In a comprehensive trade show study, the thing a B2B exhibitor can provide attendees that has the highest correlation with purchase intent is new learning. Not models and promotional products.
With the right planning, B2B marketers can use trade shows to speed up the sales cycle, reduce the cost of sales, and reach customers, prospects and even "hidden buyers." In an article by Margit B. Weisgal, President and CEO of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, she outlines the benefits of trade shows: "Exhibit marketing is the most cost-effective means of reaching customers and prospects; it reduces the buying cycle; it allows you to reach hidden buyers. Most important, though, is that it can reduce the cost of a sale by as much as 75%."
With the right ideas, B2B marketers can leverage their trade show attendance to refill their sales funnel, bring in new customers and boost sales revenue. The #1 objective for trade show attendance is lead generation. In a post in Trade Show News Network by Skyline Exhibit's Mike Thimmesch, the author lists 100 lead generation ideas. Of course, no exhibitor does all 100 of these tactics, nor should they - it depends on your overall strategy. Once you have a solid strategy in place, knowing which tactics to employ becomes easier.