What is a Trade Show?
Smash Hit Displays
In the more than thirty-five years I’ve been involved in this industry, I’ve learned a great deal about trade shows. Simply put, a trade show is where companies within the same industry come together to showcase their products or services. But I’ve discovered there’s a lot more to it than that.
In addition to exhibiting products and services, people attend trade shows to connect with others within their own profession, networking for new business opportunities, employment possibilities, and to find the “latest and greatest” in the industry to offer their own clients.
Many trade shows also have an educational component, with breakout sessions, presentations, panel discussions and other opportunities to learn about the industry and its players, that takes place before, during or after the exposition itself.
Why People Attend Trade Shows:
People go to trade shows for a variety of reasons, beyond just seeing what’s on display. The educational sessions are a big draw for some, while others attend to network with company reps, other attendees or the presenters of those educational sessions. They come to build their own professional networks, with an eye toward future business relationships.
Another reason for attending trade shows is that you might find something in a trade show exhibit you didn’t even know you were looking for—something that might have practical application to your business. Because you’re seeing the latest products and services in a particular industry, you’re learning about them before you’d find them written about online or in trade magazines (essentially, before anyone else). If you can move quickly, you may find yourself with an advantage over your competitors by seeing a use for some technology you’d never considered before.
Ahead Of Their Time:
Some shows highlight products or technologies that are still years away from widespread use. Companies do this to demonstrate thought leadership in the industry, and to position themselves as key players that are shaping the future. Things like cellular phones, magnetic resonance imaging devices (MRIs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were all showcased at trade shows before they had clear applications or were available to the general public.
Speaking The Language Of Trade Shows:
Let’s take a closer look at trade shows by defining frequently used terms. Some terms have been mistakenly used interchangeably: “booth,” “exhibit” and “display.” If we define each one, we’ll have a better understanding of trade show terms.
Booth: Think of this as the area where you display your product or service; the space that’s rented by the show producer. It’s an area made up of one or more standard units of exhibit space. More on booth discriptions.
Exhibit: This is the overall look of your booth with everything in it. It’s the “whole enchilada. Comming soon
Display: The main part of the exhibit that draws attendees into your booth. This is the part you purchase or rent from an exhibit house or exhibit builder. More on what is a display.
There are also accessories that can add to the effectiveness of your presence at a trade show, or enhance the appearance of your exhibit. Banner stands are a common example of this. Comming Soon
Benefits Of Being A Trade Show Exhibitor:
Beyond knowing what a trade show is and why you should attend, I think it’s helpful to know what the benefits of exhibiting at a trade show can be.
Primarily, you get your product or service in front of people who are looking for that type of product or service. It’s the shortest distance between a buyer and a seller, giving you virtually immediate feedback on how the marketplace values what you’re offering.
You can find customers for your product and new opportunities to market your product through distributors or other third parties. Additionally, you have the opportunity to network with people from other companies that may be exhibiting at the show, attendees who may be potential business partners, and even others in your own organization who normally work in geographically distant offices.
Overall, trade shows are a great place to showcase your product or service and build your business. If you need help with any part of your trade show program, please call Smash Hit Displays 1-877-215-5355. Our staff will be happy to help you make your participation in your next trade show as successful as it can possibly be.