How to Make Trade Shows Work For Your Business

The trade show is one of the best marketing opportunities for any industry. Not only does it provide the opportunity to further develop existing relationships, but it’s also a chance to pick up new clients and find some excellent business partners.

With the economy going how it is, it’s important to use what marketing budget there is in the best way possible so that you can fully optimise your return on it.

Here are some tips on how you can go about getting the best return possible:

Make Your Display Stand Attractive

The best way to get crowds to notice your stand is to make it visually striking. You want passers-by to come to your booth so that you can talk to them. Keep in mind that the best marketing messages are straight to the point and are easy to read. It should be immediately obvious as to what you are promoting, and visible from a distance.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target market – what would need to be on your stand to make you visit it from the other side of the conference centre?

Do a Pre-Run

This is the type of situation when an elevator speech would work well. You can prepare for this by thinking of who your clients are, what you offer to them via your business and add the benefits.

You also need to get very clear about how you are going to capture the names and addresses of your new contacts. Make this decision before the show and do a practice run of it.

Invite Your Clients

Invite your existing clients and any VIP contacts that you have. They’ll enjoy looking around at other products on the market in the industry. It’s also a great opportunity to spend more time with them to further deepen your relationship with them. Take advantage of after show social opportunities. But mind you don’t get carried away with the alcohol or you might not be at your best the next day.

Get Your Marketing Materials Working

One popular approach to collect contact details is to hold the brochure at the back of the stand until you’ve captured the name and contact details of your leads. Your welcome process should run like this:

  • Have a chat to break the ice
  • Register the details of the person asking about your products
  • Tell them that you’ll be in touch and if you’ll be at any other upcoming shows

Another benefit of this approach is that you shouldn’t need so many brochures printed, as people won’t be taking them just for the sake of taking them.

Trade shows can deliver great results, just as long as they are approached in an organised and goal oriented way.