Industrial exhibitions and trade shows: highly profitable marketing tools

Make the most of your participation in industrial exhibitions and trade shows

Industrial exhibitions and trade shows are highly profitable marketing tools. However, to make sure the resources and money invested in an industrial exhibition pay off, you must prepare in advance.

A good exhibitor is not necessarily one who has participated in numerous industrial exhibitions, but rather one who knows how to optimize his/her presence at such events. The same is true if you are visiting a trade show.

CQI’s experts have extensive industrial exhibition and trade show experience. They can provide you with practical advice and tools to help you organize your trade show, focus your efforts in the right place, and maximize your chances of meeting future customers and generating sales.

Find new customers by taking part in an industrial exhibition

There are many benefits to taking part in a trade show:

  • Increasing your visibility within your industry
  • Gathering strategic information
  • Conducting market research in the field
  • Finding new clients and business partners
  • Meeting suppliers

What specific result do you want to achieve? An industrial fair is a tool, and the decision to attend or not should be made based on your business development strategy as well as on the objectives set out in your business’ strategic planning. If your goal is to increase sales by 10%, your trade show goal might be to identify 100 qualified prospects you can offer your services to. Having a quantifiable goal and keeping it in mind throughout the fair is key to its achievement. Setting a clear objective will keep you active and proactive throughout the event as well as enable you to measure your success at the end of the project.

Don’t hesitate! plan your next industrial exhibition with CQI!

Being part of an industrial or trade show as an exhibitor is a very powerful marketing tool to meet potential customers and develop new markets. However, it is a tool that requires a lot of effort and resources, hence the importance of asking yourself a few questions before committing to such a project. Here are a few things to consider that will help guide you in your decision to plan and participate in a trade show:

  • Pre-fair preparation
  • Logistics and transportation
  • Approach and qualification of potential customers
  • Booth animation
  • The return to the office and follow-ups

CQI can help you organize your participation in a trade show and maximize your return on investment.

Step 1
Deciding where to go and who to contact

Trade shows provide the opportunity to learn about the market and its trends, as well as to witness how consumers and your competitors behave on site. This is where you will meet people in your field, specialists, potential buyers and distributors from around the world. When participating in an industrial exhibition, you must first determine who you want to reach and who you want to talk to? Your team will need to be prepared if you want to get results.

By developing a list of contacts and potential clients, as well as making targeted invitations and calls to current clients, you will maximize your presence at the event. You will then have to plan the travel logistics. You will want to book the hotel in advance, as demand is high. You will also need to refine your booth skills and make sure your customer approach is the right one to get the most out of the event.

Step 2
Having the right tools to make a good impression

Taking part in a trade show as an exhibitor requires preparation and costs money. Is having a booth at a trade show the right way to go? Could you still achieve your goals by only participating as a visitor? If you choose the first option, then you must make sure you leave a good impression. Do you have the means to achieve your goals and are you ready to invest in your brand image, your promotional tools, your trade show material? Having a Parapost, a table, a chair and a stack of flyers is simply not enough. You must stand out from the other exhibitors and generate interest in your product. This means developing marketing and communication tools, drafting a social media strategy, and planning public and media relations. In some cases, you will even have to provide a version of your website in the target country’s language. So many actions that need to be planned! So, let CQI be your guide and don’t be caught unprepared!

Step 3
Setting up your trade show strategy and action plan to reach your target

There is financial support available for the exploration of new markets. CQI has access to resources that provide companies with funds and grants available for market prospection. Also:

  • Train and brief the employees you will be delegating to the fair
  • Check your customs and transportation logistics documents and make sure you have the proper permits for the equipment you will be bringing to the show
  • Set up messaging and a broadcast schedule to promote your participation in the show on your social media channels
  • Design your booth and the visual elements that will dress it up
  • Generate a buzz around your participation by creating a contest to collect emails from potential customer
  • Assess your performance at the fair frequently so you can adjust quickly
  • Gather as much information as possible on potential customers, competitors, the market, etc. In short, be on the lookout!

Step 4
Following-up upon your return!

A well-organized trade show, with the right strategy and follow-up, can pay off big time! Qualifying your visitors effectively will help you generate many leads. Upon returning to the office, quickly assess the event with your team members. You will need to evaluate the activity’s relevance and profitability before, during and after the event. Tally the results: the number of visitors at your booth, the number of potential clients, the follow-ups you can do, etc. Perhaps you made some sales? Ultimately, has the process been profitable? Is this a market of any interest to you? Did your competition score a few points? Afterwards, within 3 working days of the event, follow up with potential customers by sending them additional information about your company and your product. And contact them in person within 10 business days. That’s how you gain credibility!

Being well prepared for industrial exhibitions: the key to a successful harvest!

Attending a trade show is a big investment. As important as buying a new machine or hiring an executive, the trade show must be planned if you want to get something in return. So, ask yourself if you’re doing it for the right reasons, if it’s part of your goals or strategic planning, and most importantly, if the have the time and resources to prepare properly. If the answer is yes to all these questions, go for it! Keep in mind that a well-organized fair, with the right strategy and follow-up, can pay off big time! Maybe not immediately, but certainly in the medium term. And with the help of CQI, you will be ready to approach your target market the right way, by preparing thoroughly for your next industrial show! Remember: CQI can guide you through each step of your international expansion project and, with your team’s assistance, help you put everything in place through our Horizon 360TM Export Coaching Program.

Need help to prepare

for an industrial exhibition and carry out your post-show follow-ups?

Contact CQI