The AGE 2019 (13-15 August) is fast approaching and stand space is being snapped up now that the post-election economic outlook has settled more positively for businesses in Australia. Added to this quiet confidence in the market, is a small increase in gaming profits for the last few months allowing clubs and hotels some breathing space to look at new products at the trade show. For suppliers, trade shows can be a large one-off expense but the benefits of having customers in the one space and the opportunity to generate leads and close sales quickly can easily offset costs and provides a sales pipeline for the next 6-12 months.
Benefits of trade shows for suppliers:
1. Trade shows level the playing field.
It doesn’t matter if you are a small company with a few products, or a large poker machine manufacturer, you all have access to the same attendees at the AGE trade show. At AGE 2018 there were over 6500 unique visitors, with 63% of them from clubs, hotels and casinos. Of those visitors, 91.59% were from NSW, VIC and QLD. How much would it cost your reps to get around to all of those potential customers to sort out the leads?
2. You have 3 days – stay focused
During your planning for a trade show you have the opportunity to eliminate ideas and messaging that won’t help you reach your marketing and sales goals. Your goals should cover many aspects that drive business and as well as actual sales targets, you should also include leads targets, appointment targets, quotes targets, and database targets, for example. These will give you key performance indicators that will help in calculating the cost benefit of the trade show over the following year. It’s not just about the 3 days of written up sales, a trade show gives you a sales pipeline for the next year and those sales should be included in your ROI.
3. Person-to-person interaction increases sales
It is harder for a potential customer to say ‘no’ in a face to face meeting, and trade shows offer this opportunity through engagement with both existing and potential customers. A short (and it must be short and targeted) in person presentation and a question-based conversation afterwards can help close a deal quickly, rather than just sending out an email blast to customers you already have in your company database.
4. The most successful trade shows are industry specific
In any industry the most successful trade shows for exhibitors are those that concentrate on a specific industry. The AGE is the largest hospitality industry trade show in Australia and NZ and all the leading decision-makers and executive level managers make every effort to attend each year. In a visitor’s survey at the AGE last year, 80% of visitors stated that they attend the AGE specifically to see new products. Be clear about your new product and ensure it is featured on your stand, with sales collateral, and is ready for sale. A little pre-show planning is vital to success at a trade show
5. It’s cheaper than a years’ worth of advertising in a magazine
It costs thousands to advertise in hard copy magazines and you don’t know who picks them up to read them. Spending on a stand at the AGE by comparison means you know exactly who has taken an interest in your product, and can build a leads list for post-show sales opportunities. Although you may have a larger one-off investment at a trade show, the cost to convert a prospect into a sale is often much lower than other alternatives, and you have more control over the leads.
6. It’s simple, really
Book your stand space, design your keep-it-simple product display, promote your business and products in the lead up to the show, and get your best people to interact with the attendees during the show.
There are few marketing methods that can compete with a trade show for a solid ROI.
7. The Drop Deal!
To assist in trade show lead-up marketing, The Drop will offer a 10% discount on a featured edm article in the weekly newsletter for any company booking a stand for the AGE during June 2019. The Drop edm is sent to 6,500 industry executives and has a readership of over 29,000. Get a head start on your leads list before the doors even open on 13 August.