What Do Trade Shows Do for Your Business?


Trade shows can bring many benefits to your business, from brand awareness to generating leads. They are a fairly significant investment for a small business and also require quite a lot of effort. So, are they still worth doing in the age of digital marketing? What do trade shows do for your business?

Trade shows offer a unique face-to-face environment in which to do business, something not achieved in the digital sphere. Humans are social animals, we like to meet in person, and this is still the best way to do business. Proponents of trade shows state that the return on investment achieved at a trade show is higher than almost all other forms of marketing.

The events industry is a significant part of the UK economy. The UK Events Report, which was written before the pandemic, demonstrates this. In 2019 business events generated more than £31bn of revenue for the UK and generated over £165 billion in trade.

Here we outline the benefits a trade show can bring to your business.

1. Brand Awareness

Having a presence at an industry specific trade show will demonstrate that you are part of that industry. It will show attendees that you play a specific role and have a lot to offer. If all your competitors are there you need to be too to show you are part of the industry. Research shows that the perception of a brand that is not represented at an event falls by 5%. This is true even for global brands. Thus, not attending a key event can be damaging to your reputation.

If you are just starting out, a trade show is the perfect situation to launch yourself onto the market. Even if you are well established, it can be a good opportunity to launch a new product or service.



2. Lead Generation

One of the main benefits of a trade show is the ability to generate qualified leads. Attendees are there because they are looking to source new products or services, this puts you in a great position to take advantage of that. 92% of trade show attendees say their main reason for going is to see new products and 81% of them have buying authority within their business. So being at a trade show gives you access to decision makers who will be in buying mode, providing a unique selling opportunity.

3. Networking

A trade show gives you the opportunity to network with others in your industry, enabling you to make useful contacts. You may find a new partner or supplier who can help you to grow your business. The key industry players come together for trade shows, so it is a great opportunity to talk to people and strengthen bonds.



4. Face-to-face Marketing

A trade show allows you to talk to potential customers face-to-face which is much easier than an anonymous voice on the end of the phone. You can explain and demonstrate your products much better in person and educate them about the benefits. It will give you a better chance to gain their trust and build a bond. 

A trade show is also a great opportunity to arrange meetings with existing customers. Take the chance to show off your stand or meet them after the event. You can build on your relationship and maybe sell them further products or services.

5. Witness Industry Developments

People use trade shows to launch their new products and innovations into the industry, and having a presence there means you can see exactly what your competitors are doing. You can also attend demonstrations and presentations which will give you an idea of the direction in which things are going. Leaders in the industry will give talks which can be very informative and educational. And witnessing what your competitors are doing will enable you to see what works and what doesn’t, giving you ideas for your own business.

6. Gain Feedback

Demonstrating and talking about your products with potential customers face-to-face will enable you to get instant feedback from them. You can gauge how popular a product is and where it could be improved. If there are any issues, these will be pointed out to you, giving you the chance to make necessary changes.

7. Reach New Customers

Attending a trade show in a different part of the country, or abroad, will give you access to a whole new customer base. This is a great opportunity to build on your database of contacts and sell into a new market. The people you meet may well have never heard of you otherwise.

8. Hone your Sales Technique

A trade show is a great place to try out different selling strategies. If you have new staff it can be a good training exercise. You will have access to a wide audience, giving you the ability to try different techniques to see which ones work best. You’ll soon find out the best strategy to take. Exposing your team to many different types of people will give them good sales experience and equip them better for future interactions.


Exhibiting at a trade show brings a business many benefits, from brand recognition to lead generation. 71% of SMEs said they won business using face-to-face networking. If you don't have a big advertising budget, networking events such as trade shows offer an effective way of generating new business.

For help with your next trade show call us on 0800 019 2141 or email design@exhibition-stands.com


Bespoke Design With Your Branding