The idea of having competitors exhibiting at a trade show can be scary; it’s easy to assume that such competition could only limit your own company’s trade show success.

Good news though: There are effective strategies to implement when at the same trade show as your competitors. Here are a few:

The Chance to Show New Products

According to CEIR: Thе Chаngіng Envіrоnmеnt оf Exhіbіtіоnѕ, 92% of trаdе show attendees are seeking nеw рrоduсtѕ. Yet, a mere 13% of companies with a trade show exhibit will share brand new products and/or services.

Use this information to your advantage.

Because most of your competitors won’t be bringing new products that trade show attendees are seeking, you can really stand out by ramping up and showcasing your new offerings.

Helps to Evaluate Your Own ROI

During and after the trade show, look at your own data and information. This may be the number of consultations booked or new followers or tags on social media.

Now, it’s not ideal to let competitors set your own standards; each company has different goals and a wide variety of other varying factors, after all. However, when applicable, observing how many leads they seem to be drawing in or studying their social media may help to evaluate your own data.

Let’s say one goal was to grow social media followers. One of your competitors grew 3x the number of followers than your company did after the same event; it may help to study how.

Was there a strategy they implemented that your team didn’t consider?

Did they have someone working their booth, like a professional trade show presenter, that really pulled in the crowds?

Observe the Attendees at Competitors’ Booths

While it’s important to predominantly focus on your own brand, do scope out the trade show attendees that your competitors are attracting.

Do they seem to be your dream, niche customers?

Are they are a different demographic altogether?

What is the difference that makes the difference?

Perhaps they’re meeting with large-scale tech companies, while you specialize in helping small businesses. Maybe they attract one industry - that your company doesn’t serve best.

Whatever the specifics, you may find they draw a different segment and aren’t the direct competitor you thought they were after all. In fact, meeting with them may be a good idea. If you have different audiences, this could be an opportunity to be powerful referrals for one another.

Still Make Sure to Stand Out

It’s still important to stand out and prepare for a trade show with competitors, despite the benefits of having them there. See how to get noticed and maintain best practices When You Know There’ll Be Competitors at a Trade Show.