There are two main exhibitor moans:
‘Exhibiting is too expensive’
‘We didn’t get great exhibition results’
These two moans are part of the same sentence which is; ‘I didn’t get great exhibition results, so exhibiting is too expensive.’ Where exhibitors get great exhibition results, they find that exhibiting is a highly cost-effective tool for achieving marketing objectives.
There are three main reasons why exhibitors don’t get great exhibition results:
1. Their products and prices are not competitive – we once organised an exhibition which was so successful that the next years show was sold out, before this years show had finished. Yet one exhibitor complained that none of the big buyers had attended and that no exhibitor had done any business but the reality was that none of the big buyers attending, were interested in his products.
2. They are on the wrong exhibition – unfortunately, this happens all too often where poor decisions were made on show selection, see my blog ‘5 great questions to ask the exhibition organisers’
3. They hadn’t received any exhibitor training – which is not a self-serving statement but international research, which found that less than 15% of exhibitors had received any form of training, before they exhibited. The other 85% of exhibitors think that exhibiting is ‘common sense’ or they have exhibited before, so ‘know what they are doing’ . International research also found that exhibitor training can lead to a significant improvement in results, especially sales leads and new business.
Unfortunately, many of the exhibitors who complain at the high cost of exhibiting but the poor results achieved, dont critique their own performance, or lack thereof, especially if the exhibition is considered highly successful by the bulk of exhibitors and the organisers. It is so much easier to blame the exhibition organisers or the exhibition medium: ‘dont talk to me about exhibitions!!’. It is good practice for all exhibitors to conduct a post-show review where all aspects of participation can be discussed, with a view to improving performance on the next exhibition.