Alison Jackson - Are industry trade shows and field days still worth it? Do they still deliver for your business and do people still see them as worthwhile? Does merchandise still have a place at your stand?
All good questions and at the recent Diesel Dirt and Turf Expo (#DDT) I put these exact questions to industry and media alike – and both came up with similar answers.
Customers want to experience the brand. They want to interact with the latest skid steer loader, climb into the 20-tonne excavator and test the modern controls, deciding if this is the new machine for them. Industry shows are like a smorgasbord. Every type of machine, attachment and equipment is laid out in front of visitors and there are salespeople on hand to answer questions and provide solutions.
For each exhibitor there are hundreds of hours spent organising and coordinating. From moving equipment into position right down to making sure the latest brochures and merchandise are on hand to share with visitors, getting ready for an event is a huge investment in time and money. Each element is important in getting a brand noticed.
Not every event is right for every brand. Find out who is going to be there and what the organisers are going to do to promote your brand and drive visitors to your stand.
Once you decide to go, make it worth your while.
Brand awareness is key.
From an exhibitor’s point of view it’s their machines and brand that set them apart from all the rest. But how they choose to present it is what makes all the difference. Merchandise is a tried and true way of getting your brand out there. It can be a premium item, kept behind the counter for only the serious buyers, or something that is out on display and readily available to everyone.
Small but powerful
A simple stubby holder or keyring can go a long way in keeping your brand top of mind. Sure, it’s an expense but it doesn’t have to break the bank. The old stubby holder can be used time and time again, each time paying for itself over and over. Your brand is on display keeping it top of mind; job done.
Even the humble bumper sticker, designed right with a quirky element, can pay for itself 100 fold – sitting there on the back of a work truck, not doing much you say but it’s actually doing its job and doing it well. Your brand is out on display, to a captive audience in traffic and on work sites. Again job done.So next time you’re considering are industry days’ worth it? Am I wasting my money on merchandise? Remember the time-poor contractor who wants to climb into a machine and experience the latest offerings in one place. Oh and don’t forget the giveaways that keep on giving.