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Why Trade Shows Remain an Effective Tool for B2B Networking

April 12, 2023 /
Conex /
B2B Networking

Do you have a business that offers products and services to other companies? If so, you’ll know that the marketing strategy you use will be different from B2C companies. While consumers are more likely to trust their emotions and buy impulsively, B2B clients take time to consider all available options.

Everyone wants success from their business, but to achieve it you’ll need to be professional, reliable and trustworthy. If you can network and get to know what your audience is all about, you’ll be able to portray your business in the right way.

While platforms like LinkedIn and business groups are effective, nothing beats a good old trade show.

They’ve been around for decades but still reign supreme when it comes to B2B networking. In this guide, we’re going to look at the many benefits of trade shows and reveal how you should use them to grow your network.

Do personal interactions and connections still matter?

The digital revolution definitely chanted how people work and communicate, but nothing beats some good old personal interaction. People today still value working with a business that’s willing to take time to have a face to face conversation.

If you’ve ever communicated with a client and they’ve asked for a video call, you’ll know the relationship you built through that call is more valuable than weeks of messages and emails.

People want to feel that personal connection and the best way to diversify your network is to attend a trade show.

The benefits of trade shows for networking purposes

Trade shows come in all shapes and sizes, from small local events to international exhibitions that the world’s biggest brands attend.

Whether you’re in a crowded market or have a niche business, you’ll find a trade show that works for your unique needs.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits these shows offer.

Learn about your target audience

Every business knows its success lies in its ability to connect with an audience, and it’s not different for B2B audiences, either. Each prospective client has an issue you could solve, but first – you must get to know them.

When you finally understand your target audience, you can tailor your products and services to suit their wants and needs. Trade shows are ideal for gathering research on your target audience, especially as you won’t need to pay for expensive data.

Instead, you can look at how people interact with different booths and gain a solid understanding of their needs.

Get your brand out there

Trade shows are the perfect place to showcase your brand. You can meet new clients and establish relationships with them when you attend a show.

You’ll also be able to promote yourself through displays, ads and other marketing materials.

It’s also an excellent way for potential customers to get a feel of your company, but also for you to show people what you’re all about and stick in each visitor’s memory.

Know your competition

To succeed, you need to know what your competitors are doing. Attending a trade show is the best way to get the necessary information. Imagine how much money you’ll have to spend through online research – and you’ll see why these events are so popular.

Your competitors will all want to make a great first impression on visitors, so you can witness them bringing their A-Game to the event.

What are they doing right? How could you do it better? Are there any gaps in the market? The trade show will give you all of those answers.

Improve your lead generation efforts

Lead generation is a frustrating – but essential – marketing method for businesses. Everyone knows that finding the right leads is no easy feat. Not only do you have to generate interest, but you also need to ensure any interested party is a qualified lead.

Trade shows are a great way to build a stronger connection with your target audience, allowing potential clients to get to know you more.

In many ways, it can speed up the process and quickly turn leads into paying clients.

Meet potential partners

Let’s not forget that trade shows are also ideal for making lasting connections with other businesses. Not everyone’s a competitor, and some attendees could be worthy allies when growing your business.

For example, if you offer a particular service, you might find another business with a software solution for your work. There are many opportunities at trade shows, so remember that it’s not all about competition.

Preparing for your trade show

Preparing for your trade show
Now you know how trade shows can offer networking opportunities, it’s time to look at how you can create a great booth representing your business professionally.

Here are our top tips for making your stand suitable for networking.

Rent your stand

First things first, you might want to consider exhibition stand rental – because it offers more flexibility and customisation. Also, a rented stand means you can scale your business accordingly rather than being stuck with a stand that no longer works for you.

Show before you tell

Focusing on visuals is a great way to make your booth stand out. Show off how your product or service works rather than simply explaining its features. Your visitors will be able to grasp the concept almost instantly – and they’ll be more likely to remember you in the future.

Collect leads

Your ultimate goal is generating leads, so ensure you have a lead collection system in place. It could be emails or phone numbers, but the main thing to remember is to get everyone’s contact details.

Follow up

Lastly, your success will ultimately lie in your ability to follow up with your leads and let them know you’re proactive in your approach. People will expect the extra thought, and it shows B2B clients that you’re professional.

Final Thoughts

Attending a trade show is one of the best ways to network with prospective clients and grow your B2B leads. With so many opportunities to form relationships with your clients and other businesses, it’s essential to take your time creating a stand and think about the impression you’ll make.

If you’d like to discuss our exhibition stands for rent, please feel free to contact our friendly team. We’re always available to offer advice and support and have various customisation options.