The 5 W’s of Tradeshows: Who, What, When, Where & Why
Author: Elizabeth Korda
Every industry involves strategy when it comes to advertising or marketing a company and its services. For some, it is social media presence or optimizing your website for potential leads or partnerships. Well, ShipSage likes to employ all those opportunities, as well as attending tradeshows.
What is a Tradeshow?
“A trade show is a kind of exhibition where different companies from the same industry display and demonstrate their new products and services.” In Chicago, they hold a car show every February and various other industries gather at McCormick Place to showcase their business and build relationships.
There is a variety of people who attend the tradeshow: members of companies, professionals of that industry, news crews, and people with special permissions. Depending on the industry of the tradeshow, the general public is welcome to attend for free or for an attendance fee. For most e-commerce tradeshows, there is usually no entrance fee.
When and Where is it hosted?
Most of the time tradeshows are hosted at convention centers of cities or hotels. The event lasts several days and most of the time, it is hosted annually. However, the frequency of the shows and how many days it lasts depends on the industry. For example, for a tradeshow in the education realm, “there are more than 200 sessions scheduled every year.” For an e-commerce/retail show, the event lasts a few days and thousands of exhibitors come and represent their company.
There arethree main reasons as to why you or your company should attend and exhibit in a tradeshow. A tradeshow can benefit both you, as an individual, and your company. Whether you participate by having your own booth or attend for a learning experience, these primary pillars will support why your presence is significant and worthwhile.
No matter which tradeshow you attend, there is potential for discovery. If you are attending for experience, be prepared to learn and see new things in action. If you are representing your company at your designated booth, it is a suitable time to put on the best version of yourself and be prepared to engage with many new people.
Tradeshows are designed in such a way that the face-to-face engagement is relaxed and casual. Therefore, there are opportunities to reach potential customers and engage in discussions with other exhibitors. After talking with some people and showcasing your services/products, you might make some high-quality connections. Discovery is a two-way street at a tradeshow.
Networking also goes both ways. Since you are at an event with other professionals and companies in your industry, there are many potential networking opportunities. For example, as a fulfillment company, ShipSage meets many representatives from carriers or retail companies. In the past, ShipSage has connected with professionals in the supply chain management department and e-commerce business owners.
Furthermore, since tradeshows are resourceful in networking and collaboration, it sets the stage for building relationships. From the people who you engage with and the people you showcase your company to, there is potential in forming partnerships with other companies or a particular service.
While you can learn something new in the discovery or networking process, what you learn about interacting with people and their business provides a deeper insight to what you experience first-hand. Say you approach a company’s booth: there might be an icebreaker chat involved and then they start showcasing their service/product. Regardless of your interest, you learn more about the industry professionals as individuals, team members, and their services.
Alongside learning, you can get a first glance at the latest trends in the industry before new services or products are available to the public. For example, that new extra special printer that you have been waiting to be released can be purchased at a discount before it is released to everyone else. Or that cool tracking gadget so you never lose your house keys again is available for a free trial period.
Overall, tradeshows are casual and fun-filled experiences for a professional in the industry and team members representing a company. Going through the discovery, networking, and education process is a two-way street and everyone present can benefit. Whether you are a big or small business, tradeshows provide opportunities for all sizes and types of businesses. Likewise, ShipSage enjoys making all sorts of connections with all kinds of contacts and businesses. We provide our services to any business size and strive to offer simple pricing, speedy onboarding, and scalable solutions. Come meet us at a tradeshow and leave your fulfillment to us!