Exhibitors are marketers who display their products in a controlled setting. The products are promoted through direct contact with potential clients. Participation in a trade show or business exhibition may be part of an overall marketing campaign, but is usually targeted towards specific types of customers. Exhibitors often specialize in event marketing and promote their products to commercial buyers.
Many industries sponsor trade shows or conferences that allow manufacturers to market their products in a central location. These events do not just happen once, but occur throughout the year. Exhibitors look for different trade shows and conferences to attend. They rent booth space and set up a display of new and existing products that they wish to gain a distributor or retail buyer for.
Quite a few companies hire personnel who concentrate specifically on event marketing and exhibitions. These positions are responsible for promoting, organizing, and selecting events that will help the company's products gain exposure and market share. Some communities offer small trade shows and fairs that allow local artists or creative professionals to sell their work. While this is done on a smaller, less formal scale, it can be a more cost effective way for unknown professionals to create interest and build a customer base.
Trade show booths may demonstrate the product in addition to showcasing it. Potential buyers actually interact with live products and get to touch, taste, or feel them. Samples may be provided, along with business contact information so that potential clients can follow up. Some exhibitors accept orders for products during a trade show. Fashion designers are an example of exhibitors who gain orders and clientele from trade shows.
Some trade show participants present a more formal, educational overview of their company and its products through a conference presentation. These types of exhibitions usually feature one company or speaker that informs prospective clients or participants about an opportunity. A good example of this is home based business or multi-level marketing companies that invite a mass audience to a presentation. During the presentation, the speaker covers the opportunity, what is required to participate, highlights success stories, and attempts to convince attendees that the opportunity is financially solid.
Trade shows can also involve presenting company initiatives that contribute to a social or political cause. An example of this would be green marketing. Companies may attend these trade exhibitions to promote how they are contributing to environmental efforts and potentially form business partnerships with other trade show attendees. Presenters highlight the company's goals and objectives that are in alignment with the cause and may try to stimulate financial contributions for product or service launches.