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Pros and cons of doing a trade show for your product

Posted by Kanika Sinha

October 9, 2017

It’s product launch time for your startup, and it’s time to do some marketing.

With so many options and avenues available to you, we take a look at one traditional form of marketing – the trade show.

The pros

You’ll find that the biggest advantage of the trade show is the increased exposure for your startup. This is your chance to get noticed.

Trade shows are a great place to increase your brand awareness and get your product in front of more eyeballs.

Consider participating in a class, hosting a workshop of your own, or speaking to the group. This is another way to get your business known.

What’s more, this is your chance to start building a list of potential customers that you can continue to market to into the future.

New sales leads are key to your startup.

Buyers will see your startup as a serious contender simply because you made the commitment to exhibit at the trade show.

Another pro of the trade show is that you can network and learn more about your industry and meet the industry’s key players.

This is also a chance to do your market research and see how your product(s) stack up to others.

Do you have a large sales force or one that’s spread out in different regions? A trade show can be a central location to get your sales team together.

Your team can build their camaraderie, share their experiences, and brainstorm strategy.

You’ll find that your team can also help push additional sales at the trade show, even engaging in some competition.

Trade shows also help your staff network and find new leads in their own territories.

Finally, you’ll find that face-to-face selling is a cost-effective way to present your new products to potential customers and begin the conversation with them.

Talk to us about how our outsourced business services can help you have more time to focus on delivering value to clients.

The cons

For many startups, the price of exhibiting in trade shows is prohibitive, especially if you don’t generate high revenue yet.

You’re generally looking at space rental, transportation and hotel for your employees, booth displays, collateral such as brochures, giveaways, branded materials, Wi-Fi connections, employee time, and the trouble it takes to make it all work.

Another disadvantage of the trade show for some startups is that they just don’t have the staff to cover the booth. The long hours are also hard for employees, and if you don’t have enough staff, burn-out is likely.

Or, if you do have enough team members, your staff doesn’t excel at marketing and communications.

If you have staff in the booth that isn’t skilled at marketing your product, the trade show is a waste of your time.

Another con of trade shows is your return on investment. Trade shows can be a gamble for a startup that might not find the return worth the initial monetary outlay.

Final thoughts

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of doing a trade show for your product offering, and the bottom line is: if you decide to participate, you want to do everything in your power to make sure it’s a success.

The trade show marketing channel is a potential platform for your startup to not only launch and showcase your product but to network with others.

Before choosing a tradeshow, do your research so you know which ones fit your niche market and which ones have the most attendance.

Promote your presence at the trade show on your online marketing channels as well.

Finally, use the trade show as a place to connect and collect. This means collecting contact info from attendees so you can send them marketing materials in the future.

Just because they weren’t ready to purchase at the show doesn’t mean they won’t be later on. Keep nurturing those leads.

Want more?

Escalon provides startups and small to midsized businesses with accounting, strategic finance, CFO services, taxes and support. Talk to an expert today.

Image: Purplegillian


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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