In the manufacturing industry, trade shows are an effective way to connect with potential suppliers (exhibitors) and customers (attendees) or reconnect with the existing. The benefits of manufacturing trade shows for attendees and exhibitors help build relationships, enhance product knowledge, solve manufacturing solutions, and understand how processes can affect time, cost and quality.
Advanced Metal Etching recently attended the Design 2 Part Show in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Design 2 Part Show is one of America’s largest design and contract manufacturing trade shows. It is always well-organized, advertised and attended. Our experience as an exhibitor was beneficial in understanding the attendees’ needs and questions for their particular industry.
The Power of Relationship Building
Building relationships in any industry are crucial to gaining trust in the product and brand of any potential supplier. In the current technological culture, it is easy to research companies and compare which one is the right fit for your needs.
Often, this method involves digital, instead of human interaction. Email, live chat, and contact forms take the place of one on one discussions and questions. While convenient, it misses out on one of the major manufacturing trade show benefits of face to face interaction. We tend to be more engaged and attentive when we are physically present. Conversation leads to learning about how knowledgeable and confident a potential customer is about their products and processes. Attendees can physically examine and manipulate product applications in person to determine the quality.
This physical presence, in turn, provokes more questions from the attendees that they may not have asked without looking at the product. Eye-catching visual displays that highlight product and services are equally important to draw visitors. AME partnered with Indy Displays, a leading trade show display company, for their own booth display. Trade show companies like Indy Displays deliver high-end, reusable, eye-popping custom modular displays to attract attention to an exhibitor’s booth. And finally, meeting in person is always memorable and more likely to lead to further contact especially if the interaction was pleasant and productive.
Exposed Industry Challenges Lead To Solutions
Likewise, exhibitors also learn much about these interactions and the results are beneficial to their customers. Often attendees when seeking a potential vendor for their manufacturing project will communicate some of the challenges and obstacles they face such as part design and dimensions, tight tolerances, and which material is suitable for the intended application. All of these factors, help the exhibitor understand how their product and service can best meet these needs. It drives companies to invest in technological improvements to their manufacturing processes, better customer service, and expand their knowledge of the specific properties of product applications across industries. As a result, an existing or potential customer becomes a useful tool to fulfill their needs.
Understanding Manufacturing Processes Determines Outcome
Another benefit of the manufacturing trade shows is gaining knowledge about a vendor’s manufacturing process. Often, there are several methods available to manufacture a part. Understanding these processes can help an attendee determine how one, in particular, will affect turnaround, cost, and quality. For example, at Advanced Metal Etching, our photochemical machining process is a low-cost alternative than other methods due to the lower cost of tooling. Also, because the tooling is readily modified, we can deliver a quicker turnaround. Consequently, information such as the aforementioned leads to better decision-making when choosing a supplier.
As you can see it is both beneficial for the attendee and the exhibitor to regularly attend manufacturing trade shows to enhance the buying and selling process. The future of product quality and manufacturing processes depend on the ongoing collaboration and personal interaction between the supplier and the customer. The manufacturing trade show proves to be a favorable setting for this interaction.