The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) makes it clear why companies should be using trade shows and trade show displays to promote themselves. In terms of ROI (return on investment), trade show qualified leads are 50% cheaper to acquire than a qualified lead generated in the field, however the economic benefit does not stop there. In terms of the cost to convert a qualified lead, a trade show lead is more than 60% cheaper to convert than the cost associated with converting a field generated lead.
What makes it cheaper to acquire business from a trade show is down to several simple facts which are unique selling points for them:
All the buyers are in one place – trade shows act as a magnet for buyers and instead of you criss-crossing the territory looking to meet them, they come to the venue and straight to your booth door!
Attendees use trade shows as a primary information source – company buyers use trade shows to compare the market, after all for them they have all the sellers in one place which means they save time and energy sourcing information and meeting potential partners. CEIR research indicates that 91% of company buyers rely on trade shows as a primary information source.
The “C” Factor – it is not unusual for attendees to have the initials, CEO, CTO. CMO. CIO and so on after their name to indicate their job title. Senior management and company owners use trade shows to help with their strategic thinking and planning, and to gauge the pulse and direction of the markets they operate in. They are also incidentally the “MAN”, that is, they have the Means, the Authority and the Need for you products and services.
The question is not should you exhibit at a trade show, but really, why aren’t you?