Trade shows have been a crucial sales and marketing tool for centuries. They allow businesses to showcase their goods, 在量身定制的环境中传播知识并谈论行业趋势.
The History of Trade Shows
If we’re going to understand the importance and impact of trade shows, we need to examine the heritage and history behind the events.
“贸易展览会”在中世纪的欧洲非常流行，尤其是在法国的香槟地区. 当地商人会在城镇聚集2-3周，交换香料等商品, 皮毛, leather and other agricultural commodities.
这些集市在商业资本主义的发展中起到了重要作用，并复兴了中世纪的经济面貌. They also spread culture influences throughout Europe.
在18世纪, 随着工业革命的蓬勃发展，大型工业贸易展览会也很常见, and new manufacturing tools and processes were developed.
在19世纪, industry-specific trade shows became popular, and in the 20th century exhibition venues were built. 活动管理公司应运而生，帮助参展商从这些活动中获得最佳效果.
在21世纪, trade shows are popular throughout the world, 每年都有大量的活动轮流进行.
What’s a Modern Trade Show?
A trade show is a gathering of businesses (exhibitors), 专业人士和商业代表(参观者)聚集在一个专门的场所来交流知识, 产品和服务，与其他志同道合的专业人士建立联系.
Exhibitors will be given a space to exhibit, and it’s their job to connect and engage with the visitors at the event. 在理想的情况下, 他们会产生导致, network and hopefully close a few sales (although it’s not always easy!).
B2C企业或消费者通常不被允许参展或进入, and you’ll often find them at expos or exhibition fairs. 然而，一些贸易展确实会在一到两天的时间里向公众开放. It all depends on the nature of the show.
What’s the Purpose of a Trade Show?
做销售 – the golden ticket to trade show success, 达到配额或进行直接销售是成功的最终定义. 捕获导致 – without leads salespeople have nobody to convert, so generating enough leads for your marketing funnel is a must. Analysing the competition – what technology are they using, what marketing angle are they taking? 知道竞争对手的目的是很好的，但不要把一切都放在他们身上. Engage with existing customers -现有客户更有可能投资于新产品和服务, so you can keep building relations and offering them more benefits. Introduce new products/services – new and old customers could benefit from your new product. 尽管如此，您还是可以更好地了解当前的客户适合您的新产品. 帐户营销 – go into a trade show with an idea of who you’d like to speak with, so you can create a strategy that’s more likely to convert them. 收集反馈 – feedback is how you improve services and sales and marketing; you could receive advice that revolutionises how you do things. 趋势 -如果你想保持相关性或避免昙花一现的东西，发现趋势是至关重要的. What Happens at a Trade Show?
Trade shows will usually follow an event program, which will have speakers or breakout sessions, so people aren’t just walking around a room for hours.
研讨会 围绕某个行业主题或话题进行的讨论或活动. 分组会议 – you may have a breakout session in a workshop, 小团队讨论小主题，然后再回到大团队来比较想法. 媒体的机会 – will come at an extra cost, 但是一些额外的宣传可以让你获得更多的媒体曝光度并增加你的兴趣. 网络事件 -一些贸易展会或贸易展会的合作伙伴会在展会期间或之后举办社交活动(有时你可能会举办派对)!). 奖 -一些贸易展会喜欢向那些在某个行业完成了一定年限的服务或者取得了巨大成就的人致敬. 扬声器, 通常是那些拥有大量行业知识或对某一特定主题有不同看法的人. Can pull large crowds if they’re popular.
If you can get involved with any of these activities, you’ll increase visibility, 意识, and you’ll form better connections at the event.
Can You Make Money at a Trade Show?
Trade shows can be disastrous if you do them wrong. The cost of hiring space is high at major venues like the NEC; then you have to buy the stand, equipment and transport everyone there and back.
Smaller shows tend to be cheaper, but trade shows can cost anything between £3000-10,000 depending on various factors.
投入这么多钱，却看不到积极的投资回报率，这意味着一些企业认为展会是在浪费时间和金钱. We disagree, they didn’t do them right.
很多方法 you can get a healthy ROI from a trade show, including: Only buy the space you need – the area you buy takes up a significant amount of your budget, so overdoing it can waste money, which is going to eat into your sales. Get an enticing exhibition stand 如果你的展位足够吸引人的话，你可以在很小的空间内吸引人, making your area presentable promotes credibility. 组织是关键 ——人们很容易盲目地分发宣传品和营销宣传品, 把它放在你的空间的后面会让销售代表首先考虑吸引你, which is more likely to generate a lead or a sale. Use tech where it’s useful -展会的全部目的是通过面对面的营销来创造业务, so don’t dehumanise the event by using too much technology. 选择合适的团队 – there’s no point in attending an event if you pick the wrong staff. 在理想的情况下, 如果你的员工能够理解和理解客户的挑战，这将对你有好处, but also know when to close deals. Tell people you’re exhibiting -如果没有宣传，你的展会可能会失败. 利用营销技巧为活动造势，让人们兴奋起来. Why Do Companies Lose Money at Trade Shows?
你在能力 – unless you can take on more business, you’re just massaging your ego and losing money in the process. 你不想成长 -如果你不想发展你的业务，参加贸易展是没有意义的. You don’t have the right staff ——如果你担心你的团队无法达成协议，你就会空手而归. You don’t have executive buy-in 三心二意的努力不会带来任何生意，所以你需要全力支持. 你选错节目了 – if you operate in a niche but pick a mainstream show, you’re going to end up getting lost in the crowd. What Do You Need for a Trade Show?
The last thing you want to do is under prepare. Get the following ticked off before you get to your event:
事件空间 – the first thing you need is event space, you’ll have a shock if you turn up and there’s nowhere for you to pitch! Stand with supporting collateral -你的展位和营销宣传品是吸引人们到你的展位来的东西, so pick the right company and the right stand. 旅行计划 – train, bus, plane, car? It would help if you had robust plans in place before you depart, preparing transport the week before will be calamitous. 住宿 ——如果你打算在这里过夜的话，你可能会想，因为这里的活动漫长而令人疲惫. Also, it’s good to treat staff after a long day. 营销抵押品 – brochures, leaflets, business cards; get all the material you need and ensure you get plenty. You don’t want to run out. 工作人员 – ask your staff well before you plan the event, preferably before you book it if you have a small team. 如果他们不得不参加活动并取消假期，这可能会给他们留下不好的印象. 你能看到成功吗 at a Trade Show?
贸易展览并不是一种过时的营销和销售形式——它们被证明是有针对性的, high-quality leads and sales. Not every business can benefit from attending trade shows, but they’re certainly worth exploring if you’re a trader or B2B company.