Trade Shows: Are They Worth It?
During the spring and summer, our staff here at Etech Global Services spends a significant amount of time at industry trade shows. We see this as a very key component of our overall marketing strategy. We budget a generous sum of money each year for trade shows and as often as possible, we take a sponsoring role at these events. Expensive? Yes! Time consuming? Yes? Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
Attending trade shows is a very expensive venture, not only is there the registration/sponsor fees, but there are also travel expenses involved in getting members of our staff to the event. The time commitment is also a huge factor, these events typically last 2-3 days and are also all-day events, not to mention, the staff who remain back at the office are covering their own duties as well as those of their traveling colleagues. Time and money are two precious commodities that need to be managed well, but we believe that Trade Shows are well worth the investment of time and money, especially when your staff is trained to make the most of this unique marketing opportunity.
Trade Shows provide a great opportunity for any business to “get out there” and make themselves more visible to their public. At Etech, we have found that our attendance at industry trade shows has given us the opportunity to share with prospective clients exactly what we do. Often times, people can have misconceptions about the services we offer but when they visit our booth at a trade show, they are able to learn about the full scope of Etech’s services. Trade shows have also been a great platform for us to introduce new technologies that we are pioneering in our company. In fact, just last year we were awarded the PACE Technovation Award for our Integrated Customer Engagement (ICE) platform. The trade shows we attended last year, provided a great avenue for us to introduce and demonstrate this new technology.
However, trade shows are not just about US, but they are also about YOU, the prospective client who may just have a need that Etech can fill. I came across an article recently, by Steve Richard of VorsightBP, that discussed the right and wrong way of manning a booth at trade shows. The article was engaging and insightful from start to finish, offering tips on what to do and what NOT to do at trade shows. However, the most significant part to me were the three questions the author highlighted that your staff should ask of everyone who approaches your booth. Those questions are:
- What is your business?
- What brought you here?
- What speaker or topic have you found most useful so far? Why?
These are excellent questions to be asking trade show attendees who approach your booth. Not only will these questions help you determine if this person could be a prospect for you, but they are an excellent way to gain insight into the specific needs of their particular company. If their needs match your services, then you have the information you need for a successful follow-up once the trade show is over.
So if you or your company has been one to avoid trade shows, I would encourage you to rethink your position. With a well-trained staff who understands your company’s purpose for being there and is well trained in engaging the public, you will find that the return on your investment of time and money will be well worth it!
Dilip Barot is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Etech Global Services, and founder of Creative Choice Group, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Etech employs 2,500 team members across the US, India and Jamaica. If you would like to learn more about Etech, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.