Benefits of Trade Show Marketing for a Small/Mid-sized Travel Business

When you run a travel business, one of your main goals would be to build a large customer base and maximize your profitability. In order to improve your visibility to potential customers and attract them toward your business, as well as retain your existing customers, you need to tap into all the available sales and marketing channels. There are numerous ways to promote your products and services, such as email marketing, social media marketing, flyers, magazines, television, billboards and direct mail.

In addition to the aforementioned channels, there is another very important channel – Travel Trade Shows. You might ask – “Why should I invest in trade shows when I’m already spending a lot of money on other offline and online marketing channels? I mean, trade shows cost a lot of money..right?” Yes. Trade Show Marketing does tend to cost more than a lot of other marketing channels, particularly if you’re exhibiting. However, if done right, they can also yield very high returns.

Here are some benefits of participating in trade shows and how it can help you maximize your returns:

  • It is one of the best ways to acquire customers. Majority trade show visitors tend to have buying authority, which means that most people you meet at a trade show are potential buyers for you. If you are a hotel, you can use use trade shows to collaborate with travel agencies and DMCs for your region. If you run a Travel Agency, you can find potential tour operators and suppliers to contract with and sell their inventory on your portal or offline.

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  • You can generate business leads directly and easily because people visit trade shows with keen interest and usually come prepared to buy products and services suitable to their requirements. Trade shows allow you to meet prospective buyers face to face and discuss mutual business opportunities. They also lend a lot of credibility to your brand and the leads you generate are more likely to convert as they have met you in person. Even an informal chat with a potential buyer at a trade show can mark the beginning of successful future business relationship. You can get phone numbers and emails of key decision makers at the trade show and get in touch with them later on to discuss partnership opportunities.

  • Trade shows are a great brand awareness tool, which is particularly useful if you’re a relatively new business or if you’re looking to establish your brand in a new region. If you have a stand with big attractive banners at international travel trade shows like WTM or ITB, your brand is exposed to a large and diverse audience, including some of the biggest names in the industry. You get more one-to-one time to showcase and pitch your products and services to your prospects. Let’s say you’re a travel startup looking for potential partners/ investors. You can use travel trade shows to pitch your business to other travel businesses and negotiate rates and commissions with them there and then.

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  • When you have a booth at a trade show, it shows your commitment towards your business and gives prospects greater faith in your products and services. Also, regularly attending important trade shows also helps you nurture relationships with prospects as well as customers as the same people often attend those trade shows each year, thus giving you a chance to meet them regularly and strengthen your ties.  
  • Having a booth in a show with the big players of your industry can help you acquire large accounts, which may be difficult otherwise.
  • When you explain your products effectively and one-to-one to your business leads, it stays in their mind for a long time and even if they are not ready to buy at that point. Trade shows offer good word-of-mouth publicity for your business.

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  • You can hand brochures, flyers and business cards to your business prospects which will serve as a relationship builder. As a tour operator, you can hand out your tour package brochures to travel agencies as well as end users.

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So, whether you are a travel agent, tour operator, hotel/resort, wholesaler, rental car company, or a technology company, trade shows offer enormous benefits.

In case you’re interested in participating in trade shows, here’s a list of some of the upcoming tourism trade shows for the next two months:

Date

 

Event

08.Jan – 10.Jan, 2016

Chemnitz, Germany

Chemnitzer Reisemarkt

Travel Fair

08.Jan – 10.Jan, 2016

Chennai, India

TTF

Travel & Tourism Fair

13.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Utrecht, Netherlands

Vakantieberus

Tourism and Recreation Fair

14.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Vienna, Austria

Ferien-Messe Wien

Int’l Tourism Fair Vienna

14.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Brno, Czech Republic

GO

Int’l Travel Trade Fair

14.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Bern, Switzerland

Ferienmesse

Holiday Fair

15.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Vakanz

Tourism Fair

15.Jan – 17.Jan, 2016

Fornebu, Norway

Reiselivsmessen Oslo

Norway Int’l Travel Fair

16.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Stuttgart, Germany

CMT / CMT – Die Urlaubsmesse

Holiday, Caravanning, Motoring and Tourism

20.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Madrid, Spain

Fitur

Int’l Tourism Trade Fair

21.Jan – 25.Jan, 2016

Antwerp, Belgium

Vakantiesalon Vlaanderen

Int’l Holiday Fair

21.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Helsinki, Finland

Matka Nordic Travel Fair

The Finnish Int’l Travel Fair

21.Jan – 26.Jan, 2016

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Caravana

Caravan and Camping Exhibition

21.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester Caravan & Motorhome

The UK’s biggest Caravan and Motorhome Show

22.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Olomouc, Czech Republic

Tourism Expo

Tourism and Leisure Time Services Exhibition

22.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Dublin, Ireland

The Holiday World Show

Travel, Tourism & Caravan & Camping Show

22.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Vilnius, Lithuania

Adventur

Int’l Exhibition on Tourism, Leisure and Sports

23.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark

Ferie i Forum

Int’l Travel and Tourism Fair

23.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Dusseldorf, Germany

boot-Düsseldorf

Int’l Boat Show

23.Jan – 09.Feb, 2016

Venice, Italy

Carnevale di Venezia

Carnevale di Venezia

23.Jan – 24.Jan, 2016

Bergen, Norway

Reiselivsmessen Bergen

Norway Int’l Travel Fair

27.Jan – 30.Jan, 2016

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Alpe–Adria

Tourism and Leisure Fair

28.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Bratislava, Slovakia

ITF Slovakiatour

Int’l Travel Fair

28.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Zurich, Switzerland

Fespo

Exhibition for Holidays, Sports and Leisure

28.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Istanbul, Turkey

EMITT

East Mediterranean Int’l Tourism and Travel Exhibition

29.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Dresden, Germany

Reisemesse Dresden

Dresden Travel Market

29.Jan – 31.Jan, 2016

Saarbruecken, Germany

Freizeit / Reisemarkt Saarbrücken

Saarbrücken Travel Market

02.Feb – 05.Feb, 2016

Bilbao, Spain

Enter

eTourism Exhibition and Conference

03.Feb – 07.Feb, 2016

Ourense, Spain

Xantar

Galician Salon of Gastronomy and Tourism


 

TravelCarmaTravelCarma is an experienced travel technology brand with expertise in equipping travel businesses worldwide with state of the art, mobile enabled e-commerce solutions with their own branding, online reservation systems, back-office and mid-office systems and access to global inventory. 

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