At least it should be before you and your company sign up to exhibit. The first presumption is that you deal with the people who will be attending the exhibits. If the attendees are in your target market then exhibiting should be a no-brainer.
The way that I see it is as follows: By exhibiting, I am first and foremost supporting the organization who is holding the conference. Second, it gives me great exposure to the target market I seek to work with as I am being seen, my logo is being seen and my information is being seen by the attendees. Third is the ability to interact with the attendees in a face-to-face manner. All three are awesome opportunities to be someone who is trusted by the attendees, after all the organization in question is not going to have you exhibit if they are not supportive of you – conveying an immediate feeling of trust.
Exhibiting at a conference affords you the ability to introduce your services/products directly to the membership in attendance. You can offer a discount to those who sign up on the spot, you can have the attendees provide contact information to you and many other advantages that social media and other media do not necessarily offer.
Probably the most important thing, whether you are marketing to Millennials or to Boomers is the benefit to personal interaction. Having an attendee stop by your booth and ask questions in real time is very valuable as you are able to establish a dialogue that is not stilted while you wait for the other person to finish typing in their additional questions. And there is still a lot to be said about non-verbal communication that occurs in person that is not even noticed in other interactions in the 21st century.
Having worked in the financial world for the last three decades, I have made it a point to exhibit at the annual conferences and other gatherings with regard to my target market. I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the opportunities that have presented themselves to me as a result of this. From day one, I have always approached things in a very simple way – I am there to be seen supporting the organizing entity. Sometimes a large opportunity has arisen at the first show and other times, it has taken a number of exhibits but the costs are nominal in comparison to opportunities that have led to many ongoing profitable relationships.
If you are sitting on the fence about exhibiting, drop me a note by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at 1-855-PLANWIThbrian (1-855-752-6948), check me out at BrianShumak.com or best of all, drop by my booth and say hello.
Find out more about sponsorships and exhibits at InterACTION 2018.