Trade shows are a great stage to promote your business and attract new sales leads, but if you don’t take the right approach, they can also be a waste of time.
If you intend to attend an industry event in the near future, there are plenty of ways to make sure that your stand has the impact it deserves. This guide will lead trade show attendees through some of the secrets of successful trade show participation.
What happens before the show is just as important as how you approach the day itself. Make sure that all of your staff are briefed and knowledgeable about your products, so they can make a positive impression on every visitor. Provide them with the latest information about upcoming products, and run through a few sample Q&As to get them up to speed.
Another key aspect of trade show preparation is contacting the right kind of people. In any industry, there are “influencers”. These people are the ones with thousands of followers and an expert reputation. They could be journalists, academics, or just professionals at the top of their profession. In any case, you need to contact them and make an appointment to visit your stall.
In some cases, Twitter is the best way to attract their attention. Retweet their articles, leave constructive comments and mention them in your tweets. Joining their Facebook groups or touching base via LinkedIn
Before you call, double-check that the expert is attending the show. They may be listed as a guest speaker, or they may have tweeted about attending. If they haven’t, be sure to ask when you call.
Before your stall opens, get active on social media, promoting your presence and alerting potential customers. For a week before the show, make daily tweets about the event, what you plan to offer and where visitors can find you. That way, attendees will be primed to seek you out, and follow your feed as they decide how to make the most of their time.
Most successful trade
If you do include this kind of feature, link it to your brand identity. For example, the firm Target could use archery in a stall themed around “hitting the target.” Climbing walls work well in brands that promise to “hit the heights” of performance. Done well, this kind of idea can create a buzz about your company and give you an extra edge over the competition.
Many companies also like to offer free gifts for attendees who leave their contact details or make purchases. Be sure to include some branded content with every gift, whether it’s a pen or a soccer ball.
The appearance of your stall is generally up to you. Some trade shows impose conditions on decorations, but most will allow you to add banners, flags and bright flashes of color to promote your stand. As a rule, try to give your stall a bright look, one that resembles office space as little as possible. Most visitors will spend half of their life in an office, and will respond to the contrast.
It’s also a good idea to make your booth as spacious as possible. Don’t add clutter without a reason. A few comfortable chairs and a table are often enough. Make sure your chairs are as soft as possible.
Jaded trade show crowds love booths that allow them to relax, and if they sink into a chair in front of your sales staff, they should be receptive to what you have to offer.
Most trade shows have central stages where keynote speakers strut their stuff. If you want your company to be recognized, this is the place to be.
Before the show, try as hard as possible to land a spot on the schedule of speakers. If your firm has won awards, highlight them. If you create fantastic blog content, use this to your advantage. Show organizers are always keen to find new talent, so don’t be afraid to make contact.
Many exhibitors at trade shows make the mistake of winding down and relaxing after the show, feeling that their job is done. However, if you have spent the day collecting email addresses, Facebook likes and phone numbers, your job has just begun.
Have a strategy in place for following up all of your leads. These are people who visited your stall, liked what they saw and signed up for more information, so feel free to provide it. When you make contact, thank them for attending the show. You might also want to offer a special introductory offer for new leads. That way, you can quickly turn your hard work on the stall into actual sales.
Trade shows are invaluable for many types of companies. In fact, 77 percent of marketers say that such shows produce a large
If you are uncertain about how to turn trade shows to your advantage, don’t worry. Applying the guidelines discussed in this article will give you a head start when attending