The trade show has been a staple in the calendar for many B2B businesses for decades. In a time before we were connected through the internet, trade shows were critlcal dates scattered throughout the entire year where buyers and suppliers would come together to meet, discuss and do business.
As it relates to Fintech and Marketing-the massive growth of the industry supports the value proposition with the number of shows and attendance growing year over year. Young start ups, entrepreneurs and established businesses are looking to get inspired and educated on the latest developments going on in the these industries. And in this fast-paced world of technology, this can involve anything from new enterprise developments to number-crunching and deal-making.
As entry fees have bloated over the previous twenty decades, this has made attaining a return on that initial investment considerably harder. However, despite all the barriers to the trade show industry, there’s still incredible value available regardless of the digital world we all live in. Where they excel is in areas where online advertising and e-commerce is weak — in human interaction and constructing long-term relationships.
The Growth of Marketing and Fintech Events and Trade Shows
With trade show growth overall remaining relatively flat in the past decade, Ecommerce marketing and FinTech trade shows and events are showing a strong growth curve. While the tendency for attendance to remain static in some sectors-shows covering these industries are showing a broad reach and appeal.
In the Fintech space, an event that made its debut in 2012- Money20/20 – has since grown into a conference that in recent years was capable of attracting reportedly more than 1800 CEOs, 12000+ attendees and 4500 companies. According to some exhibitors we spoke to, this conference is the place to be if you want to raise brand awareness, launch a product, or create new partnerships in Fintech. On the surface this show appears to be purely finance related, but industry insiders say that this event has and extremely broad appeal and value for online marketers, payment processors, online retailers, venture capital, and media companies. The show’s rapid growth shows no signs of leveling off in the near term.
In the retailing and online marketing sector, since 2005 IRCE (Internet retailers Conference and Exhibition) has been the flagship event of the e-commerce industry. Regular attendees and exhibitors of IRCE say the show delivers high value and industry-leading conference content – boasting over 130 sessions, 600+ exhibitors and 200 speakers – and produces the largest and most diverse trade show in its sector. IRCE welcomes thousands of attendees every year to Chicago, and statistics on the repeat attendance year after year support the value claims made for its organizers.
What Are the Benefits of Trade Shows?
For small companies and start-ups, particularly, the very first question when it comes to trade shows is..are they worth the time and energy?’ . It’s true that larger exhibitions have become infamous for charging thousands for a nine-square meter plot of ground area. However, simply because the entrance fee is large enough and there’s the prospect of hundreds of thousands of potential buyers on your doorstep — that does not automatically indicate this is the right occasion for you.
As most experienced trade show attendees have discovered, the actual value in exchange shows can now be found at smaller and more targeted events. In recent years, a great deal of experienced vendors have moved away from the major displays, which has resulted in a diverse range of trade shows which are focused on different sectors. Even though this might mean fewer attendees at each event, it guarantees that there is a larger percentage who will hold an interest in your industry and your products.
Another question which only you will have the ability to reply would be,’are trade shows still applicable for my industry?’ As shopping trends have shifted drastically lately, it’s crucial that you do your research ahead to ascertain whether applicable buyers are still attending the trade shows you are aiming for. For example, fashion trade shows have revolutionized considerably lately as some are adapting virtual trade shows to meet a changing viewer.
How Can Trade Shows Benefit My Organization?
Whether you are heading to a trade show as a seller or an attendee, then there’s more worth available than just what you purchase or market. The major benefit as has always been the situation with trade shows is to assess how the industry is performing and develop an insight into the plan of the competition. This type of information could be invaluable for your year ahead and permit you to plan for the future.
For sellers, the real worth at trade shows frequently comes from launch new products and innovations. As these kinds of events bring fellow journalists and professionals alike, they give a natural strategy to make announcements and unveilings. With no trade show, this can possibly cost thousands on its own. Therefore, when attending an exhibition, there is the opportunity to incorporate various sections of your marketing plan into one event.
However, the philosophical advantage that’s impossible to quantify is the advantage of building relationships face-to-face. While online we can purchase and sell, quickly and conveniently, there is only a slim prospect of building long term partnerships. For B2B brands, this is vital when larger orders are online and you are wanting to carve out the very best deal possible. For B2C brands, it can be quite valuable as many online stores are now finding out when trying to create a level of trust online. People are naturally cynical, even more so when they’re committing to spending a great deal of cash, so fulfilling face-to-face could be vital when procuring deals.
How Can I Guarantee ROI When Attending Trade Shows?
Making the most of a trade show and gaining actual value from each should begin months in advance. This is especially the case if you choose to exhibit your brand. As you’re most likely aware, the cost of displaying can soar without careful planning. This means researching the event you’re searching to attend — for instance, decide on a few for the year that are highly technical and have a specific interest in your business. This logic also applies for attendees to ensure your time is not wasted in attending a trade show focused on another sector than your own.
Smaller trade shows are just as valuable as bigger exhibitions, especially if the viewer is pertinent to what you’re attempting to sell. With this set in stone, you can think about the next biggest expense — the display stand. From here you can select between large modular display stands or more conventional pop-up stands. Both can do the job of promoting your brand, but you should be skeptical of custom-built displays which can be exceedingly pricey and are tough to reuse in the future.
Preparing for trade shows is the secret means of ensuring your precious time and money is spent. Once you have a relevant event ordered (and corresponding stand if appropriate), it is then the trade series comes into its own. You are able to have face-to-face interactions with new or existing customers and build partnerships in the beginning or from where they left off. Even if you just have a couple minutes to speak, this provides the ideal opportunity to construct trust and ideally with this, you can procure the deals which ensure a return on your investment.