A business expo, trade or business show is a great way for small businesses to meet with potential customers, show off their products and services and build successful partnerships. If you feel like you are not having luck with your current sales and marketing strategy, showcasing at or even attending a local business exhibition might be your solution.
What is a business expo?
A business expo is usually organised for companies in a specific industry or on a specific theme. It can consist of seminars, talks and workshops for attendees and an array of companies showcasing their products. Generally, businesses exhibiting will be charged different rates depending on how much advertising is involved. For attendees, entry is usually free to attract an audience however it can come at a small fee depending on the event.
Why should you attend your local exhibition?
Direct contact with customers
Depending on the nature of your business, it's very likely that you have never met your customer face to face. The business infrastructure today allows for purchases and sales to be conducted remotely, and the ever-increasing ability of customers being able to purchase products or services in a matter of minutes over the internet means business owners rarely ever get to meet customers face to face. Attending a local expo or an industry-specific exhibition allows you to meet your current or potential customers and obtain valued feedback on how you can improve.
The advantages of networking are endless. Networking provides personal development opportunities to build confidence, speaking skills and establish meaningful connections. It allows you to develop and leverage relationships to further your business. You have access to new ideas and fresh perspectives from various individuals in your industry. A small business can gain customers, suppliers, partnerships and friendships through networking sessions. Why not attend a business expo where others have a common goal.
A business expo can be industry-specific, with hundreds of attendees directly or indirectly relating to your business. This is extremely helpful if you are struggling to generate sales or cold calling is proving to be unsuccessful. When you are at a business exhibition, generating leads should be a lot simpler than cold calling or emailing because attendees and exhibitors both have a commercial reason for being at the event. Whether it's selling a product, buying or building partnerships, it's a lot easier to do if someone the other party has a similar expectation.
A business expo is a great place to chat and see what other businesses are doing. This opportunity opens you up to different sales and marketing strategies. It's a great place to conduct competitor analysis. It can leave you feeling inspired and even implementing something new to your approach.
Create lawyer-approved contracts for free for 7 days
Things to consider
Your budget will determine whether you exhibit or attend. If you are a relatively new company with a limited budget and can't afford to pay £300 + for a stand, consider attending as part of the audience. This way, you can save yourself some cash and still get to network with businesses and other members of the public.
Consider your target audience and determine if they are likely to attend. You can research the event to gauge what sort of a crowd it attracts. Review forums like trust pilot are an excellent way to do this. Think about different strategies of communication for each persona. Draft some qualifying questions that will help sieve through the audience and determine who is worth speaking to.
Set objectives for the day
Setting objectives ensures you get the most out of the business exhibition. If you are exhibiting, think about why you are doing this. Set goals and take steps to meet those goals. If your goal is to generate sales, consider having a special promotion on the day. If you hope to build a solid connection, look at the exhibitor list, which is usually published weeks before the event. Consider researching the companies on the list before going and plan on how you can approach and collaborate.
7 Business exhibitions in the UK 2022/2023
- The Business Show - 16th - 17th November 2022
- B2B Expos - various dates and locations 2022
- Techspo - 1st - 2nd September 2022
- SMEXPO - 28th Feb - 1st March 2023
- B2B Marketing Expo - 22nd - 23rd November 2022
- Women in business and tech - 12th - 13th October 2022
- Business start up - 24th - 25th November 2022