With the digital revolution changing the way we do business in almost every aspect of our day to day lives, the old fashioned trade show is still alive and kicking and is a great way to get your business new customers and generate sales.

Why Trade Shows?

Trade shows, also known as exhibitions attract some of the biggest names in all types of industry and put manufacturers and retailers in the same room. Some of these have become quite famous, such as the Ideal Home Exhibition for home and garden products, the London Boat Show for yachting, the BBC Good Food fair for food and the London Fine Art for… art.

Trade shows are open to both the general public and people in the trade, often using the public to gauge interest in a particular product. Many of these trade shows are held in large exhibition centres such as Earl’s Court in London, Wembley Arena or the Olympia Exhibition Center. While all these are London centred, there are big trade shows outside of London, such as the NEC in Birmingham.

Vendors will often use promotional material to attract the general public or potential trade customers, using a variety of advertising materials such as roller banners, posters and flags.

For the buyer, a trade show provides an excellent opportunity to see cutting edge items that will more often than not still be in prototype stage or not released on market yet. The savvy buyer can get a hands on with a new product to try – something that’s not possible in the online world. A buyer can find out all of the information about a particular product and often take a free sample away from the show to fully evaluate.

A trade show can let an exhibitor open up whole new markets as their products are put directly into the hands of the people responsible for making purchasing decisions. The exhibitor will also gain excellent feedback from the public about their new products, something that is not always possible to obtain when developing a new product to market. An exhibitor should always ensure that business cards are available at trade shows to ensure that prospective customers are able to take details home with them.

Vendors should pay careful attention to their choices of advertising material when attending a trade show. A well placed roller banner or poster can make all the difference in getting the sale, as long as the design is kept simple and to the point. Colours should be clear and vibrant, making the point as clearly as possible as often a buyer will only evaluate a product for a fleeting moment. Clear images and graphics will also help getting the product’s point across.