Trade fairs: More than just a marketing instrument

From gaining visibility to striking new deals, exhibitions and trade shows offer opportunities no business would want to miss out on. It is a strategy that has withstood the test of time, playing a significant role in the success of most machine tool companies that have been reaping rich dividends in terms of experience, product development, while forging relationships, building brand and, most importantly, bringing sales from new markets.

Trade shows are preferred

Exhibitions offer easy access to enthusiastic prospects open to research and deal, foster direct communication, real-time feedback and regional to global exposure that act beneficial in expanding a company’s customer base.

It is simply a profitable choice of medium since none other has the potential to physically get one prospects or harness a company’s assets or help set and achieve multi-disciplinary goals namely marketing, sales, relationship management or aid in knowing the market or one’s position vis-à-vis the competition’s, all at one go.

Choose and compare

Given the scope of trade events as export building platforms, it is crucial to choose the best one, establish key goals and measure the outcome against them, and then compare with other promotional methods. The targets should be made clear to the team along with the fact that the results are getting measured.

Evaluating exhibitions is not just about counting the collected visiting cards or the visitors registered in the stall; several things need to be measured at the same time -- the market, product and service, promotion, price and competition. Every exhibition is different for every exhibitor and no single measurement methodology will work for all. However, the effort should be to put together a simple methodology into a practical framework.

The best goals are the quantifiable goals since numbers motivate and drive action. For example, instead of the goal to get media coverage, it must be to get five articles or product reviews printed in the show daily since it is much easier to judge a performance against a hazy goal when stated in a measurable way.

Post-event action

Once back in office, the results should be summarized and shared with the team. More leads, sales or benefits are likely to come in for months after an event. Hence, the show report must be kept updated and shared with key managers from sales, marketing and top management. This helps in realizing the value of participating in a trade event in the first place and making room for the improvements needed.

 

 

Exhibitions offer easy access to enthusiastic prospects open to research and deal, foster direct communication, real-time feedback and exposure that helps in expanding a company’s customer base.

T K Ramesh, Whole time Director and CEO, Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt Ltd

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