How Your Trade Show Marketing Can Help Pay for Itself

Did you know that your trade show can actually offset its own cost if you plan it correctly?

Did someone say “money saved?” This is a big deal when it comes to Trade Show Marketing! While trade shows can come with a decently sized price tag, there is a potential for your exhibit marketing program to help pay for itself. No, we are not just referring to making a large sale on the show floor that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Here’s how a business-to-business company attending a trade show can save money in the long run and essentially pay for itself.

Does your business often meet with clients and prospects to maintain and nurture relationships? Does it spend money on travel year-round to see these people face to face? Does your company take business partners to expensive dinners to get some facetime with them and work to build trust? What if you could offset a majority of these expenses, all while gaining new clients at the same time?

Trade shows allow you to do just that.

As an exhibitor, you devise how your trade show marketing plan looks – meaning that it doesn’t have to only consist of face-to-face interactions ON the physical trade show floor. The side of trade show marketing that many businesses tend to miss out on is taking the initiative to schedule meetings with prospects and existing clients while you are all in the same city.
Leveraging this strategy can save exhibitors money as they are still meeting as they normally would, but all in one place. However, this requires attending the right events. Going where your clients go and focusing on the industries that you serve is the key to attending the trade shows that are going to provide the greatest ROI.
As mentioned earlier, if your business is currently scheduling meetings after meetings each month with key buyers and it includes travel, trade shows can minimize this piece of the puzzle. Cutting down on flights, hotels, mileage, and other costs that come into play when sending employees across the country can all be done by scheduling meetings with these same people who are likely already attending a trade show that you were already planning to exhibit at.

Maintain your relationships as you normally would but do it right at your trade show.

When you’re choosing the right trade shows where a majority of your industry is attending, it’s important to schedule as many meetings with your clients and prospects ahead of time to make sure you get on their calendar. 

If you have ever attended a trade show yourself, you know that the time on the show floor is jam packed and goes by quickly. You can utilize conference rooms for this, or you can create your own meeting space as a part of your exhibit. If your key clients cannot make time during the trade show hours, schedule a happy hour, dinner – or even breakfast with them! Get creative with making the most out of your time while you are in close proximity to a large number of potential clients.

Regardless, meeting in a more secluded and intimate environment will help you conduct the same amount of business in a few days that you might have accomplished in a couple of months’ worth of time had you traveled to visit each one of those clients or prospects individually. With trade shows bringing many people in your industry to one place, meeting with as many clients and business partners as you can in one trip should be a priority.
When you think about the money that you would have spent flying your salespeople all over to have these meetings, it could cost nearly as much as the actual trade show. When you think about it this way, your trade show is helping pay for itself. Not only are you saving the money you would have spent on all of the additional travel, you are also exposed to potential new clients and spreading brand awareness to a high-quality audience of buyers.
Using this combination of timing and a condensed audience to your advantage, scheduling meetings before your next trade show will save you money in the long run! This is a great way to think about your future trade shows, and hopefully encourage you to leverage the endless opportunities that come along with exhibiting.

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