London Communications: Making an Impact at a Trade Show

An effective way to reach new customers is at a trade show. In some industries, trade shows are critical to the marketing mix. It's also important for businesses that operate on an national or international scale. For others it is a very effective way of targeting consumers who are ready to spend money for your product (ski shows, travel show, home shows).

Trade shows have more impact when:

  1. Your customers are normally geographical diverse (saves on travel costs and time)
  2. You cannot usually identify individual ready-to-buy customers (your business can literally "sell to anybody")
  3. Mass media are too expensive for a narrowly targeted audience
  4. You can sell product (not all shows let you) or take orders at the show, or the value of a sale makes it work the time and cost for post-show follow-up
  5. Consumer research and product feedback are needed before investing in more product development or media advertising (these are often called "sneak peaks")
  6. Your market is targeted perfectly by a well attended and promoted show
  7. The show is attended by area or industry media, ensuring additional publicity opportunity
  8. You can offer a "show special" to promotes immediate measurable response

Trade shows have less impact when:

  1. You sell low value products or tight margins
  2. Your goals are primarily public relations or not very measurable
  3. Your clients exhibit at the show (just go, admission is cheaper than a booth)
  4. Your product is early-stage and may suffer adverse impact from exposure (or will provide competitors intelligence)

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