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In tough economic times, don't cut back on trade show exhibiting. Marketing efforts during a recession have an outsized impact. A company that maintains its investment in trade show marketing while others reduce their visibility looms large by comparison.

Here are four of the best reasons to exhibit:

(1)  Reduces the Length of the Sales Cycle.

It has been claimed that it takes at least 8 “touch points” before a sale is made. Typically, this could involve an email, followed by a phone call (perhaps several phone calls given the prevalence of voice mail), followed by another email, another phone call, more emails and maybe, just maybe, an agreement to meet. Multiply this by the number of prospects you plan to contact. Fairly daunting, isn’t it? Think how exhibiting at a trade show can get right to the heart of the process, to the meeting.

(2)  Generate Leads & Drive Sales.

If yours is a Fortune 500 company, your prospects know you exist. If your company is not, there is a very good chance that people who could benefit from what you offer have never heard of you. Trade show attendees are there to find solutions. If they knew all the best solutions, they would not be walking the show floor. These folks are the source of new business.

(3)  Network- Establish Relationships with Industry Leaders and Important Contacts.

As an exhibitor, how do you define “success” at a trade show? “X” number of qualified leads is one definition. Meeting other exhibitors that are the source of leads is another. Meeting people who are influential in your industry and who will give good word of mouth to your company and its products is yet another. Ideas. Ideas are all over the place at a trade show. Your customers and prospects will share them with you. Your competitors may spark them.

A trade show is an “idea bazaar”. As a trade show participant, you have the opportunity to put your personal brand on your product and company. To the prospects you meet, you are the face of the company. It is not easy to project likeability and integrity via an email. Face-to-face encounters at trade shows offer a unique opportunity.

(4)  Get in on The Latest Trends.

What’s the word on the streets? Learn about new concepts and technologies that are generating a buzz in your industry. Staying up to date enables you to achieve authority and credibility. Become the trusted source to which people turn for reliable industry news.

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