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How important is networking at a trade show?

Do you know your business goals, aims and objectives when attending a trade show or exhibition?

There are lots of reasons why you should make travel arrangements, organise great display stand solutions and train your staff, ready to make an impact at your industry’s focused trade show event. But should networking be one of them?

Many business leaders, sales staff and marketing professionals will agree that goals such as raising brand awareness, lead generation and building relationships with existing clients and the wider industry are important at trade shows. Networking can help you to meet each of these objectives.

Raising brand awareness

There is no better way to quickly boost a brand’s profile than to dress your trade show booth with clear, bold display stand solutions that ensure your company logo, colours and tagline is seen by every delegate at the exhibition. However, with these physical products in place, networking can work as part of a wider strategy for building brand awareness at any event. Actively talking to key people, joining in discussions at presentations and seminars and introducing yourself also introduces your brand to more people within your industry. After speaking with you, any person who then comes across your company’s exhibition stand is more likely to approach your staff at the booth, or research your business further online once the event is over.

Lead generation

If you are heading to an exhibition looking to leave with lots of leads, this is an actionable, tangible task that can be measured by physical assets such as contact forms, business cards collected or online sign ups. It can be easy to see why many people forget about the importance of networking when given this task. Still, meeting and greeting other delegates can ensure these sign ups happen much faster. By networking you are quickly spreading in-direct pieces of information about your company, such as the problems your solutions can solve. If you speak to someone who is looking for a solution for that exact problem, they will soon head to your stand and complete any lead generation form you may have.

Building relationships

It is clear to see how networking can help you build relationships. In order to do so effectively, it is important to have a targeted strategy. Identify who you want to build relationships and why – this can ensure that you attend all of the relevant networking opportunities as they arise.