If you work for a company or own your own business the choices are endless when deciding how you can market and promote products. However, one of the most effective, simply because it is a face to face experience, is exhibiting at a trade show.
There are many resources that tell you how to make the most of your trade show investment, but for the first time exhibitor, the following tips will not overwhelm and will help keep it simple.
1. Get to know trade shows; visit a few before you embark on exhibiting. Study what exhibitors are doing, and learn about the rules that are part of any exhibiting venture, whether those are labor rules, organizer rules, or industry rules.
2. Bring your best sales people to staff the booth. Tell them to expect the unexpected since trade show visitors are random and encourage them to think on their feet, to use their best field sales skills, and to be confident.
3. Do pre-show marketing. Let customers and prospects know that you will be at the tradeshows and encourage them to put you on their must see lists. You can let them know via email, print ads, or any one of many communication vehicles, including calling important customers and prospects before the show to alert them to the fact that you will be at the show. Give them your booth number so they can find you.
4. Make sure your exhibit is simple and clearly tells visitors the name of your company and what products and services you offer. Make sure you have plans in place to erect the display before you get to the show floor. If you need to hire labor, do that early.
5. Spend quality time with customers and prospects. Tell your sales team not to spend time talking to friends, competitors, or other visitors who are not your target market. Exhibiting at trade shows is an investment, so make it worth your while.
6. Establish ‘next steps.’ Take visitors’ information and develop a follow up plan in the exhibit. What will you do after the show? Get agreement on the process. Ask for opt-in permission so you can contact them to keep them up to date on your new offerings.
7. Because you have all your important prospects and customers in one place, trade shows present an excellent opportunity to entertain. Make dinner appointments in advance, or if you have a group of people you want to entertain, contact an event planning company like Plan Ahead Events to help you with a cost effective, memorable way to reach your market.
If you exhibit at a trade show, you’ll find it an easy, effective way of promoting your products to potential new consumers. Following these simple tips is a good start to trade show success.