Thinking of exhibiting? Market research highlights the marketing power of exhibitions

Exhibitions and trade shows are powerful marketing opportunities that offer unique access to a highly engaged and motivated audience.

Attendees come to these events as they are already interested in the products being showcased and are gathering as much information as possible to help them make the best buying decision. These customers are already further down the buying process, so you are working with warm leads with a high potential to be converted into sales.

So just how powerful are exhibitions and trade shows from a marketing perspective?


81% of trade show attendees have buying authority and purchasing power.


A primary objective of any marketing activity is to ensure your brand becomes part of the consideration set for motivated buyers. This essentially means that when a customer is making a purchasing decision, your brand is being considered. A buyer will look at your features and benefits against that of your competition before committing to any sales.

This is why exhibitions are a very effective way to place your brand in front of motivated buyers. 81% of attendees have buying authority and purchasing power, which is a very high number of warm leads ready to be converted. By not attending trade shows, you are losing out on these potential customers and freeing them up for your competitors, as your brand will not be in the consideration set.

Source: CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget.


92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products.


Whether you have a new product ready to market or have updated an old one, a trade show is a perfect place to launch. One of the main reasons people attend trade shows is to see these new products on the market.

Having your ideal customer there in person is the perfect way to showcase what your product does and how it can solve a problem they may have.

It is important to come armed with as much information as possible that you can hand out to people on the day, with an expert sales team available to demonstrate and talk them through each of the features.

Knowledge is power, so the more you can offer to potential customers, the more your brand is going to stand out in the consideration set when it comes to making a purchasing decision.

 Source: CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face


The cost to meet a prospect at an exhibition is $142, compared to $259 for a meeting at their office.


 Cost of acquisition is a key metric to measure the value of marketing activity.  It’s also important to understand the value of the customer to a business. Research shows exhibitions are a more cost-effective method of having a face-to-face meeting with a prospective customer.

87% of marketers agree that the face-to-face factor is important in a marketing scheme (source: Exhibitions have the power to harness the audience’s five senses and to connect them with your product or service. This is highly beneficial, especially when 80% of trade show visitors are personally involved in buying the products or services at the exhibition (source: It’s no wonder trade events get a business return of 23%, even if it just accounts for 9% of the marketing budget.

Source: CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget.


The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show or exhibition.


Exhibitions give marketers many opportunities to connect with potential customers with 8.3 hours spent on average looking at exhibits. This statistic highlights the need to create display stands that engage and capture the attention of the audience.

Source: Exhibit Surveys, Inc.

Here’s how you can effectively connect with a new prospect:

Be imaginative during product demos: exhibitions provide the perfect venue for your brand to gain credibility. If you do things correctly, product demos can be more beneficial than simple how-to articles or videos, as it allows your audience to actually experience your product or service.

However, you need to be imaginative and well researched for this to work. Make sure your approach is genuine, credible and relevant. For maximum impact, why not use technologies such as VR or AR? Provide a chance for customers to touch, feel and even use the product themselves. This gives your audience, including those who might not have considered your product before, an opportunity to realise its uses to their own lives. From a business standpoint, this can lead to increased sales without you needing to develop new products or even penetrate new markets.

Creativity creates impact for IVECO trucks at the recent Truck show.

Differentiate: For your next show, why not look for a new exhibition where you can target a new audience? This may mean moving from B2B to B2C. Another thing you can do is to create two separate stands for your current and new audience. This works well if you branch out to new business units with each unit catering to different audiences. The third approach you can take is to make two teams with two marketing approaches at the same stand. The end goal is being able to differentiate your brand and cater to new connections, while still nurturing existing ones.

Some tips to help you prepare for your next trade show

According to a 2015 study conducted by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), 2,157 exhibitions staged in the region for that year alone attracted a total of 9.3 million visitors, contributing a direct value total of $1.5 billion.

Out of the top 10 exhibits audited by EEAA, 315,180 were considered unique visitors. This means brands were receiving an average of 10,506 unique visits each exhibition they attended. Organisers also noted that about 52% of event visitors lived outside the city in which the event was hosted.

Participating in an exhibition not only helps you position your service or product in that market; it also provides a venue for new customers to discover your brand.

Here are some ways you can prepare for your next Trade Show:

Do your research: Entering a new market presents you with a unique opportunity to expand your target audience for your brand, but you need to do your research. Find out whether this new market truly fits with your brand, and if they do, consider the following:

  • Current and any potential new application of your product (how it will solve a problem these new customers may have).
  • Your competitors and how your brand stands out.
  • Buyer personas: who they are and how your product appeals to them.

Incorporate this knowledge into every aspect of your next exhibition, from stand design, through to the sales team you train for the event and gifts you will have available to give away on the day.

Use influencers: by securing influencers who align with your brand and your values, you offer credibility to your product and/or services. Here are some ways influencers can help:

  • Promoting your brand through social media.
  • Providing an external endorsement with credibility that you can add to your marketing materials.
  • Attending your trade show and chatting to potential customers.

Generate excitement: word of mouth is still a good way to get your brand into a customer’s consideration set, and is also more likely to gain loyalty in the long run. Capitalise on this adage as you enter a new market to help increase your reach and build your credibility. You can do this by providing special gifts, hosting a competition, getting a popular guest or using new technology to immerse your audience.

Relentlessly promote this to generate hype, making sure to extend your efforts with pre-event and post-event promotions. Another thing you could do is to encourage digital social sharing. Social media offers a cost-effective, yet a quite targeted means to reach your potential audience.

When it comes to business growth, the marketing power of exhibitions plays a vital role in breaking new markets and unlocking new audiences. It can effectively cement your brand, nurture loyalty and connect it to a wider audience and platform without losing your personal touch. What you need to focus on now is how you can gain traction, build credibility and earn trust, without sacrificing your core business.


At Grand Stand Events, we know there are so many things to remember when it comes to putting on an event. We make sure that everything is taken care of – before, during and after the event. We have extensive experience across a wide range of different industries, with a unique insight and understanding of design, which allows us to create beautiful trade show stands. Our experienced team at Grand Stand Events will help you with every step of the process, in a professional and friendly manner. We can assist in the creative development process and bring your trade show displays to life.

If you need help with your upcoming event, speak to one of our experienced team members on 1300 979 114 or email us at

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