As part of our overall activity throughout the year, trade shows continue to play an integral role.
For the sales team, it allows a platform to showcase our brand portfolio and the products in their entire range, also identify opportunities which may not be obvious in an everyday sales situation.
For marketing it is a great way to keep up to speed with the industry, what our competition is doing and also scout out any potential new brands.
In sectors where a business has a lower footprint, shows are a good way to generate new business. Measuring our return on investment and fully quantifying the success of a trade show can be difficult as the business generated can only be measured over a period of time.
Gone are the days when trade shows were a short stint of nonstop order writing, today it’s more about future opportunities and strengthening or even establishing relationships.
We have a great showroom in our offices (based centrally in Leicestershire) which allows us to hold regular meetings with key customers.
This gives us a platform for showcasing our ranges throughout the year.
Trade shows therefore are a great way for us to follow up from our meetings, also it gives the buyers an opportunity to interact with our brand owners offering vital feedback on new collections and getting an insight into future developments.
They are a vital way to sustain our customer relationships. It can often be the case that a decision has been made having a drink with a buyer after a long day at an exhibition!
Trade shows still play an important role in the outdoor industry in particular.
We find that attendance is still high each year, giving us the chance to touch base with the vast majority of our customer database.
Timing and the prestige of the actual show can also be two key factors in the success of an event, as well as the organiser’s pre-marketing campaign.
It’s a big investment on our part and knowing that the event has been marketed well gives us more confidence from the start.
Although a good location for a show will always be an advantage especially in attracting new business, as long as a company remains a key player in their industry, buyers will usually make the effort to find you.
As a business we take into consideration and understand that customers are not always able to travel to the shows. We therefore try to be accessible by holding our own roadshows up and down the country.
Attending and exhibiting at trade shows will continue to be included in our annual sales and marketing plan each year.
The networking opportunities with potential and existing customers all in one place makes it a hugely valuable exercise.