Trade Shows—Are they worth It? This is a question that must get broken down into two questions to properly understand the answers. First Are Trade Shows worth it to the Exhibitor and the second– Are Trade Shows worth it to the Attendee.
The Exhibitor must spend a lot of money to exhibit at a trade show: There is the booth itself which can cost $3500.00 or more for a standard 10×10 booth, there are travel expenses if the trade show is out of town, and there are some intangibles, such as the booth personnel , they can’t conduct their regular daily business activities when at the show. There are the rentals for your booth such as booth space, carpet, tables, chairs, signage, cleaning and booth transportation. Yes it can cost many thousand of dollars to exhibit at a Trade Show. So how do you figure out your Return on Investment (ROI). This is the most difficult part and can take many months after the show to get the answer. First there is the direct measure, how many orders did I take at the show and the value of those orders. Everything else is indirect such as the contacts made, future sales appointments, brand and product awareness, networking to name a few, all of these indirect measures can take many months for you to get your true ROI.
So are Trade Shows Worth It? I think that it all depends on the individual exhibitor, only that particular exhibitor can truly answer the question. As for our Company Trade Shows are indeed worth it, they have helped us build brand and product awareness, our sales come months or a year later, this is a long term investment.
The Attendee must also spend money to attend Trade Shows, travel expenses and lost work hours. So what does the Attendee get out of Trade Shows; show specials that will save the Attendee money on items purchased at the Shows, education….most Trade Shows also have educational classes with subject matter related to the Attendees business, networking…get to meet Exhibitors and fellow Attendees all with the common interest in you and you business.
I believe that the answer for Attendees is simple… Trade Shows are are Great way to build your business knowledge, save money on product purchases, meet people all with the same interest, and yes maybe a few extra days vacation.