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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About Trade Shows

January 24, 2020

Have you ever heard anyone say that trade shows are just a waste of time? There are many businesses who do not attend trade shows simply because of the misconceptions they’ve gathered on them. Below are myths that you might have heard and explanations on why they don’t necessarily hold true. Don’t let someone give you a cookie cutter explanation for why trade shows don’t work and see for yourself why your business might be missing out on a great marketing opportunity!


“There are better ways to market yourself.”

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception spewed by those who either had one bad whack at exhibiting or only see the dollar signs that it takes to invest in a trade show, without considering the potential return. These trade show nay-sayers are basically stating that exhibiting is a waste of time and money when in reality, those that put in the right amount of each would tell you that statement is far from the truth.

The ability to speak to a condensed audience of pre-qualified prospects is something that you really can’t access anywhere else. According to Spingo, the cost of a face-to-face meeting with a prospect at a trade show is $142 while the cost of meeting in just one prospect’s office is $259.

If you come prepared to speak to these attendees (of which 77% are executive decision-makers) in an impactful way, you’ll see the return on your investment pour in.

But how do you ensure that you do everything right when there is so much to plan for? From booth set up to brand messaging, to finding a display that fits your needs, there is a lot to keep track of. Thankfully, exhibitors don’t have to do it alone. Working with a company that specializes in trade shows ensures that your bases are covered so you won’t be making rookie mistakes that cost you excess time or money. A good tip to new exhibitors who are weary of the ins and outs of the trade show world is to work with trade show experts who can help navigate their next trade show while staying within their budget.


“It’s difficult for small brands to get noticed.”

If you’re a smaller brand, you will likely have a smaller budget, but this does not mean you’ll be stuck with a small presence. There are plenty of affordable display options for smaller budgeted brands. The Picturescape® Display System is a great example of a booth display that is able to embody any brand and wow attendees with its limitless design possibilities, without breaking the bank. And while you may not have a large 20x30 foot booth, there are lots of ways that you can still make a big impression with creativity and thought.

Not to mention that there are large brands with plenty of trade show dollars to spend that spend them in the wrong places, resulting in a poor trade show outcome. There’s more to a trade show marketing strategy than showing up with an extravagant booth. A successful trade show takes planned messaging, a solid social media strategy, a great trade show staff, and a strong lead follow-up plan. None of these things require sticking money into an exhibit, so if you take the time to create a solid marketing strategy, you’ll have already won half the battle that many exhibitors overlook.

Also, when you think about it, a smaller brand will continue to stay small unless it takes the initiative to make an investment in itself and grow awareness around it. Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to generate awareness of your brand, which is why about 88% of exhibitors make the investment to attend trade shows each year according to Skyline Exhibits research.


“Virtual trade shows will soon take over.”

With many marketing methods and business tactics shifting to the online space, you might have heard talk about trade shows taking the same turn. However, this is far from the truth, simply because face-to-face marketing cannot be replaced for buyers and sellers who are looking to create a true ‘business relationship.’ You may see virtual trade shows become more prevalent, however, they can never truly replace in-person marketing for big buyers.

With 81% of trade show attendees having the authority to purchase and make big buying decisions, they want to be sure they’re making the best decision by seeing your product or service in person. Any video or image online can make a product seem great, but this can’t be factually determined until it’s seen in person. These buyers have the success of their business in mind, meaning they’ll want to actually hold, taste, or test your product, and get a real human interaction while they’re engaging with your brand.

Human interaction is a big piece of the puzzle when buyers are determining if they want to work with a company. Trade shows are able to give prospects that human interaction while they’re engaging with your brand! See here for more on why trade show marketing is still as valuable as ever in the digital age.


If you’ve been misled on the profitability and effectiveness that trade shows can bring to a business, and you’re ready to get started in the trade show world, let Skyline Southern Wisconsin help you navigate your way toward success!


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