Trade shows are a fantastic way of getting in front of your ideal customer. Think about it – all of those people are there to see what’s what in your industry. You couldn’t ask for a better audience! However, it’s not as simple as turning up and having success, unfortunately. It’s hard work to get noticed, and even harder to turn the majority of visitors to your stand into customers. But it isn’t impossible.
In this brief guide, I’m going to talk you through some successful strategies that I have encountered over the years. Give them a read, put them into practice, and with a little luck you should stand a better chance of getting results.
1. Always Go To The Right Show
First of all, you should always choose the trade show that is the best fit for your company. Now, I’m not suggesting you would turn up with a new piece of gaming equipment at a pet fair, but I have seen some unfortunate mix-ups in my time! But, it’s important to understand that there are varying levels of trade show. The biggest, brightest and best may not be the best fit for you. They tend to be filled with enormous, global businesses with big budgets, and you run the risk of being drowned out. So, if you’re a smaller company, try something more localised, or just a little more niche.
2. Present Yourself Well
Appearances are everything at a trade show. They are loud, noisy events and every stand will be looking to outdo the next. It’s worth spending some time looking at designing a great stand and making a real effort to stand out. You could even try music or lighting – but don’t go overboard. Dress smartly, without looking stuffy, and make sure that everyone on your team is good with people and easy to talk to. If you don’t have the budget of the big boys, your personalities will have to make up for it.
3. Don’t Let Anyone Leave With Nothing
Whoever you talk to, make sure you give them something to remember you by. Branded pens, notebooks, stickers, badges – anything that they might hold onto. If you have made a good impression, there’s a good chance they will hold off throwing your item into the bin with all the other stuff. And they might just pick up the phone and give you a call. Don’t forget about the quiet and shy types, either. Make sure you have plenty of literature easily available at your stand. Put it on tables, hang it in laminating pouches from the walls, and encourage people to take them away with them. Just because somebody isn’t in the mood for chatting, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your business.
4. Prepare Yourselves
Finally, a simple thing that many new businesses get wrong. Make sure you are ready for your big day. Have an elevator pitch that describes what you do to a tee, and drum it into every staff member there. You should also think of answers to tough questions that people might ask you. Preparation is key to it all – so do your best to run through every scenario. Good luck!