Tips for Trade Show Success
So, you’ve got the perfect trade show display, you’ve booked your spot at the show- what’s left to do? Actually, quite a bit. A successful trade show experience takes planning, strategy, and follow up. Make sure you get the most from your showing by following our real-world-tested, expert approved tips.
Research the Show or Conference.
This one should be pretty obvious, but too many business owners sign up for shows they’ve never attended. Before you commit, get an idea of the attendee population- maybe by attending the show or a similar one yourself. Look at the other exhibits, take notes, and compare features of the displays that stick out in your mind.
The number one mistake business owners make when purchasing trade show display equipment is to go too big- purchasing a large, expensive display suitable for a million-attendee conference when the majority of the trade shows you attend are smaller, regional affairs. You can start with simple banners contracted from a printing services company- these are usually versatile and can be incorporated into a larger display if you choose to upgrade. Purchase (or better yet- rent) a smaller display booth if you’re just starting out- you can always add on to it later.
Practice your Pitch.
Attendees and visitors will be wandering the trade show floor looking for the most interesting offerings- not just the displays, but the product pitches, as well. Can you explain in 30 seconds why someone ought to buy your product or service? If not, work on your sales pitch until it’s perfect.
Tie visual displays to images used in past direct mail efforts, your website layout- anything familiar to your customers. You want to make sure current customers recognize your company, and that potential customers with limited experience to your brand are presented with images they can readily identify- think the Nike swoosh, the Coca-Cola bottle, John Deere Green, Tiffany Blue- anything that customers associate with your company should be highlighted.
Offer Promotions and Discounts.
Give customers an incentive to visit your booth by mailing brochures to registered attendees ahead of time. You can ask visitors to look for your booth at the show, to stop by for a free gift or promotional offer, or to visit your booth for a product sample or demonstration.
Make certain you have a sign-in sheet or other mechanism to collect sales lead information. Some companies like to host a drawing for free or discounted products- even those visitors that don’t win will have dropped their contract information or business card with trade show staff. It also helps to take notes. Say you converse with a prospect for a while and promise to get in touch-make sure you write down a few basics so you can make an effective follow up call.
Trade show success doesn’t just depend on how flashy your display is or how well you showcase your product. Make sure you talk with potential customers, listen to their concerns, and take steps to turn them in to purchasing clients once the show is over.