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3 Things Trade Show Marketers Are Losing Out on When Unable to Exhibit


It’s unfortunate that businesses are experiencing big losses from the pause in trade shows and inability to market face-to-face due to COVID-19. As we in the trade show industry know, in-person marketing can’t be replaced. Here’s a few reasons why exhibit marketers in particular are looking forward to the return of trade shows as soon as possible.

1. Likability and trust are created on a deeper level at trade showsStores and brands do their best to be transparent in their digital marketing efforts. They try to be honest and open on social media to generate trust from their audience. They also hope to gain likability and trust through the content that they share and the ways they aim to engage with their loyal customers online.

Many shoppers and business purchasers choose to shop at certain stores and work with specific sellers based on trust that’s been formed. This transparency online is a great start for brands to gain that trust they are seeking. However, this trust can be brought to a whole new level when in-person marketing is added to the mix.

A buyer who is able to interact with someone who represents a brand face-to-face, rather than only interacting with a brand digitally, gives that company great leverage on those who aren’t exhibiting.

Trade show staff who are trained well to listen will help their company tremendously. When interactions are a two-way street, both sides feel heard. Teaching your sales team to properly educate prospects and communicate your brand’s message while listening and acknowledging any concerns is key in earning trust. Giving customers and clients the feeling of being heard is a primary trust builder that is difficult to achieve without the in-person interactions that are available at trade shows.

Speaking to industry experts is another way for customers to form trust with a brand. When trade show attendees can receive an in-person demo, or ask detailed questions, receive educated and detailed answers, and become more informed on specifics of a business, that business will be portrayed as an expert in its field, establishing trust. Although it can be tempting to hire all your trade show floor help, it’s important to use some of your own employees who are the most educated on your products and/or services. Depending on what you offer, a mix of sales, marketing, designers and engineering minds on the show floor will ensure you have someone nearby to answer any questions that may arise and effectively show that your product or service is the best option to solve your buyer’s problems.

2. Real-life experiences are unable to be replicated digitallyTrade shows are an opportunity for marketers to create experiences around their brand that they’re not able to do online. Letting clients and customers experience something for themselves in-person, rather than trying to gauge how it would feel through an online description is going to be much more effective when leaving an impression. This goes back to gaining trust. Sure, clients can go online and see a video of how your new product works. They can zoom in on the details of your latest design. But letting them experience it is so much more influential when they can see it for themselves. Seeing and feeling a product work right in front of them is the epitome of transparency.

A real conversation where eye contact can be made, a warm, friendly vibe is able to be felt, and a professional and personable demeanor can be portrayed, can only truly be experienced in-person. Video calls may be tiding us over for now – but how many times have you had to remind someone they are on mute and you cannot hear what they are saying, or have a member of your conversation get distracted by their surroundings on these calls? Face-to-face experience gives businesses the ability to connect on a deeper level with their potential clients and buyers.

At a trade show, attendees will be experiencing a product for themselves, in a controlled environment. This means that they will be surrounded by a business’s branded exhibit, without any distractions, as they’re able to have an in-person conversation with the booth staff.

3. Trade shows are one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to growAt trade shows, exhibitors can speak to a condensed audience of high-quality leads, and to top it off, they also have the opportunity to build relationships with them. Unlike casting a large net by sharing information with massive audiences online and trying to capture and keep their attention, attendees at trade shows are already all ears. This is important for exhibitors who are willing to invest in their business.

If a business decides to make the jump and take their business to the next level by exhibiting, a successful marketing plan has the potential to grow their business immensely. Having the ability to generate more interest from an already interested audience is a key benefit for exhibitors that they are currently missing out on when unable to exhibit at trade shows.

Generating trust through in-person connections, creating real-life experiences through enticing, hands-on demonstrations, and sparking interest from condensed and qualified buyers is the basis of growth for many businesses. Not being able to put exhibit investments to use is costing businesses big, which is why it’s important that trade shows are able to come back stronger and safer than ever. Skyline Exhibits is looking forward to the day that becomes a reality, so we can start helping the world trade once again.


About the Author

In her experience at Skyline's corporate office in St. Paul, Minnesota, Briquelle Neyens immersed herself in trade show research and the ins and outs of exhibit sales firsthand. She also engaged with Skyline's wide-array of products and services from an insider's perspective. Her blogs portray her expertise on what it takes to be a successful trade show marketer. She enjoys generating information that will help all trade show marketers in their decisions to become successful on the trade show floor.

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