The world of marketing should, by design, be marketing itself constantly – acknowledging its grasp of relevant trends and its understanding of the markets it targets, while positioning itself as alert to the ever-prevalent nuances of change within the sectors it services.

Exhibitions offer marketers excellent reasons to exhibit, and possibly the most important one is to rapidly accelerate client face-to-face engagement frequency. Meeting prospects face to face is probably the fastest and best way to build relationships, and exhibiting at trade shows also gives companies the opportunity to find new prospects and meet new people, thus expanding their business reach.

According to research company Exhibit Surveys in Britain, only 12 percent of the average exhibitor’s stand traffic has been called on by a salesperson from that company in the 12 months before the show – which means 88 percent are new prospects. Added to this is the fact that around 82 percent of visitors have buying influence for the exhibiting company’s products or services and 49 percent are planning to buy those products or services.

The reasons go on, and include the chance to generate pre-qualified sales leads, to deliver key messages to a buying audience and demonstrate your product in a live environment, and to stand out from the crowd. The competitive edge is what every company needs – and shows give companies the chance to get it with well-trained stand staff, effective pre-show and at-show promotions, an eye-catching stand design, appropriate hospitality, and conscientious follow up after the show.

In South Africa, the marketing industry has Markex to answer its exhibition needs. Now in its 27th successful year, Markex is the expo that sees the best ideas in the marketing, promotions and special events industry being showcased every year. Last year Markex’s exhibitor numbers exceeded 250 and visitor attendance was over 10 000, and with the show’s steady growth throughout the years, this year’s figures are expected to be better than ever. The success of Markex is a reflection of the marketing industry’s need for a one-stop-shop where exhibitors and visitors can network, source, stock up on ideas, and just be inspired.

While the reasons for companies to exhibit on a regular basis are all encompassing for all industries, in marketing they are especially relevant as this is the industry that needs to present itself as accomplished, insightful and successful in marketing.

Exhibitors at Markex will have the perfect opportunity to position their companies as market leaders, to build their brands in a relevant environment, to sell directly to serious buyers in active buying mode, to launch new products or services, as well as generate some media exposure. In fact, missing out on Markex is a mistake many companies will avoid ever making again.