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Maximizing the returns from your trade show investment

By Richard Clarke

Trade shows can be an expensive business. Exhibition space, stand-build, travel & accommodation, wine & beer (go on, you deserve it). The costs quickly add up.

As such, it makes sense to maximize the return on your investment. Ahead of this fall’s big events, which include SupplySide West and Health Ingredients Europe, here are a few simple ways to do this:

Free-for-all

Most trade shows offer exhibitors access to certain added-value promotional opportunities free of charge. For example, there are likely to be speaking opportunities in conferences or other live theatres. Enquire early to make sure there’s still room in the schedule and be clear about what you’d like to present or discuss. If you can suggest a concrete idea or topic, then the organizer is far more likely to reserve you a spot.

Winning ways

Many trade shows also run award schemes. If you can get nominated – or, even better, win a prize – they’re a fantastic way to raise your profile and cement your credentials. Entry deadlines are often several weeks before the event opens, so plan early.

Press to impress

PR is a highly effective way to maximize your investment exhibiting at a trade show. There are multiple opportunities before and during a show to promote your company and products. Many industry magazines and websites run event previews. These offer a terrific way to get some pre-show press coverage, raise awareness and increase footfall to your stand. Don’t forget, too, that trade shows are a magnet for the media and there will usually be several of the industry’s leading journalists in attendance. They’re busy people, so contact them beforehand to make an appointment on your booth. Lastly, don’t forget to check with the event organizer to see if they are offering any PR support services as part of your exhibitor package. And, of course, if you have a PR agency, they should be able to support you with all aspects of this.

Can we help?

Remember, there’s more to making a success of a trade show than just building a great stand. The Ingredient Communications PR team has many years’ experience working with businesses at exhibitions and other industry events. If you’d like to explore how we can support you this fall at SupplySide West and Health Ingredients Europe, contact me directly at richard@ingredientcommunications.com.

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