The Power of a Trade Show
Every industry has them: home & garden, food & beverage, medical, education, and manufacturing. Trade shows. They are a staple in every industry, allowing fast-track, easy-access opportunities for companies to display and exhibit their latest products and services, meet with industry partners and customers, check out the competition, and look at recent market trends.
We may be biased, but trade shows in our industry—manufacturing; and more specifically, advanced manufacturing, metal stamping, and CNC machining—have some of the most interesting and technologically advanced exhibits and are some of the most highly anticipated and largely attended shows out there. These shows are like Comic-Con for manufacturers and anyone in advanced industries. And we know, because Hobson & Motzer exhibits at at least four shows a year and attends several others.
For larger shows, our 10X20 trade show exhibit (shown here at the MD&M show in Minneapolis) features easy-to-see graphics that show the range of parts we can make, 40-inch monitor looping video of our two facilities, and two backlit display cases loaded with examples of products Hobson & Motzer produces.
It’s all about Interaction.
Trade shows pull in highly targeted markets that share similar interests in products or services. Though the events are only a few days long (and the days can be long ones!), thousands of interested customers converge on one location with the main focus of gathering intel. Some have very specific interests in mind; others want to throw a wide net and soak up as much as possible during the event.
As an exhibitor, it provides otherwise unprecedented access and interaction with customers—current, new, and potential. You get the chance to talk directly with all levels of personnel: engineers, buyers, and decision makers from all over the industry. The personal interaction offered at trade shows is a little different than you might get during a phone call or even a site visit. The general atmosphere of a trade show has people in a more casual, receptive mindset, which helps engender very productive conversations about what people in the industry are setting their sights on. Trade show interactions are instrumental in moving relationships forward with customers and prospects in very effective, interactive ways.
The very scope of trade shows is expansive—in physicality (sheer size), scope (industries represented), and vision (you see the latest and greatest advancement of so many things!). It also allows you to collect valuable market intelligence on your industry. This will give you opportunities to learn about the competition and the market as a whole. If you serve the medical device industry, for example, you can gather fresh insight into what may be the next big thing in medical instruments and devices. You may also get a heads-up—if you aren’t already a leader in your industry—as to where your industry is heading. Trade show attendance can answer all kinds of questions. Given upcoming developments, what will customers expect or demand in the near future? How do you stack up compared to the industry? By checking out the booths of your competitors and inspecting their products, you’ll gain a better understanding of their position in the market and how to remain competitive.
Prepare for Success!
We know visiting a trade show can be overwhelming, particularly when there are over 100 exhibitors and thousands of other attendees. There are ways you can prepare for your visit to make the most of it. Have a plan, but leave some room to explore.
- Do your research. Learn which companies will be exhibiting at the event and what products you are interested in.
- Know booth numbers. Make note of what booth numbers companies you are interested in talking with will be at—and, indeed, visit them! (We understand how easy it is to get swept up in the distraction of a trade show.)
- Arrive early. Give yourself time to check in and network prior to the start of the show. It is the perfect chance to introduce yourself and your company and make some contacts and initiate potential business opportunities.
- Download the app. If the show you are attending offers a phone app, make sure to download it. They will typically offer schedules, locations, and maps, as well as a list of the vendors exhibiting.
- Go to seminars and training sessions. Whether very specific to your market or industry, or featuring an expert that can offer fantastic overall business perspective, these sessions can be beneficial to you. It is definitely worth making time in your day to be inspired by what the experts have to say about their field. Plan in advance what seminars you’d like to participate in to ensure you attend them.
- Expect the unexpected. You never know where the next great idea will come from, or how a new technology can change your future. Being at a trade show is like sitting on the pulse of an industry. Stop at some exhibits that you normally might not; you will learn something!
- Have fun! In a final word, remember to have fun, make the most of your day, and the next time you find yourself at a trade show, make sure to stop by the Hobson & Motzer booth! We’d love to meet you.
About Hobson & Motzer
We work extensively with the medical device industry and other quality-critical markets where innovation and precision requirements depend on advanced technology to delivery uncompromising quality every time. We are approachable, capable, and dependable manufacturing partners.
If you’re interested in finding out more about any of our precision metal stamping, CNC machining, advanced manufacturing, or assembly capabilities, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us now and let’s talk.