Exhibition trade show

How to justify the cost of attending trade shows

Trade shows, conferences, and site visits are all a huge part of working in the events industry, and essential for staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of events.

However, the attendance of these events comes with a price, often meaning that one or more people take time away from the business, incurring additional travel and overnight expenses.

First things first, what is a trade show?

Trade shows are industry-specific exhibitions bringing together industry professionals, and allowing businesses to promote and display their products and services. Trade shows also offer great networking opportunities for professionals to build external relationships with peers and suppliers.

So, why should agencies attend trade shows?

Attending a trade show has a wide range of benefits that can be used to positively change and improve your company’s presence in the industry. Increasing awareness of your brand and making industry peers aware of what you do is an essential factor of establishing yourself as a business.

Looking to plan an exhibition but not sure where to start? Visit our exhibitions management page to find out more about how we can help.

While you’ll most likely be going to a trade show aiming to meet people you want to work with, getting to know industry peers is a great way to make contacts and make yourself known. The more people you know, the more chance there is for collaborations in the future.

How much does it cost to attend a trade show?

Like with many other things, trade show costs aren’t universal, and can depend on a number of factors such as location and popularity.

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact cost – but tickets can range from £0-£5,000, with some events offering ‘hosted buyer’ programs that can mean that essentially everything (flights, accommodation, attendance, food and drink) is free.

However, this doesn’t happen often, and costs to a company, along with tickets, need to account for travel, accommodation, expenses and a day spent out of the office. In order to ensure that this is feasible, look at your budget beforehand to work out specific costs.

Make the most of the agenda

Trade shows and exhibitions are usually accompanied by seminar and conference sessions led by specially selected speakers sharing their own views on industry trends. The agenda or itinerary of an exhibition is usually made available to attendees before the event, meaning it’s easy to choose the sessions you’d like to attend depending on the content and its value to your business.

From a commercial point of view, it’s hard to measure how the investment of money and time into trade show attendance has contributed towards a business’ goals, unless it generates a lead. Making the most of tradeshow attendance can come from the knowledge gained being converted into something that can be positively utilised and is beneficial to your company.

For example, learning about upcoming destination trends may encourage research into these destinations for future events. Gaining insider knowledge on different aspects of the industry could influence a blog post or business leads may be followed up with calls, meetings and a potential client win.

Find out how to boost your event agenda, with Elevation Marketing's 5 big trends that will shape trade show events in 2019.

Blow your own trumpet

What better way to brush up on your presentation skills than speaking about your business in a room full of industry professionals? Not only is displaying confidence, knowledge, and belief in the services you provide good practice for meetings and pitches, but it could also ignite the interest of potential clients attending the trade show. Generating leads and making sales in this way may lead to your company exhibiting at future trade shows, becoming a sponsor, or even being part of a speaker line-up.

Build relationships that could be invaluable

While it’s undoubtedly difficult to logistically demonstrate the financial ROI of attending trade shows and industry events, the potential to build valuable relationships with suppliers and gain industry knowledge is somewhat priceless – and can be used to develop and improve your company.

The cost of wellbeing

Employee happiness, wellness and mental health has become a large focus point for event agencies over the past year. Companies are taking steps to implement practices that will help create a positive office environment, attract and retain top talent, and provide employees with an all-important work-life balance that works for them.

Read more about workplace wellbeing and how it can be enhanced here.

Time away from the office, continued professional development (CPD), and networking opportunities are just some of the ways that can help improve and maintain employee happiness and wellbeing. Although trade shows, exhibitions, and other industry events can be a significant cost to the company, it can also be an investment into the happiness and development of your employees.

Trade shows in particular will shows employees that you trust them to make informed and professional buying decisions, and act as a brand ambassador for the company – ultimately adding value to their role and making them feel both appreciated and important.

Want to work with an event company who can turn your event dreams into a reality? Look no further…