Success at a trade show or exhibition is accomplished through careful planning and research. If you want to achieve optimum effect at a trade show, then take a look at these 8 simple tips for trade show success.
1. Which trade show?
Make sure you choose trade show that is relevant and appropriate to your brand. The right people will travel around the world to attend a trade show they feel they can benefit from, so making sure you are at the right trade show is important. Research as much information you can about the show including who else is exhibiting, promotional plans of the organisers and expected visitor numbers.
2. Objective of attendance
Knowing the objective your attendance is imperative to ensuring you are getting the right message out. Are you going to focus on one product/service/aspect of your brand, or will you be there to give an overview?
3. How will objective/s be met?
Once you have set your objectives, you should then make sure that your stand is prepared to meet them. Do you need to provide samples or have promotional material to give away? Are demonstrations or presentations going to enhance your presence there? And ensure you have an efficient method in place to capture enquirers’ contact details.
4. Pre-show marketing
Before you attend the trade show, make sure people know you will be attending. Add the date to your website, newsletters or customer letters/emails. And take advantage of social media to advertise your stand number.
5. Stand design and curb appeal
With competition all around, you need to make sure your stand has curb appeal. Well branded stands which clearly and simply display the brand’s product/service is necessary; people will make up their mind about your stand within seconds. Have a special offer? Make it the focus of your stand. Messy and chaotic stands are off-putting but do make sure you offer information to entice visitors to your stand.
You want to make sure that you have the right balance of staff-to-stand ratio. Too many will overcrowd and intimidate. Too few, and you could find yourself overwhelmed and unable to engage with all potential customers/clients. Make sure all stand staff have the basic knowledge of your brand history and objectives, and above all, that they are enthusiastic.
7. Take advantage of network opportunities
Making the most out of your attendance at a trade show must also include networking, as well as letting visitors come to you. Whatever your brand, there will be potential customers/clients also exhibiting so take the opportunity to introduce yourself. There is no need to hard sell now; simply by saying hello and getting their contact details, you are planting the seed for potential future business opportunities. Your current customer/clients also exhibiting? Then make sure you pop by to say hello to keep the relationship fresh.
8. Prepare to follow up
Do not take contact details from potential business partners or clients without following it up, as this could damage your reputation within the industry. Even if you do have the time to discuss active business opportunities at or straight after the trade show, a quick email or phone call will refresh their memory of you and keep the relationship going.
Rachel Stone is a main contributor to Project Print and their Corporate Brochure Design.