Guess what ratio of marketing experts with college degrees received trade show marketing within their school curriculum?
If you guessed 2%, you are right. As a trade show expert, I am often are asked "What's the single most significant key to making trade shows deliver real results for our company?" People expect me to give them ideas such as "get an improved booth location", "create a bigger, flashier exhibit", "do a better job promoting your exhibit", "demonstrate your products better", "capture better leads" and things such as that.
Many of these things can help, but when I inform them that the single most important key to making their trade shows deliver significant and measurable results is to expand and broaden their company's exhibiting knowledge base, they look surprised. They often say, "we know how to demonstrate, we've been carrying it out for a long time." I then ask them to explain the results that their trade show program is providing, and very few exhibitors can explain any specific results. Each of them appear to know what they are simply spending, but too little really know what they are actually getting.
The question of how to make trade shows deliver results is an extremely poignant question, because many companies exhibit programs neglect to deliver measurable and significant results. I really believe strongly that having the lack of exhibiting knowledge is one of the key reasons. Consider these surprising exhibiting industry reports:
- Only 24% of exhibitors outline objectives for trade shows
- Less than 20% of exhibitors do any form of targeted pre-show marketing
- 84% of booth staffers have never received training on how to work a trade show
- 76% of sales representatives views trade show leads as "cold" calls
- 87% of trade show leads captured are never being effectively followed through
- Only 14% of exhibitors have any prepared form of post-show measurement
These statistics indicate a problem. Marketing departments spend over 30% of their gross annual marketing budget on trade shows. Sales teams are asked to staff the trade show booth, often against their will or desire. Both departments spend significant financial and human capital, and both with hardly any formal education or training how to best do this. And it shows in their results.
Trade shows have transformed in complexity during the last several years. The body of knowledge how to make trade shows productive and profitable has become more challenging. And far too few exhibitors are keeping up with the changes and and best exhibiting methods. Many companies are functioning by using an exhibiting model that is a decade outdated.
So where does one look for the changes and latest and best exhibiting techniques? While there a wide range of useful blogs and websites, Trade Show House is a great location to start. Each week we provide helpful tips and articles to assist you and your business on how to exhibit smarter and increase your ROI. We have many years of experience in the trade show world and can help you improve your position with custom trade show display ideas and eye-catching graphics that will separate you from your competition.