In the past, trade shows were large-scale industry gatherings where manufacturers showcase their latest offerings. Often, buyers would wander through the exhibit halls to see what appealed to them. The Internet, however, has transformed these events into digitally focused wholesale marketplaces. Faire launched a summer market last August that was attended by nearly 300,000 buyers. During the summer market this year, sales volume more than quadrupled and participating brands moved more than ten times as much volume as they did in 2017.
The benefits of trade shows are numerous. Among the benefits of attending such an event are face-to-face meetings with potential partners and the opportunity to enter new verticals. Trade shows also provide exhibitors with highly-targeted leads that are easier to close on the spot. The event also offers educational sessions and workshops that help exhibitors improve their knowledge of the industry. A recent survey by Statista shows that trade shows can provide up to 80% ROI for marketers.
Aside from the networking opportunities, trade shows are also an ideal venue for showcasing your company. You can create a virtual trade show by integrating your business logo and colors with that of your competitors. Adding a team of representatives to your booth also increases brand recognition and awareness. Additionally, trade shows provide a forum for you to analyze the competition. You can learn from their strategies and follow them to attract more customers. And if you are not able to attend a live event, you can always advertise your company via industry trade publications or Google AdWords.
While physical trade shows still retain their popularity, online versions are quickly catching on. CES 2021, for example, was an admirable attempt to recreate those experiences online. This year, however, attendees felt disengaged by uninspired online trade show booth designs. The events also lacked genuine connections and inspired content. In contrast, CES 2021 was a far cry from the same. You can still engage with exhibitors online, and they may even be able to answer your questions online.
A virtual trade show allows exhibitors to share content relevant to their industry with attendees. Whether it’s a video or a brochure, digital trade shows enable exhibitors to gather information from attendees. The best way to do this is to create a brand identity with consistent branding and audio. This can help your company stand out among the crowd. The more attention you get from your trade show booth, the better. That is a surefire way to increase your attendance at the next trade show.
While holograms are the closest thing to replicating face-to-face human connections, this technology is unlikely to become mainstream any time soon. Booking appointments with decision makers requires considerable time and effort. Moreover, it’s virtually impossible to bring thousands of decision makers to one place, so trade shows will continue to be relevant as a marketing tool for many years to come. In addition to online events, in-person trade shows still have a certain place in marketing.