It’s only a few weeks into 2016, and already we’ve got some of the year’s biggest tradeshows on the horizon.
Heli-Expo is just around the corner, and AEA, NBAA and EAA conferences are just a few months down the road.
Which ones will you attend? Which ones will you exhibit at and set aside hard-earned dollars for? Better yet, which ones are even worth considering in the first place?
We know setting your tradeshow docket can be difficult, especially if funds are tight. To help you determine which shows are most worth your time – and your cash – we put together this little checklist. Just ask yourself these 6 questions, and you’ll have a well-honed tradeshow list in no time.
1. How does it relate to your industry?
Is the tradeshow in your arena, or is it just loosely related? Generally, if you’re having to be picky about your shows, you’ll want to pick the ones that are most in your wheelhouse. To get a good idea if a show is a good fit, head to the websites of a few of your competitors. Which shows are they attending? If you want to stay ahead in the marketplace, you’ll likely want to set your sights on these too.
2. Will there be any products or exhibitors you’ve been on the fence about?
If you’ve been interested in a product, service or vendor for a while now but just haven’t jumped in and made a decision, a tradeshow can be a great place to do it. You can interact with products and vendors one-on-one and truly evaluate how they fit into your business plan.
3. Will potential customers, clients or strategic partners be there?
What is the audience for the show? Who will be attending? You want the show to deliver as many potential leads as possible – both in customers and in purchases. If an event doesn’t appeal to your market or demo, don’t even consider it. There are better things worth your time and effort!
4. What about your network connections?
Have you been working with a vendor or client for a while now but never met them in person? Tradeshows can be a great place to put a face to a name. You can make real connections with people in your industry and spark strategic alliances that can take both your companies far.
5. How far is it and what’s the time commitment?
When the budget’s tight, it can be hard to justify a cross-country weeklong trip, but a show right around the corner? That may be more doable. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t consider a faraway show – especially if it’s in your niche and offers a lot of potential. Just take some time to weigh the pros and cons. If it’s close and just loosely related to your brand, it may be worth the small amount of effort you’d need to put forth to attend. If it’s far away and not right in your wheelhouse, you may want to put it off for a more lucrative year.
6. How much will it cost?
This is a big one, and it depends on a lot of factors. How many people will attend? What materials will you need, and how much will travel, lodging and entrance fees run you? Make sure to estimate the costs of all tradeshows you’re considering up front, and then see which ones (and how many) fit into your annual budget before making any final decisions.
Tradeshows can bring big wins in the aviation industry. They can help you make powerful network connections, they can bring in countless leads and purchase orders, and they can make a real difference on your bottom line.
Need help determining which shows are worth your company’s time, money and effort this year? Let our aviation marketing experts help. Contact the Haley Aerospace team today to get started.