exhibition
The objective of selling and taking orders from companies during the event is very noticeable at consumer shows. Conversely, selling during the show is not a priority for exhibitors at trade shows. Thus, private individuals have a relatively short and impulsive decision-making and purchasing process, unlike that of companies. In other words, they have to follow an often strict protocol and get the approval of the management committee before signing a contract. From this perspective, exhibitions are a place to meet and exchange ideas, to make contacts and to sign contracts for the long term.
Drawing up quotes and putting them into effect after the event
As we saw in the article: What is an ROI, trade shows have a long-term commercial objective, unlike consumer shows. Thus, exhibitions are an excellent meeting place to discuss your clients’ projects and draw up quotes accordingly. These can be validated after the event. In order to contact your customers after the event, don’t forget to take their contact details so that you can contact them again and thank them for attending. For this reason, you can place a « contact box » on your stand where your contacts can leave their business cards.
… And objectives related to their image
Develop your image with journalists and competitors
Taking part in exhibitions is a sure way of developing your visibility. To do this, the challenge is, of course, to be visible at the exhibition, as this is one of the undeniable success factors. Major exhibitions often attract the press and give you the opportunity to get your name out there! So don’t hesitate to go and meet them. In addition, keep in mind that an original and quality stand is a simple way to distinguish yourself from other exhibitors. On the other hand, imposing yourself on your competitors will increase your legitimacy and your presence in the sector of activity concerned.
Observing and analysing the competition
The arrival of new players, the development of new products or the visibility of the competition are all observable elements that are useful for developing your strategy. Establishing a competitive watch before an exhibition can be relevant, particularly in order to adapt the way you communicate about your products and services. Before the show starts, we also recommend that you take a tour of your hall to find out about your competitors. Keep in mind that you must put yourself in the visitors’ shoes. In this way, an objective look will show you whether you are differentiated from your competitors.
In conclusion, companies have different motivations for participating in exhibitions and their objectives differ depending on the type of exhibition they attend. Exhibitors at consumer shows have more commercial objectives. They expect a short-term result, for example through contract signatures during the exhibition. Conversely, exhibitors at trade fairs place more emphasis on developing their visibility and image, which will enable them to do business in the medium and long term. The issue of notoriety can be a considerable asset for the prospect. Your communication strategy and your discourse with your clients must therefore be adapted to your audience!
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