The trade show industry is quite evolving in nature and it is now more important than ever that an exhibition company knows how to get a read on its opponents. The scenario of today is such that your company is in a precarious position. The marketplace is changing daily. New companies enter the industry. Your competitors are constantly unveiling new products, new services, and/or new marketing strategies. How do you keep up with or even better, how do you anticipate these changes
That’s where the trade show comes in. Gathered in one convenient location, you should find many, if not most, of your competitors. While industrial espionage is never a good idea, there’s nothing illegal or immoral about asking the booth staff a few pointed questions. The answers you receive can be illuminating and useful, providing the type of knowledge your firm will need to time their new product launch, assess marketing strategies, and so on. Even the smallest competitive advantage can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
But how do you know what to ask? Won’t your competitor’s booth staff take one look at you and laugh in your face?
Not if you ask the right questions. Realize that some of the answers you are seeking will be provided for you, without you saying a single word. A company’s promotional literature can be a gold mine of information, as can the size, placement, design, and graphics of their exhibit. Experienced show attendees can read a booth, discerning a number of valuable facts from these factors.
Just by virtue of being at the show, your competitors are sharing the following information:
- Who they are.
- What their reputation and image are in the marketplace.
- Part of their sales and marketing strategy.
Now visit your competitor’s exhibition stall. Before you talk to the booth staff, try to discern the following:
- Do they pose a threat to my company? Is their booth larger, better designed, more expensive, and filled with substantially more attendees than yours?
- What is the depth of their product/service offerings?
- What products and services are they choosing to push at this event?
- What features are they emphasizing?