Whenever I bring the topic of allocating some marketing budget to Singapore tradeshows, I tend to get that frowning look from the management. The question I get most of the time is why go for that? Why invest in a tactic that does not generate the ROI? To put it simply, are tradeshows really a waste of resources like what the management thinks?
Costs of Singapore tradeshows
Singapore tradeshows do not come cheap. A simple 15 sqm booth excluding the bells and whistles (think digital plasma screens) can easily costs SGD8000-11000 depending on the popularity, scale and category of the tradeshows. For example, a simple space + shell stand at CommunicAsia 2016 could set you back at SGD 11000+. For companies on a shoe string marketing budget, that is way beyond their affordability.
Profile of visitors
A lot of times you will tend to get leads who do not fit the profile that you are looking for. The reason behind is that majority who came for the tradeshows are not the decision makers due to their busy schedule. With high investment costs and low returns, this inevitably lowers the ROI of participating in tradeshows.
Be very sure that your competitors will be participating in the tradeshow as well. This inevitably diverts their attention from your products and services. As a result you may have to spend more even resources and ideas to attract the attention of the visitors.
How can we extract maximum benefit from our participation?
With all these disadvantages of participating in Singapore tradeshows, the question we need to ask ourselves how can we extract maximum benefit if we should decide to participate and show that to the management?
Extend invitation to existing customers
Unless your products and services are unique or you are the only provider within the industry, chances are you will not get the traffic you are aiming for. So why not take this opportunity to invite your existing customers to visit your booth. Not only can you showcase your latest products and services to them but at the same time you can get updates on their latest developments.
Close follow up with leads
Even though leads from tradeshows may not develop into business opportunities within the near future, nonetheless, it is a good idea to keep track of them within your CRM database as they may develop into customers when they have a need.
Announce your tradeshow participation in industry publications
By announcing your participation in industry publications, it will create an impression that you are still active within the industry and ready to meet the needs of your customers.
At the end of the day, the decision to participate really depends on your marketing objective ie is it really to generate awareness or for demand generation? If you decide to participate do ensure that you maximize your ROI by taking the actions mentioned earlier.