On March 13, 2020, I was on Laguna Beach getting ready for my favorite trade show of the year: Expo West. I scrolled through my emails to make sure all of my clients were taken care of and didn’t see any emergency notifications. I set my phone down on my towel and closed my eyes. The sun was hot and I could hear the waves crashing onto the shore. Minutes later, my phone rang. It was a client exhibiting at Expo West. I answered to find out that Expo West had been canceled.
Show closures snowballed from there as we began our journey into 2020. It has been a wild ride, to say the least. One year later and we are beginning to see trade shows slowly open again. I have personally missed the show floor, along with all of the incredible people that attend these shows. Screen fatigue has become a real thing for me. As I sat back and reflected on this last year, I came to the conclusion that face-to-face marketing is more important than ever. If you are questioning your return to trade shows, these 5 points are for you:
# 1 Face-to-face relationship building will grow your business, and your employees too.Research shows that 90% of communication consists of body language. In-person communication gives your team the ability to read, interpret, and respond to body language. With this information, your team can enhance trust and credibility with your potential clients. Face-to-face relationship building will help grow your employees and increase team morale.
#2 Trade shows are one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. When you exhibit at a trade show, your client has the unique opportunity to physically step into, and fully grasp your brand. Through this experience, they can meet your team, engage your company culture, and assess the benefits of working with your company. Brand awareness is proven to increase your ROI.
# 3 You get to market AND sell to your customers in one place. There are a handful of trade shows that offer the option to sell your product on the show floor. This is another opportunity to increase ROI and give value to your potential client while spreading positive awareness around your brand.
#4 Computer screens aren’t nearly as cool as real live humans. I may be an extrovert, but I hope I’m not alone on this one. I learned a valuable lesson this year: people look short on Zoom. I’m not sure how this works, but most of the clients I met via Zoom happened to be so much shorter than in person. It’s easier to assess height in person, and all-around more enjoyable to meet and connect with real live humans.
#5 We need each other. Trade shows bring people together to do business, to make money, to hustle, and also to build relationships that champion, and encourage brand awareness. One of my favorite quotes says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together (African Proverb).” As we safely reopen trade shows and live events, let’s go farther together.
If you are interested in attending a trade show and need help designing your trade show display, you can fill out our design form. We would be happy to work with you and support your business in any way we can. I hope to see you at a trade show soon!
-Jessica Diers, Diers Exhibits