How to justify the cost of attending trade shows

Stephanie Caldecott of First Event discusses the ROI of sending staff to trade shows such as the upcoming IBTM World 2017.

Why should businesses attend tradeshows such as IBTM?
Why should businesses attend tradeshows such as IBTM?

Stephanie Caldecott is a PR and communications executive at agency First Event.

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Tradeshows, conferences, and site visits are all a huge part of working in the events industry, and essential for staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of events.

However, the attendance of these events comes with a price, often meaning that one or more people take time away from the business, incurring additional travel and overnight expenses.

So, why should agencies attend tradeshows?

Attending a tradeshow has a wide range of benefits that can be used to positively change and improve your company’s presence in the industry. Increasing awareness of your brand and making industry peers aware of what you do is an essential factor of establishing yourself as a business.

While you’ll most likely be going to a tradeshow aiming to meet people you want to work with, getting to know industry peers is a great way to make contacts and make yourself known. The more people you know, the more chance there is for collaborations in the future.

Make the most of the agenda

Tradeshows and exhibitions are usually accompanied by seminar and conference sessions led by specially selected speakers sharing their own views on industry trends. The agenda or itinerary of an exhibition is usually made available to attendees before the event, meaning it’s easy to choose the sessions you’d like to attend depending on the content and its value to your business.

From a commercial point of view, it’s hard to measure how the investment of money and time into tradeshow attendance has contributed towards a business’ goals, unless it generates a lead. Making the most of tradeshow attendance can come from the knowledge gained being converted into something that can be positively utilised and is beneficial to your company.

For example, learning about upcoming destination trends may encourage research into these destinations for future events. Gaining insider knowledge on different aspects of the industry could influence a blog post or business leads may be followed up with calls, meetings and a potential client win.

Blow your own trumpet

What better way to brush up on your presentation skills than speaking about your business in a room full of industry professionals? Not only is displaying confidence, knowledge, and belief in the services you provide good practice for meetings and pitches, but it could also ignite the interest of potential clients attending the tradeshow. Generating leads and making sales in this way may lead to your company exhibiting at future tradeshows, becoming a sponsor, or even being part of a speaker line-up.

Build relationships that could be invaluable

While it’s undoubtedly difficult to logistically demonstrate the financial ROI of attending tradeshows and industry events, the potential to build valuable relationships with suppliers and gain industry knowledge is somewhat priceless – and can be used to develop and improve your company.

 

If you’re interested in registering for the 2018 C&IT Corporate Forum, find out more here. 

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