Stop wasting time at trade shows!
The humble trade show has taken a knock in recent years, with the importance of having a presence at such industry events coming under question.
Considered by some to be an outdated format in which to do business, major players have chosen to reallocate budgets to other areas of focus.
But as coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to make headlines and cause the postponement and cancellation of major trade events, are we only going to learn to appreciate the value of the trade show when they aren’t possible?
Coronavirus and the measures to control its spread are affecting all industries – even delaying the new James Bond film. Within the electrical sector, Light+Building in Frankfurt has been rescheduled to take place at the end of September 2020.
So what, it can’t be that important?
Light+Building is a biennial trade fair. In 2018 it showcased 2,700 exhibitors from 55 countries, and attracted 220,000 trade visitors, the majority being prospective customers.
While the health and safety of our business community should of course be the utmost priority, (did you clock the 55 countries?). The knock-on effect highlights the importance of trade shows in today’s business environment.
I believe this format still holds major value today. For electrical technology businesses, these cancellations and postponements could have a significant economic impact, as well as affect their product innovation timeline.
This empowers companies to get first-hand and face-to-face feedback from their customers and prospects in order to develop the best possible product to meet industry demand.
Companies that rely on a Supply Chain to bring their products to market rarely get this chance to meet and talk to the end customer or installer. Undiluted feedback on products and services is invaluable for both product development and improved customer service.
Specifiers, who otherwise might not select a product they haven’t used before. They can have detailed technical conversations with members of the engineering support team. And their final purchase can still being made through a local wholesaler or distributor.
Face-to-face time also allows companies to discuss bespoke solutions and the opportunity to tailor products to the specifier’s exact needs.
Trade shows also provide businesses with an important opportunity to check out competitors and experience their technologies first-hand. A chance to discuss wider trends and innovations with industry peers that can impact on product development.
Finally, the three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the skills shortage within all trade industries! Engaging with trainees and apprentices through such events is essentially youth marketing and is becoming industry critical.
In short, there are fewer more cost-effective and time-concentrated ways to meet existing contacts and prospects.
If cancellations and postponements continue in the wake of coronavirus, businesses will need to take positive action. The execution of a marketing, PR and relationship-building campaign to compensate for lost customer interaction, and business development opportunities.
For advice and support on trade event attendance, let’s talk!