What is a Consumer Show?

A consumer show, also referred to as a trade show, is a large-scale showcase of various products, prototypes and inventions designed to bring them to the attention of new potential buyers. These expos are often industry-specific for both logistical and marketing reasons.

Purpose of a Consumer Show

Consumer shows serve as a great way to get like-minded merchants and customers in a single location for an extended period. They are often treated as day-long events with many people choosing to stay and visit as many vendors as possible. It is also an industry standard for the organizers of a trade show to charge a small entry fee, meaning there is money to be made even outside of standard commissions that result from sales. For vendors, consumer shows give them a rare chance to interact directly with customers already in their key demographics. This sales tactic often results in a higher conversion rate than standard sales practices.

Value of a Consumer Show

Whether or not there is value to a consumer show is based on a variety of factors, including geographic location and the types of products being offered. Exhibit sales have been a staple of the American economy for decades, and they leave a track record of success behind them. What separates effective trade shows from failing ones is both the products being sold and the people selling them.

Planning a Consumer Show

Effective consumer show planning is the key to hosting a successful exhibit. While this does include the basics like picking the right location and putting the right booths in front of the consumer, there are a variety of other logistical concerns. These include security, parking, and guest admission. If you are new to planning these types of events, or you're simply looking for guidance on a few key decisions, there are likely a number of event-planning experts in your area that can help. While the fee they charge may eat into your profit, the guidance they provide may just make up for the initial cost. Management services typically have the best information available about a given locality with their own research based on experience.

Is it Worth it?

For the planner, putting on a consumer show is a large task, but the pay-off can be rewarding if done properly. Vendors can also see a tremendous return on investment if they put in the time and effort to present their products in a manner that is approachable, friendly and sales-oriented. Trade shows represent a blend between cold calls and casual conversation, and effective sales result from making the buyer feel comfortable in this crowded environment.

Whether they are an executive decision-maker at a corporate consumer show or an interested buyer at a public technology event, the consumer has the chance to see a large amount of competing products in a short amount of time. They are also free to consult with vendors and find out more about a given product directly from the source. It's no wonder consumer shows remain both a tremendous networking opportunity and a high-yield sales environment.