Guide

Trade shows and exhibitions

Advantages and disadvantages of trade shows and exhibitions

Exhibiting at trade shows can bring a number of benefits to your business. You can meet directly with potential customers and generate leads. However, success is not guaranteed and there are a number of costs involved. Consider the pros and cons before you decide to invest your time and money.   

Advantages of exhibiting at trade shows

The benefits of exhibiting include:

  • Raise awareness – exhibiting at industry events is a good way to raise your profiles and generate brand awareness. As well as taking a stand at an event, there are usually other advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Meet in person – meeting face-to-face with potential customers is a great way to start building relationships.
  • Networking - trade shows are a great way to meet potential new customers, suppliers and to learn more about your competitors. 
  • Launch new product – trade shows are a good place to introduce a new product or service. Being able to explain your offering in person and answer questions is ideal if your product is innovative.
  • Build your database – meeting with potential customers at an exhibition helps you to start building your marketing lists and generate qualified sales leads.

Disadvantages of exhibiting at trade shows

Some of the downsides of taking a stand at an exhibition include:

  • Costs – there are a number of costs including; stand space, stand design and build, travel and accommodation for staff.
  • Competition – it is likely your competitors will also be exhibiting at the event. You’ll need to stand out to get the attention of potential customers.
  • Results aren’t guaranteed – despite the investment of exhibiting, you are not guaranteed any sales leads.
  • Potential low turnouts – without big name speakers and exhibitors or the right publicity, trade shows may not have enough delegates to make your presence worthwhile. Do your research before choosing to exhibit at a particular event. See choose the right trade fair