The Internet Hasn’t Killed Trade Shows – A Guest Post

The internet has become one of the biggest forces to help businesses generate sales. As a result, many businesses have stopped using many of their other marketing mediums. Trade shows have traditionally been one of the most common ways for businesses to market their products and services. As a small business owner, you may find that trade shows can still be a powerful means to find new customers.

Taipei Telecom 2006 closed without a vision be...

Taipei Telecom 2006 closed without a vision because the quality and purpose of the show were uncertained. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been an Internet marketing professional for several years now. Many people I have met praise my field by telling me that it is replacing all other forms of marketing. That’s flattering to hear, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The internet is certainly a powerful way to reach customers, but it is has a number of limitations you need to be wary of. Don’t fully neglect your other marketing mediums, either.

Many businesses still use trade shows. They find they are still effective marketing tools, but they have noticed they don’t get quite as much benefit from them. You may want to leverage social media and other internet technologies to get more of a benefit from your trade show.

Why Trade Shows Still Work

Sometimes you need a face-to-face connection with your users. There are two reasons why personal networking opportunities are often necessary:

  • Many demographics don’t like to spend time online. If you are trying to reach older people or more active people who want to spend time outside, you may find that a personal networking connection will be more valuable.
  • Many people are nervous to buy a product from someone over the internet.

Many professions still spend about 80 percent of their energy on building personal face-to-face networking connections. Trade shows are still a powerful means to reach a rich number of people in your target market.

Attending a trade show gives you the opportunity to connect with people who will ultimately decide whether or not to buy your product. You have enough face time to earn their attention and convince them that your product can provide them a real value. Although you can reach more people on the Internet, you generally will only have a few seconds to hold their attention.

You can also provide physical live demonstrations to your prospective buyers. People can make more informed buying decisions if they see the product in action. This gives you the opportunity to showcase the qualities of your product and differentiate yourself from the dozens of companies offering a different variation.

According to a report from the National Retail Federation, trade shows remain a powerful tool to help draw new customers. One expert said that even if there was a decline in participation at the last trade show they attended, the participants were still highly inspired by the events.

You can still benefit from holding a booth at a trade show. You might find that you won’t generate as much business as you would have in previous years. At the same time, you can take advantage of the fact that many of your competitors have given up on trade shows as a means of getting business.

You may also want to use trade shows to draw new fans to your social networking sites and vice versa. Rather than using them as separate entities, many people have found that they get the most by combining the two marketing mediums.

 

Kalen Smith is a business and marketing writer. He is currently writing tips on using the best trade show giveaways to drive more business.

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