Trade shows may seem boring to some, but in the world of small business, they can easily make or break a company.

When it comes to startups, tradeshows become even more important as your company needs to prove itself, its products, and its services to the industry.

If you haven’t dealt with many trade shows as a startup, or if you’re an established company that hasn’t looked into the value and advantage of trade shows, continue the following:

Personal Touch

One of the most important benefits of attending tradeshows is that you can provide a personal touch to your products or service.

It is one thing to advertise on TV or market your company on the radio, but it’s an entirely different thing when you can allow prospective clients to experience what you have to offer in person.

This adds the personal touch, and it means that potential clients will be more likely to remember you when they are in need.

Giveaways Still Make Waves

There was a time when the giveaway was a marketing gimmick.

A free t-shirt for signing up for a mailing list, a free toaster for joining a paid-club…while those ideas may come across as “schlocky” today, they are still effective, especially online.

In the article, “2 Philosophies That Ensure Tradeshow Booth Success,” it’s pointed out that when planning your trade show experience, think about promoting it on social media and offering free gifts to those who sign up early.

Make it a point to promote the fact that only early adopters will receive the gifts, and maybe promote gifts of a lesser-value to those who sign up later.

Using this method, you’re more likely to sign up attendees faster and sooner.

Consider Experiential Boosts

Experiential marketing refers to marketing experiences that actually allow the consumer or potential business partner to “experience” the experience.

Notable examples of this include Coca-Cola providing free Coke cans from vending machines if a consumer does a dance in front of the vending machine.

Likewise, McDonald’s held a marketing stunt in which customers could “pay with love,” whereby they could pay for a meal by showing an act of love to another human.

The latter example is one in which the customer will certainly hold a fond memory within his or her mind, and deep within that mind, the decision to re-visit the fast food restaurant will certainly be at the forefront when it comes time to get something to eat.

The restaurant made a personal connection. Your trade show appearances should too.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include trade show development and business strategy.