10 powerful reasons to consider trade shows and events

10 reasons to consider trade shows

UK exhibitions attracted over 13 million visitors in 2010, who spent over £11.0 billion on visiting those exhibitions. Statistics like that certainly grab attention.

Starting roadshow, tradeshow and event activity from scratch can seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t need to be. Whatever the reason you’re putting exhibition activity off, whether time, cost or return on investment concerns, start considering the benefits and suddenly there’s plenty of reasons why you really should be putting a bold foot forward.

Research has proven time and time again that planned correctly, events can give good returns on investment (ROI) and a much stronger return than other outreach activities. If you still need a bit of convincing, take a look at our 10 reasons to consider trade shows and why you should be adding show and event activity to your marketing calendar:

Connect face to face with customers

Nothing can compare to being face to face with potential and existing customers. If they’re sampling your product first hand, it provides huge benefits as they can see and touch products whilst gaining a better understanding of their quality.

Secondly they can meet your team, providing the personal touch, which gives your brand greater presence in the mind of visitors and an opportunity for greater sales. Research from Facetime UK indicates that 80% of respondents agreed that a person spends more money with companies they have met face to face.

Access to captive/engaged and interested buyers

Whether visitors are researching, or buying at an event, exhibitors have the ideal opportunity to target them directly, making this number 2 on our breakdown of 10 reasons to consider trade shows.

Demonstrating your product, whilst listening to their feedback and refining product offerings to fit their exact requirements, gives the foundations for a strong relationship. This approach immediately benefits your ROI and ensures the creation of a positive brand image.

Knowledge and insight

Knowledge is power; that is never truer than at events. What better way to get to know the needs of your prospects and customers, than talking to them directly about their concerns? What better way to get to know the industry and its thought leaders than talking to others directly involved eg exhibitors, suppliers and press contacts?

Events give you access to those in the know, so you find out about industry specific news, developments and other relevant news before everyone else, a sure fire way to stay ahead of the curve.

Contacts and new prospects

Events are a great way to meet new contacts and prospects. Depending on what you’re selling, they might not be at the right stage in the buying cycle, or ready to purchase just yet, but they’ve been talking to you!

That gives you a valuable arsenal of contacts that if nurtured correctly could convert into customers down the line. As an added bonus, you might even find you have brand advocates, or word of mouth referrals cropping up as a result of conversations you’ve held at an event.

Brand / awareness building 

Traditional advertising doesn’t offer the same reach that it once did and is increasingly fragmented, so it’s important to proactively take your brand to your customers, rather than hoping and waiting for them to find you.

A show is an ideal way to do this and raise awareness of what you offer. Make yourself relevant and when they’re ready to buy, you’re front of mind. Take advantage of all the social media and press opportunities around an event as well and your brand recognition will hugely benefit.

Press and PR opportunities

Although important, we’re not just talking about inclusion in the show guide itself, or social media. Planned and executed correctly, the opportunities to get press coverage from an event are huge.

Editors are keen to talk to exhibitors, to find out the latest company news, industry innovations and future plans etc Exhibiting at the event, ensures you can take full advantage of all the pre and post event opportunities that are available as well.

Stand out from competitors/ competitor research

Exhibiting at events enables you to build real awareness of your products and take advantage of other opportunities that may arise. This provides plenty of benefits that competitors might be missing out on.

And what better way to check out what your competitors are up to, than by seeing them in action? You can watch how they interact with customers, find out about their latest products and who they’re targeting as well.


Whatever you need to research, a show is an ideal time to do so. Prospects and customers are more relaxed, networking opportunities abound, information freely flows and you can easily find out a lot of information about whatever subject matter you’re interested in.

You could even offer an incentive or free giveaway to gain participants if you’re running a questionnaire or survey at the event as well.


Many shows offer networking events in the evenings with other exhibitors. There are often informal get-togethers on other stands, or press events too. These provide ideal opportunities to get your business known and it’s a proven fact that we prefer to do business with those we have met and like, so there are plenty of added benefits to being seen and getting your name known.

Boost sales

Assuming you pick your location carefully [we recommend visiting the show first to get an idea of traffic flows, traffic hot spots, types of visitors etc] you should have a stream of visitors who could potentially become customers.

According to Facetime, “After experiencing a brand at a trade event, 28% more visitors indicated ‘I would like to buy it’ (16% implicitly), with 29% at a consumer event (19% implicitly).”

So as you can see, these are 10 reasons to consider trade shows and make them a key part of your marketing activity.

Of course, doing your research beforehand is vital to ensure you select the shows/events that appeal to your target customers. Keep in mind that organisers will throw visitor statistics at you, but before spending money on a plot or stand, make sure you’re confident that the event attracts the right type of visitor for your business.

Create an effective plan of action for the events you’re exhibiting at and with clever offers and promotions, combined with plenty of pre-show awareness building, you should see a strong ROI.

If you enjoyed this article on 10 reasons to consider trade shows, you may also enjoy reading our other blog posts.

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