You’re a highly skilled business person with finely honed skills. Yes, you’ve mastered all of the requisite tricks of your trade, except one–the art of the trade show.
Thankfully, yielding maximum results from a trade show is merely a matter of putting your business savvy, people skills, and sales know-how to work in a new setting. And, yes, it is as easy as it sounds. Here’s how you can use your expertise to conquer the trade show realm.
You didn’t get this far in life without developing some killer research skills and this is a great opportunity to put them to use. Before forking over the big bucks to become an exhibitor at a trade show, try visiting it as an attendee first. The whole point is to identify options that give you the biggest pay-off for your investment.
As a master marketer, you look for any opportunity to promote awareness of your brand and boost its image. At a trade show, this translates to maximizing the effectiveness of your booth. According to “Use Home and Trade Shows to Bring in Customers,” this includes having attractive signage, bottled water and snacks, professionally designed business cards, flyers, and banners, and custom tablecloths.
Placement is another important part of marketing and, when it comes to trade shows, placing your people is paramount. Never stand behind a table. If you need a table, place it off to the back or side. Exhibitors should always be standing up front and center, ready to greet visitors.
An exhibit with buzz is going to attract the most attention and reside the longest in visitors’ memories. A great way to up your booth’s cool factor is to offer an engaging demonstration. The briefer the better. You can also employ a video demo. Just make sure that the image is large enough that a group of people can watch at the same time.
You love mastering new technologies that better enable you to take your business to the top. According to Entrepreneur, renting a badge scanner for the event will enable you to scan visitor’s badges, type notes into the device, and download the digital data after the show–making follow-up much more streamlined.
Trade shows provide you with the perfect opportunity to hobnob with the movers and shakers in your industry and potential clientele. Schedule appointments with the people you want to meet well in advance and be punctual in attending.
A trade show is a perfect opportunity to collect useful, frank information from potential clientele. While asking a customer for their feedback in person can yield some useful data, they are far more likely to be honest if you provide them with a way to do so in a safe, anonymous manner. A drop box for feedback cards is ideal.
If you’ve taken the above steps, you have likely accumulated a mitt full of hot leads. As a seasoned salesperson, you know that you need to make contact with these leads before they grow cold.
Time Magazine recommends writing a personalized e-mail to every contact on your flight home, rehashing what your company does and why it could be interesting for that contact.
So, there you have it. By putting your box of business tools into action, you will become your next trade show’s star attraction–the booth with all the action.
What clever tricks of the “trade show” have proven successful for your brand? Why?
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
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