There are those who argue that trade shows are an outdated marketing tool because people can now accomplish business online. While that may be true in some aspects (such as placing orders), there are still several good reasons why trade shows are necessary in our modern, digital-based culture.
First of all, there’s the ability to interact with products in 3D. Let’s face it, smellivision is still not a reality, and neither is the ability to touch and feel the product quality or materials online. Savvy exhibitors play that up by letting attendees operate their devices, pick up and handle the products, or taste and smell if applicable.
Trade shows also provide one-stop shopping. Where else can you compare an array of similar products from different vendors all in one afternoon? And that’s not to mention how often you discover something on the show floor you might never have found otherwise, particularly if it’s a smaller company that doesn’t yet have a lot of visibility.
And finally, don’t overlook the value of in-person connections, both old and new. There’s a lot to be said for finally meeting the sales rep you’ve been working with face to face. Plus you have the opportunity to meet other attendees who share a lot of your same day-to-day challenges and issues. Sometimes great mastermind relationships are built with the ones you meet during educational sessions or at networking receptions.
What other ways have you found trade shows to be valuable for you? Please share in the comments.