Is exhibiting still a good investment?

Exhibiting offers 2 huge benefits that can help you to generate leads and build brand awareness.

Using expo’s allows a business to create a touchpoint connection area for new and existing customers to connect with a brand directly.  Some people don’t always feel comfortable contacting head office or don’t often know how to make contact with the brand they are interested in knowing more about.  This is a way for you to build and develop better customer services by offering a meeting ground for people to come and speak to you about how they can get involved with your brand.

It also gives you the added benefit of setting quality time aside to focus on the goals of your business, whether it be recruiting franchisees or launching a new product.

The other benefit is feedback and market research.  So often companies use staff to man exhibition stands when the decision-makers or owners should be the main person manning the stand to have your ear to the ground and listen to what people have to say. Companies like Chip ‘n Dip and A Plus Students do just that because they found that it gives them a lot of insight as to how the public perceives their business giving them ideas on how to make improvements whether it be raising brand visibility or whether it be improving on products or services that are delivered to the public.

Let’s see how cost-effective it is and if it is worth your while exhibiting and using Expo’s as a way to market your business and generate leads.

The Franchise Indaba usually attracts between 2500 and 3000 visitors. Let’s say only 5% of those visitors show an interest in your business and provide you with their contact details – these are 125 potential new franchisees or customers you will have that you can add to your database because not everyone is ready to buy from you today.

Let’s assume only 1 person buys a franchise from you after they visited the Indaba – depending on your industry – with an upfront fee of R326 288 (Reference average joining fee, 2018 Sanlam Franchisor Survey).  The franchisee would sign a 5 year franchise agreement whereby the franchisee has to pay management services and marketing fees which is income to the franchisor (you) for the next five years.

The direct return on the investment of R60 000 is obvious…not to mention the following spin-offs:-

According to information received from longstanding exhibitors, new clients or franchisees often do business with them one or two years down the line or even longer.

  • The exhibitor receives free marketing by way of electronic, social media, PR and website marketing executed by the organisers of the exhibition i.e. raise brand awareness of your company.
  • The exhibitor can test new products and or a new business concept the value of which is immeasurable.
  • If an exhibitor is also a speaker during the exhibition, further spin-offs are incalculable as per the comments received from some suppliers who exhibited in KZN during the March expo this year.

So don’t be blinded by the initial upfront investment – rather consider the fact that if you plan and prepare well,  you simply cannot lose out if you exhibit as per the many testimonials and comments received from exhibitors over the years.

While the internet plays a role in gaining new clients or franchisees, most feel hesitant in making such an important decision without being able to meet the owners and interact with the brand.  This is why creating a meeting spot that allows people to engage with you on a personal level outside of your business head office in the form of exhibiting is vital.


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