Trade Show & Business Event Attendance - Is It Worth It?

While we have seen some signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2010, the economy is still a bit sluggish and many folks are asking: “Should I exhibit at the trade shows or stay at home and try to save some money?”

A valid question for sure, but think about all the things you can find at trade shows that you won’t necessarily find if you don’t go:

  1. Lots of your customers or potential customers - all in once place and ready to talk to someone about their needs and objectives. If you're not there to discuss ways your business can help them achieve those objectives, then who will they talk to? Well, how about your competitors who will be going?
  2. Your competitors and their strategy. Where else can you see, up close and personal, what your competition is doing and the direction in which they are headed? They may be showcasing their latest product or talking about their newest service offering. This is a great way to build your competitive intelligence - without doing anything illegal or immoral!

So is it worth it?  The general rules of thumb is “yes” if you can achieve a 3 to 1 ROI. This means for every $10 you spend you should be able to capitalize on making $30 immediately by selling product, or down the road by capitalizing on the qualified leads you receive.  If you can get a 4 to 1 or even 5 to 1 ROI at your events – all the better.

The key is not to try get as many leads as you can (quantity is easy to get - just look at the number of business cards from people that are just there to get a “cool” giveaway!), but rather to find the qualified leads – those who actually  might want to do business with you.  How to go about finding these leads is not an easy answer, as there are many different ideas as to what works best.

From our perspective, a big step in the right direction is aligning yourself with a display company that cares for more than just selling you the most expensive design they have.  Here at Apple Rock, we feel that the best way for us to do business and build relationships with our customers is to be a strategic partner for trade show solutions. For every client, our goals are their goals - Apple Rock is the company that digs deep to find out who you are and what your long term goals are, and then suggests ways to get you there. Through this strategy, we strive to help our clients reach their goals through generating qualified leads and a strong ROI.

So - should you go to the show?  Absolutely – if it’s the right show for you and you can come home after the event with more than when you left!