Should Start-Ups Invest in Trade Show and Exhibitions_Should Start-Ups Invest in Trade Show and Exhibitions?

As a start-up, you will want to find and exploit as many marketing opportunities as possible. Thus, you may think, it makes perfect sense to set up a booth at a trade show. Or is it?

What is the best way of harnessing the power and opportunity of a trade show or exhibition for a new business?

Trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, call them what you will, events that attract a large footfall of your customer demographic seem the ideal choice to launch your start-up.

Are you ready to exhibit at a trade show?

The first question you need to ask yourself as a startup is whether you are ready to exhibit.

There are many reasons why this may not be the case;

  • Are your products or services sufficiently tested and ready for the marketplace?
  • Do you have the back end of the business in place? Too much too soon can kill a business just as fast as having no customers.
  • Is your brand ready?

Essentially, the question you need to answer is this – if you exhibited at a trade show and received a flood of orders, could you deliver?

By not delivering or getting it wrong, you will damage your budding business reputation and that can be difficult to claw back.

How to use a trade show for your start-up?

If you decide your business is not yet ready to exhibit, attending the trade show as an attendee is a useful exercise.

  • You can see your competitors and examine how they interact and showcase themselves.
  • You also get to see other business you could collaborate with.
  • You see market trends in action, get a feel for what is changing and what is tipped for being on trend in the coming months.
  • You get to see the deals that people put on for trade shows and exhibitions.

In other words, you get to expand your vision before you showcase your start-up at a busy trade show or exhibition.

Do you have the resources for a trade show?

Trade shows, exhibitions, fairs and conferences are busy, bustling events which can make getting noticed difficult. In a sea of noise, you need to have the resource to stand your ground and attract people to your brand and stand.

There is no denying that exhibiting at a trade show sucks resources – and not just your budget. There are hidden aspects to consider, such as;

  • Staffing the office, production, answering the phone, responding to email, all the ‘backstage’ admin tasks that keep your business ticking.
  • Staffing the stand is a long, tiring day but achievable for a one-day event but what about trade shows that last two, three or even four days?
  • The cost of the stand, furnishing it, travel, accommodation, freebies, roller banners, leaflets, marketing materials and more.
Are you making the right choice of trade show?

There are hundreds of trade shows and events held at venues across the UK each year.

From seasonal gift and craft fairs to industry-specific events, choosing the right trade show is important.

As a quick guide, you need to be objective about who is attending the show in terms of your customer demographic as well as looking at the exhibition list. As well as the cost of hiring a stand, what other extras do you need to fund?

When exhibiting at a trade show is right for your start-up…

* You need to be clear on your objectives of attending the show.
* Have goals to drive for on your stand, whether that is gathering leads or increasing sales.
* Consider professional promotional staffing help to cover busy points or to offer specialist activities such as sampling staff, demonstrators, or sales teams.
* Be part of the show by sponsoring or hosting VIP events.
* Be confident in what you offer and make sure everyone hears your message!

At Promotional Staffing London, we work with all sizes of business including start-ups and new, emerging businesses at trade shows and exhibitions at major London venues such as London Olympia and Excel.


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