Summer and fall in Louisville are a ripe with opportunities for your small business to get a booth at an outdoor festival or trade show. You may be wondering if this could be a worthwhile benefit to your small business.
Of course, if you ask this question to the expo center, festival, or trade show organizer, you’re going to hear a resounding “Yes!” with lots of impressive numbers to back up how many visitors there will be. That kind of exposure, they’ll argue, is very powerful.
While that is true, exhibitor fees for trade shows and festivals are not cheap. You will also have other associated expenses like signage, collateral or marketing handouts, excess stock to have on hand, renting or buying monitors or other display equipment, an hourly wage for yourself or an employee, and more. In order to be worth those expenses, it’s a simple question of ROI – will the leads or business generated outweigh the costs? Here are the steps you’ll want to take to make that call.
Step One – Can you afford it at all? We all know it takes money to make money, but the first step is to budget out all of the expenses for having a booth. Consider everything we mentioned above in your budget. If you aren’t in a position to spend that cash, you may want to take a step back right from the start. There will be more opportunities down the road if you need to find your footing first.
Step Two – Research the options. You may have a friend that told you about one particular festival, but have you looked at all the options? There are plenty! This list is a good place to start to view upcoming festivals and events here in Louisville.
Step Three – Determine the quality of the leads. Are the attendees of this event a good demographic fit for your business? If your operation is business-to-business, be certain that the attendees will be representing businesses of the same size that you’re targeting. For business-to-consumer, see if you can you get a demographic profile from the organizer. Be honest with yourself and really get a firm hold on who you believe your customer is. Just because there are thousands of people attending, if they aren’t interested in your business, it’s not a good fit.
Step Four – Decide if your brand is ready for the impressions. So you’ve chosen an event with attendees that seem to fall right into your target demo. Fantastic! Even if you don’t close a lot of sales that day, impressions and exposure to the right crowd are also a selling point of trade shows and festivals. So do you have everything you need to make those impressions count? Do you have a memorable company name, a great logo, and a solid understanding of your brand? Do you have a modern and capable website that you’re proud to send potential customers to? If you’re not sure the thousands of people at the festival or show will remember your business, it’s smart to get these things set up first. Outmarket Pro is happy to get the ball rolling on any of these important branding and marketing materials.
Trade shows, festivals, and other events are a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. If you are careful to follow these steps and approach the event with a clear purpose, they can also be very profitable for your business.
We can help plan and execute a festival or trade show booth. Call us at (502) 897-3020 or email [email protected].