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The Value of Exhibiting at a Trade Show

At some point in your business career, you have probably attended a convention which has been augmented by a trade show of vendors exhibiting their products and services.  Or even a home show, a boat show, or a lawn and garden show. If you are like me, you try to walk the aisles without making eye contact with the vendor for fear you’ll have to spend 30 minutes listening to someone talk about something in which you have no interest.

I have now experienced the flip side of this scenario. I have been exhibiting my wares – custom invitations and promotional products – at Bridal Extravaganzas. Now I am the one who is ignored or avoided by some. The good news is I don’t take it personally. I know the show is overwhelming with sights and sounds, and every 10 feet someone is trying to get a guest’s attention.

So why do I do it?

The first and foremost reason is exposure. It is a concentrated way to reach a target market – in my case, brides planning their special day. In my experience, I have no direct competitors exhibiting. There are a couple of other companies selling invitations from catalogs, but not providing services to create custom pieces.

Secondly, exhibiting at shows allows the opportunity to educate the bride about her options for creating an invitation. Each bride is an individual and, as such, has different needs for her wedding. The invitation is the first inkling a guest has of the tone and style of the wedding. If the bride has no idea what she wants or needs, our display and literature give her information to be able to make decisions.

Shows provide the opportunity for the bride, and often her mom and/or bridesmaids, to see and feel real products and to ask questions about her special invitation. Shows provide me the opportunity to invite her to come to my brick-and-mortar location for a sit-down appointment where she can receive personal attention in a quiet, calm atmosphere.

We are a full service print shop with a 35-year presence in the community. We have the knowledge and experience to produce the invitation of the bride’s dreams. This experience also allows us to get creative and be able to tailor an invitation to fit a bride’s budget. We ask the bride to describe her dream wedding invitation, we price it, then ask if it fits her budget. If yes, we move forward; if no, we talk about ways to make changes to reduce the cost but retain the essence.

I continue to streamline the set up and pack up for each show, narrowing the show pieces to unusual custom pieces we’ve produced (laser cut and pull out pieces), most popular current trends (koozies and cups), or unusual things people may not think about needing (poster-sized seating charts and evening timeline schedules).

Exposure at bridal shows has definitely increased our business. Additionally, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied brides and their moms increase the after-effects of a show exponentially. I have even received business from a father of the bride for his business, and from a bride for her business, too. If you are a business owner looking to increase your business, I recommend finding a venue to showcase your products and services to your target market.

And when you need printing or promotional items to hand out at your trade show, or any type of signage, call the Printing Professionals at Medical Parkway Printing.