Is exhibition participation the right marketing tool during the recessionary phase of the economy?
When compared to other traditional marketing media, exhibitions and tradeshows are more stable in an economic downturn.
More than exhibitions and trade fairs it is corporate meetings and events that are cutback.
According to the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research, recession does not have significant or predictable negative effects on the exhibition industry.
In a stressful economic environment the role of exhibitions bringing products to market doesn’t change, says the research.
Another study on the ‘Effect of Economic Recessions on Exhibitions’ point out that in spite of shrinking exhibit floors or an overall attendance drop at shows, key buyers continue to attend trade shows during recessions.
The study also points out that interest in exhibitions and trade shows, hours spent at exhibits, footfall, and the percentage of attendees planning to buy products as a result of exhibitions do not change significantly as a result of recessionary economy.
According to show managers and exhibitors, as executives need to stay connected and can still travel there are higher quality attendees attending their shows during economic downturn.
Why Exhibit in a Recession?
Taking part in an exhibition or trade fair is even more relevant during a recession. During these difficult times businesses need consistent and continued visibility. And exhibitions are the most cost effective sales tool and marketing medium.
If businesses do not exhibit, the buyers might think they are out of business. That increased exposure is essential with new customers and with the existing customers you need to renew relationships.
By exhibiting during a recession you gain additional market share in this economy and can even outlast the competition.
Exhibition participation is also crucial to maintain your company profile of consistency and strength, so that you will be the first choice when the market strengthens.
During a recession you might find there is a drop in the football but according to industry experts those who visit will be high quality decision-makers, which means less visitors, but more authority to purchase.
To put it precisely, the decrease in attendance leads to increase in quality and size of prospects who do engage.
Never make the mistake of not exhibiting during a recession become you need the visibility more than ever so that clients know you are still there and potential clients don’t think you are out of business.
In fact, during a downturn, it becomes all the more imperative for all businesses to show strong fundamentals, and greater visibility. To nurture the confidence and trust across the supply chain the platform is ideal for exhibitors.
How he or she will survive the inevitable downturn in sales is the first thought that goes through every trade show exhibitor’s mind during a recession. Everyone is cautious. And consumers are not spending. And many of your competitors may remove themselves from the field.
Trade show exhibitors who are willing to take the reins that market leaders abandon in a sluggish economy will reap benefits in the long run.
If you are still not convinced whether to participate in an exhibition during the recessionary phase of the economy we give more reasons why you can thrive during tough market conditions.
Your Competitors Are Not Aggressive
Improving your revenue and sales base during an economic boom is really simple. Just participate in an exhibition. And many of your competitors must have thrived this way. All they had to do was take part in an exhibition, and attendees flocked to their exhibits. When the economy is healthy everyone has budgets to spend. But those budgets dry up during an economic downturn. It might seem counterintuitive to consider this a positive environment for your business, but you need to grab this opportunity.
When times are good it would be next to impossible to displace your competitors from the top. But now they are not so confident. They are unaccustomed to survive during lean times and might have cut on advertising and marketing.
They might not update their trade show displays and booths. They hold off on investing in exhibitions that would have brought qualified visitors to their booths. You need to take full advantage of this opportunity and make your presence at an exhibition as attractive as possible.
Recession is the best time to grow your business
Growing your business is easier during a recession as your competitors become less willing to spend their limited funds. Other trade show exhibitors will be focused more on their current customers. To reach and qualify prospects they will be doing very little. And potential buyers will have not much choice. You need to attract them to your booth.
It is not easy to attract visitors to your exhibit during good times. Everyone will be vying for visitors’ attention. But fewer trade show exhibitors are willing to invest in these attractions during an economic downturn. But remember that these attractions are as effective as ever. Now is the time for you to dominate the floor as you have fewer booths trying to lure visitors.
Recessions Increase Your Business’s Hold
We have already discussed that many of your competitors are now vulnerable and it is your time to dominate the space. By taking advantage of your business’s levers you can catapult ahead of your competitors. You will get a good response with a small amount of force.
For example, your most powerful levers would be your lead list and customer base. You can bring highly-qualified traffic to your booth by sending customized cards to your customers a few weeks before the event.
During a recession it’s natural to hold back on spending. But, remember that it is during a sluggish economy that many of today’s largest companies like FedEx, IHOP, General Electric and Microsoft were launched. Recession is not the time to be lazy. It is the time to take action and rise above your trade show competitors.