Why Trade Shows Should Be in Your 2024 Marketing Budget

Trade shows may seem by some standards to be “old fashioned”, however that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth. In a time where most of our communication is done online or through an app on our mobile devices, trade shows provide a necessary human touch that allows your business to connect face to face with potential partners and customers. 

Why Does Trade Show Involvement Make Sense for My Budget? 

Including trade show expenses as a line item in your marketing budget makes sense because trade shows elicit a lot of attention for a very fair price. You may think that attending trade shows is too expensive for your business, and although there are some upfront costs (which we’ll talk about soon), the return on investment (ROI) is by far the best marketing dollars you will spend. 

Companies can see a 4:1 ROI for their trade show appearances; among Fortune 500 companies nearly 14% of companies report a 5:1 ROI from their trade show expenditures. Earning $5 for every $1 you spend on a trade show is spectacular when you consider the overall investment. 

Trade shows provide the opportunity to gather your target audience in one spot leading potential business straight to you. Putting a face with your brand is also crucial as a human connection is often missing from other marketing channels. When you compare the time and money spent first to generate leads, then to close those leads for your business, trade shows are less expensive and take less time than other standard marketing techniques. 

The Upfront Costs are Worth the Investment

The main deterrent when considering using trade shows as a marketing tool is cost. And while there are some upfront costs associated with using trade shows, the investment in those costs is definitely worth it. Trade shows provide an unparalleled opportunity to showcase your brand, your company, your products, and your people. 

Obviously, you need a booth for a trade show appearance, along with signage, marketing materials, promotional items, business cards, and most likely an experience for your customer to participate in. Although this may sound like quite the undertaking, there are many companies that can help a small business establish itself at a trade show. One of those companies is Earnest Images. 

Earnest Images can help your business from conception to completion when it comes to trade show appearances. We get to know you and your business, as well as your goals for attending trade shows. From our conversations about what you’re looking for, we can provide computer generated renderings of trade show booth concepts, as well as marketing materials, so you can visualize your investment and approve of the design before we even get started constructing it! 

We also know that storing trade show displays and replenishing marketing materials between trade shows can be expensive and time consuming. Earnest Images offers its clients storage and fulfillment services to organize your trade show display, inspect it for any damages, clean and repair displays, check inventory of marketing materials, and help with logistical support for your next trade show appearance. 

Although there are some upfront costs to successfully participate in a trade show, your investment in the materials keeps giving back. Once you have a booth, signage, and marketing materials developed, those elements can be used over and over at each show. Remember that ROI through trade shows is the highest of any marketing channel available! 

Other Benefits of Trade Shows 

Not only do trade shows provide you with the chance to connect with potential customers and business partners, but they also provide many other benefits that general marketing strategies cannot. Here are some benefits to consider when thinking about adding trade shows to your marketing budget: 


Check out the Competition: Trade shows allow you to check in on what’s happening in your industry. Being able to see what the industry leaders are doing, and talk to them about it, is priceless. 


Expand your Reach: When you attend trade shows across the country, you broaden the reach of your brand and business. What you spend to go to the show can be recouped with new customer acquisitions. 


Instant Feedback: You can use trade shows to highlight new aspects of your business or new products, and receive instant feedback from potential customers. This feedback can be invaluable, especially if a new customer points out something that you hadn’t thought of before. 


Adding trade shows to your budget for 2024 is a smart choice. There are so many positive possibilities to participating in trade shows in the new year. Put your business in the spotlight and get ready for all the hype that trade shows can contribute to your bottom line! 


Interested in getting your business “trade show ready”? Reach out to Earnest Images for all the information you need to showcase your business! 

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