Trade shows are where you show off who you are to some important folks – your competitors, target market and potential investors. If you slap up a white booth, print up a few hundred flyers and ask your most introverted staffers to be on hand to speak about who you are and what you do, you’ve have totally missed the point of attending a trade show.
Trade shows deliver results to participants who, to use today’s vernacular, bring it. This article points out how to do just that. Read on.
First things first. You need to choose the right trade show for you to attend. If you are the proprietor of a young startup company in the technical field, for example, you might get overshadowed at the wrong trade show. Start with a trade show that celebrates the new and has a mission to introduce innovators to the broader community.
Check out the stats for the last trade show held – look at how many people showed up and how much business was done. Talk to your counterparts in the industry and get their thoughts about which show offers the proverbial best bang for your buck.
Maximizes marketing means rocking leads, traffic and, yes, sales
Do not make the deadly mistake of throwing a display booth together a week or two before the trade show. Pre-trade show marketing is crucial to your success at the event. Be creative. Use your social media platforms to tease potential customers with secret giveaways that will happen at your booth. Or if you have a cool personality working your booth with you, get the word out there. Make sure to let the event organizers exactly what you are up to – you might get some coveted free publicity.
Imaginative. Striking. Memorable.
You do not want potential investors and customers walking away from your booth with a mind like a blank slate, remembering nothing of what you offered them. You have to stand out. If you have a product that does something cool, this is the time to demo it. If you have staffers who are exuberant about what they do, this is the time to have them create a visual that shows others how they see their workplace. Be bold.
SWAG + Freebies = Leads+ Traffic+ Sales
The booths who give away the coolest stuff see more visitors. Just don’t let them grab your awesome giveaway and walk away without getting anything out of the transaction. At the very least, build up a database of potential customers that will prove useful in the future, and for the pre-marketing strategy for the next trade show.
Let’s imagine an example of a cool give away. A pen is a pen. Everyone already has a pen. But a pen that has a laser pointer? That is a freaking awesome thing to give away. (You will overhear customers asking complete strangers where they got that cool laser pointer.) The idea is to take it up a notch. If you are giving away morning newspapers as a tactic to increase traffic, add a pipe that blows bubbles with it. You want to be known as the booth that gets it.
Your people need to be there for you
You want your most extroverted, friendly and professional staffers available to speak to people at your booth. Nothing is more of a turnoff for visitors than a disinterested representative who is looking rather glassy-eyed as he scrolls about on his iPhone. Seriously. Be hands-on. Make sure that all visitors to your booth are received with enthusiasm, interest and courtesy.