5 Cheapest-to-Most-Expensive Options for Marketing at Trade Shows

5 Cheapest-to-Most-Expensive Options for Marketing at Trade Shows

You want to pitch a topic that is educational to the attendees. The best thing about speaking is there are typically no costs to you, other than the travel time and costs to get there. Attend If you can’t become a speaker, make sure you at least attend the event. Attendee costs are typically not that expensive, and they can yield a big pay day as you are networking throughout the event, rubbing shoulders with prospective customers at the lunches, break-out rooms and while walking the exhibit halls. Related: This Entrepreneur Maxed His Credit Card to Attend His Industry's Biggest Trade Show. Exhibit Having a booth as an exhibitor is one of the more expensive options. The booth comes with a cost of around $5,000 and the space rental can be another $5,000, plus you typically need a couple people manning the booth, including all their travel related costs for those days. It is hard enough for an early stage company to afford one trade show, yet alone 20 shows, so you be strategic in how you prioritize which trade shows to attend. Obviously, shows closer to your home region are less expensive to attend and are likeliest to be attended by your target customers. I would favor more cost effective things like Google search ads and targeted ads to my prospective customers on LinkedIn first.

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5 Cheapest-to-Most-Expensive Options for Marketing at Trade Shows

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If you are a B2B marketer, industry trade shows are often the ideal meeting place to network with your industry peers, all in one central place. So, incorporating trade shows into your marketing plans is often a terrific way to get in front of your target customers.

There are many ways to get the word out about your company at trade shows, with varying degrees of cost. Here are the top five options to consider, in order of cost, from least expense to most expensive.

1. Speak

The best thing to do is position yourself as an authority on a certain topic that is relevant to the audience of the show. The show organizers are always looking for good speakers to fill their agendas. Why can’t that be you?

You never want to pitch your company as the primary topic, as the show organizers won’t let you simply stand up and promote yourself. You want to pitch a topic that is educational to the attendees. The National Restaurant Association Show attendees are likely to be interested in learning the hottest new trends in restaurant designs and restaurant furniture, as an example.

If you can, find a brand-name customer of yours to collaborate with on that pitch to the show organizers. Instead of you pitching your own success, your customers can pitch that success for you. Look for collaborative pitches with your customers, as the show producers love getting brand name speakers on their rosters, much more than unknown startup executives.

The best thing about speaking is there are typically no costs to you, other than the travel time and costs to get there.

Related: Unlike Many Things That Are a Lot of Work, Trade Shows Are Worth It

2. Attend

If you can’t become a speaker, make sure you at least attend the event. Attendee costs are typically not that expensive, and they can yield a big pay day as you are networking throughout the event, rubbing shoulders with prospective customers at the lunches, break-out rooms and while walking the exhibit halls….

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