Running a trade show booth as an exhibitor can be a very pricey affair – in particular if you don’t get any decent returns from it. We’ve been attending trade shows for a very long time, both to help our customers and as exhibitors. Here are our best strategies for getting excellent returns on the effort and expense.
Plan. This should involve everybody on your team. You need to all be on the same page when it comes to how you are going to capture leads etc. Each employee should be able to communicate the purpose and benefits of your product or service to passers-by.
Practice. Role playing gives a great opportunity to check the understanding of your products by everybody on the team. It will help people to get used to what they’ll need to say.
Invite your guests. This should include your existing clients, those who you are looking to secure as clients and any business partners. Make the invitations personalised and include coupons for your products from the show.
Be early. There is a lot of benefit to arriving early. For example, the media have got more time to cover your business. You can also spend more time networking and getting over that horrid jet lag or travel tiredness.
Take care. Do all that you can to ensure that everybody on the team gets a break, drinks water and eats well. It will make a big difference if everybody is feeling good enough to be able to do a lot of smiling. Stay away from alcoholic drinks and be sure to wear comfortable footwear.
Read up on trade shows. Trade show marketing is a skill in itself. Be sure to buy a book and read up on how to make the best of the opportunity before you go.
Determine your goals. You’ll get a lot further if you decide what it is that you want from the show. Then work with the rest of the team to understand how you can reach those goals.
Invest in good marketing materials. Your graphics should be good quality, easy to understand and read. You need to put the biggest focus on the benefits of your products and services so that people can see why they should be buying from you. The addition of customer testimonials can be very powerful.
Check out your rivals. You need to see how they are promoting their products in case you’ve missed a great trick. You should also take a look to see how busy they are.
Follow up. After the show, be sure to follow up with any new leads that you have. There isn’t just one way to collect leads, by encouraging connection to you on social media you can also build a constant connection with new clients.
By using some of these tips, you should be able to ensure a decent return on investment for your trade show expenditure.