The trade show industry has taken a hit in recent years, with the pandemic preventing many physical events from happening and companies opting to cut back on exhibition attendance in favour of digital marketing initiatives. However, trade shows are making a comeback, and this is good news for B2B technology companies.
In the electronics sector, we’re looking forward to electronica and SPS, which will be held on consecutive weeks in November. SPS will run from 8th to 10th November, with electronica held in the following week, from 15th to 18th November.
Trade shows are important because they provide an excellent opportunity to showcase new products and technologies, build relationships with potential customers, and generate leads. They also offer a unique chance to gather feedback from customers and learn about the competition. In short, trade shows are an essential part of the B2B tech landscape, and their return is welcome news for companies in this space.
However, I’m wondering whether companies will take full advantage of the return of these important events. Too often, I see companies not going beyond the basics of setting up a booth and waiting for visitors. So what would I recommend if you are attending these events?
A good trade show is so much more than just a booth to meet interested visitors. Customer meetings are an obvious element of shows, and the best campaigns include pre-set meetings. Often you will have senior people at the event who can meet with a large number of customers, a very efficient use of their time.
Exhibitions provide an excellent opportunity to meet journalists and other key influencers who can help raise awareness of your brand. And because trade shows attract a large number of attendees, they provide an excellent platform for launching new products. Most shows offer the opportunity to hold press conferences, although often it can be more effective to meet journalists on a one-to-one basis on your stand so you can have an individual discussion with them.
Shows provide an informal setting for customers to give you their honest opinion about your product or service. This feedback can be invaluable in helping you improve your offering and better meet the needs of your target market. This is something I rarely see companies doing, but is such a good idea. Implementing a formal approach for gathering customer feedback is a great way to get more value from attending an event.
Finally, there is competitive analysis. You can learn about the latest trends, share best practices, and find potential partners or suppliers. We’ve had clients who have used events to gather surprisingly detailed information about their competitors’ plans, something that can be a real help when crafting messages and briefing sales teams.
With careful planning, trade shows can be a great way to boost your company’s profile and build relationships. I’m looking forward to seeing companies make the most of electronica, SPS and the other shows coming up over the next few months.