Be Ahead of The Game
As you start your business and continue to grow, you’ll find yourself at the next step. Asking yourself “How can I stand out on the trade show floor?” Luckily, for generations after generations, every year there are trade shows for all types of industries. If you are new to the trade show world it’s best to do your research on the trade show you’re planning to attend.
(Read Article: Top 12 Trade Shows to attend in 2020 )
Whether you’re an expert or it’s your first time exhibiting at a trade show, the success depends on your level of preparation. Jot down a day and time in your calendar to schedule a team meeting to strategize a game plan to execute. A vast majority of the work is done by your show presence and how your company catches the attendee’s eyes.
Trade Shows can be very complex. Here is a list to help you prepare for your upcoming shows:
The Ultimate Trade Show Checklist
1. Find Out Who Will Be Attending
It’s always best to do your research on who will be attending. You’ll be able to find an attendee list available in advance for many shows. Don’t be scared to send a short introductory email, letting them know you’re eager to meet them and encourage them to stop by your booth. Avoid spamming their inbox, instead keep your first contact simple, light and personal.
2. There's No "I" In Team
One of the biggest keys to having a great trade show is your team’s show presences. Have a team or hire an event staff agency who has experience in working at convention shows. Your team is the face of your business so make sure your team dresses appropriately for the occasion. It’s very important to keep the show floor presented with friendly, professional, and motivated group of people.
3. Game Plan
Before the big day and on the day of, have a team meeting to discuss a strategy that will give you the best trade show experience. Be prepared with possible questions attendees may ask you and be knowledgeable on what you’re selling. Attendees may want to do business with you right there and then. Create a list of important messages you want to come across like show specials and product prices. It’s best to build a rapport with your clients than to sell them on the spot. This may be a turn off as most clients like to build a relationship first before doing business. People have a hard time trusting others on the first approach.
4. Product Display
It’s important to make sure your products are in perfect condition. Last thing you want is to have a faulty product when presenting it. Display your products in a way that will catch the attendee’s attention. Your customers will want to touch, test or even taste your (depending on product) products before buying. This is a great way for your customers to have a better understanding of your products. Keep in mind, your products will be a new sight for new businesses. Make a good impression.
5. Setting Up Your Trade Show Booth
Set a budget when purchasing your trade show booth. It’s not about how much you spend but it’s how you make your trade show appearance. But if you’re that company who wants to go out with a bang, sometimes investing more than you want may benefit you in the end. Your booth needs to create an experience your customers and clients won’t forget. The attendees will want to go where there’s a lot of attention. In the best-case scenario, it will increase your social media presence. The attendees may take pictures inside your booth or your just booth and post it on social media which is free advertisement for you. The better the booth, the more pictures taken. A two for one deal.
There’s nothing more inviting to the attendees than a comfortable place to rest his or her legs. Considering a lounge space with couches will bring in more traffic with potential customers hanging out a bit longer. Also makes it a great place to relax and chat about your products.
Day of The Event
6. Be Proactive
Don’t stand around and wait for the time to go by! Walk up to protentional clients and spark up a conversation whether it’s about your product or to say hi. A simple “How are you enjoying the trade show?” can come a long way. Business owners are attracted to hardworking people so don’t be scared to stand out. Showing your interest in a person can result to a new client of yours. If you’re shy, try not to overthink the situation. At the end of the day, the purpose of the trade show is to make connections.
7. Exchange Contacts
Remember, your goal is to make your customers long-term clients. Exchanging your contact information is a good way to have a more detailed conversation outside of the trade show. Always make sure to have a full box of business cards. This is the best and quickest way of giving your information to others. It’s a professional trait. Without business cards, chances of attendees remembering you is not that high, and you’ll look unprofessional so make sure you don’t forget them
8. Free, Free & Free
Nothing is better than getting free stuff. Customers enjoy getting free products and they happen to score quite bit of it at trade shows. From promotional goods such as clothing, pens, water bottles, and to something as simple as freshly bake goods. It’s a good marketing tool for your brand. Be eager to hand out freebies. The more attendees that come into contact with your brand the more exposure you’ll get. This freebie strategy also known as “law of reciprocity” is a great technique for sales because once someone has tried something, they often feel obligated to make a purchase.
9. Engagement on Social Media
In this generation, social media platforms are the keyway to coming in contact with your consumers. Besides the show itself, there comes a great attraction in the social media chatter. Don’t forget about it. Just as there are official hashtags available to promote the trade show. Attendees also hashtag company brands, products, and much more. By replying with a comment or simple like can increase your fan base tremendously. This will make the follow-up process much easier.
10. Reflection - Preparing For Future Shows
As the show comes to an end, take notes on what techniques work the best and other techniques you won’t do for your next show. The entire trade show process requires a lot of planning and hard work. It’s a brilliant marketing opportunity with the potential of benefiting your company enormously. Be open to interacting with others-you never know who you’ll meet. Lead the next generation who finds themselves in your shoes. Most importantly have fun. Plan well and you will have a great show to achieve your all your show goals and receive a huge return for your time invested.