The importance of trade shows for many businesses is well understood. Especially for small and new businesses, trade shows present an opportunity to develop the business in several crucial ways. Most obviously, trade shows are an opportunity to grow a business by increasing sales; perhaps more beneficial in the long-term, however, is the potential to develop a company’s brand and further identify and cultivate a consistent customer base.
Many people who attend trade shows do so on behalf of retailers or stores who are looking to build their own business by identifying products that would be a good fit for their own brands and product lines. Lost in the hub of commerce that exists at a trade show is the host of the event itself. The buying, selling and networking that goes on at these shows does not take place in a vacuum; an organization responsible for the venue and all other logistical and organizational aspects is required. Trade show hosts may be the organization in control of a venue itself, such as a convention center, or a show may be hosted by a third-party organization.
The economic implications for trade show vendors and attendees are obvious and simplistic; trade show hosts, however, need to be conscious of the entire event’s financial context. Often, creative measures need to be taken to maximize trade show revenue and ensure that a show remains economically viable so it can remain on the calendar and be consistently counted on by businesses. Here are some ways that trade show hosts maximize revenue by selling sponsorship of the event.
Trade show vendors and attendees are often equipped with barcoded badges. Using a specialty tradeshow badge scanner, these badges are scanned and information about a particular individual or company can be easily stored and accessed at a later date. Trade show badges and scanners are increasingly popular as they have made networking at the event more efficient and organized than ever before. As a result of their ubiquity, many event organizers choose to sell sponsorship that includes advertising on these badges. As trade show vendors scan the badges of potential customers and attendees scan the badges of products and services that pique their interest, any advertising on the badges is certain to be noticed and provide a good return on investment for sponsors.
The often-hectic trade show check-in process is another potential source of revenue for the event. Even the most efficient, high-tech process is prone to situations where a lot of attendees are crowded into one area of the event space. While this is may be a necessary drawback of a well-attended trade show, it is an opportunity for organizers to sell advertising space around the physical check-in area. As events increasingly automate the check-in process, valuable advertising can still be sold on the mobile check-in screens that are guaranteed to be seen by all attendees.
Good advertising can move people in a certain direction to a certain location, but it can also simply follow people where they are already headed. As trade show check-in becomes automated, some advertisers will still look to have a presence in the physical event space. Event organizers can capitalize on this by creating centralized charging stations and selling advertisements in and around the area. All of the mobile devices like laptops, smartphones and badge scanners that are a must for modern trade show attendees and vendors will need to be charged, and a charging station meets this need and creates a valuable advertising opportunity.