MediaRadar Blog

Retail Trade Shows Deliver Value Beyond the Booth

Retail Trade Shows Deliver Value Beyond the Booth

Trade shows can be valuable for advertisers and publishers alike — just see our previous piece on why you should run a trade show.

Retail trade shows in particular give ad sales teams the chance to be front and center with media buyers typically focused on the consumer or supplier. But given the rise of digital advertising and programmatic exchanges, do trade shows still hold importance for ad sales?  

The short answer is yes.

The more detailed answer? Keep reading.

Reports of Retail’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Digital advertising doesn’t negate the need for personal connection in sales and marketing — retail included. Retail trade shows remain relevant, even in the digital world.

“By attending trade shows, retailers have access to new vendors, established vendor partners and service providers that all cater to their unique retail market,” Forbes contributor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle wrote back in 2014. Instead of jumping through all the hoops to connect with their target audience, retailers often find their audience hand delivered at trade shows.

The value has been maintained through 2019, it seems. Alexis Mera Damen at Shopify speaks to where the value in retail trade shows lies today: “Most buyers don’t make an order on the spot — especially if it’s their first interaction with you. You can use trade shows more as an opportunity to network, show your products, and meet new wholesale customers that you can follow up with later.”

The traditional use of trade shows as a means to make sales is still viable; but as digital channels have grown retail trade shows have become a way to connect face-to-face and build relationships that last.

MediaRadar Insight: The Value in Retail Trade Shows for Media Sellers

It’s clear that trade shows still hold a central role for most modern retailers. But what value does taking part — or even hosting — trade shows hold for media sellers?

MediaRadar took this question on, finding that retail trade shows hold at least as much value for ad sales as they do for retail brands — even if it’s not a perfect comparison.

As of 2018:

  • The median revenue brought in from a retail event is $6.1mm. This includes both exhibitor and sponsor fees.
  • 98 percent of participants (both exhibitors and sponsors) at retail trade shows also advertised in another media format in the same year.
  • There was a 10 percent YoY increase in the number of participants at retail events. Not only are trade shows still relevant — they are actually growing in popularity.

Virtually all participants in a retail trade show also advertise in other media formats.

84 percent of trade show participants ran digital ads in 2018, while 53 percent ran print ads.

This makes the case for the retail trade show as a way to ‘get your foot in the door’ for a long term advertising relationship with media buyers.

What Damen pointed out for retail brands is true for media sellers as well: trade shows are a promising way to start a good advertising relationship. Of course, trade show hosts also have the benefit of bringing in revenue from the retail event itself.

Getting the Most Out of Retail Trade Shows

Trade shows are a good way to bring in revenue and adding a new way for advertisers to engage with your offerings. But just as important is the fact that retail trade shows can be a good way to build relationships with advertisers for the long term.

Whichever the case, trade shows warrant a second look by most media sellers in 2019. With MediaRadar Events, hosting companies teams can:

  • Instantly see who is sponsoring events. Quickly search for brands that participate in events using the missed business and power prospecting reports.
  • Easily know who is exhibiting at events. See if a specific brand values events in the Integrated Account Review.
  • Get spend estimates for sponsorships. Determine how much your competition is charging their sponsors for event participation
  • Calculate your share of the event market. See where you stand among your competitors and how events contribute to your market penetration.

MediaRadar Events will be released in June 2019.

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