Should I attend trade shows?

Attending an exhibition or trade show like UK Construction Week requires a significant amount of investment. Aside from the cost of the space, there’s the time needed to organise it, set up the stand and take it away, as well as the cost of ‘manning the stand’ and accommodation during the duration of the event.

A consequence of this is that our clients often ask the question: what is the return on investment from attending a construction exhibition or trade show? Of course, all you need is a couple of good enquiries at the show to make it worthwhile, although if you don’t get those then it is guaranteed there will be some searching questions asked in sales meetings!

We frequently hear comments from our clients that they haven’t had much interest or visitor numbers were down. This year’s Build Show was slightly different as the number of people who attended was reasonable although the quality of visitors could have been better, according to the feedback from our clients.

This illustrates the crux of the matter when it comes to trade shows and exhibitions - by their very nature it is difficult to determine the return on investment, which is why more building product manufacturers are resolving to either not attend future exhibitions, or cutting back their investment and diverting it to other marketing activities that provide them with ongoing exposure.

The simple fact is that a huge amount of marketing budget is concentrated on just a few days and if your potential customer doesn’t attend the exhibition, or misses your stand, you’ve lost them until the next show.

As a result, building product manufacturers are investing more of their marketing budget into activities such as Public Relations. For example, a well-placed article or white paper, interspersed with press releases and case studies throughout the year can ensure that you gain a constant presence in the trade magazines and websites that your customers are reading.

The benefit of which is that you are more likely to gain their attention and be the company they think of when they get around to specifying a relevant product. In fact, the first step in specifying a building product now begins with an online search. If you haven’t invested in keeping your website up to date with articles, case studies, press releases and blogs then you’re unlikely to be picked up by the search engines. Bear in mind that specifiers often do an online search before they attend an exhibition to decide who they are going to visit, so if you haven’t been doing PR and blogs you may very well be missed!

At Dragonfly PR Ltd we specialise in the building and construction sector and so can make sure that your product or service is constantly in front of specifiers, irrespective of whether you choose to attend a trade show or not. In fact, you might just find that our PR services can reduce the amount you have to spend at trade shows, selecting only those that provide the best quality of visitor, which we can help you with.

To find out more about the benefits of working with a PR company that specialises in the construction sector, email hello@dragonflypr.co.uk or call: 01709 300130.

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