7 Tips For Trade Show Success
A trade show is the perfect opportunity to put your business front and centre - but just turning up is not enough to guarantee success. Make sure you follow these seven top tips to make your next trade show as successful as possible for your business.
If you know you're going to be attending a certain trade show, get in contact with the organisers and book as far in advance as possible. This will give you the pick of spots you want to place your stand in to be as visible and popular as possible.
It's worth investing a little time learning the layout of the event venue to help you determine the best pitch. Be quick, however, as the most popular pitches are always earmarked early - register your interest as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed or having a lesser pitch assigned to you.
Stand Design Matters
The way you approach your exhibition stand design is one of the core fundamentals that will determine if your event is a success or a failure. It doesn't matter where it's located, if your booth is unattractive or uninspiring, and doesn’t get your message across clearly, you won't be able to encourage anyone to come and see what you have to offer. Remember a trade show is packed with competition for people's attention, so you want to make a splash. Be bold, be different, offer potential customers something they haven't seen before. The first goal is to capture the attention of your audience, then you can make the sale for your products or business. Discuss your requirements with a professional stand designer ahead of time and they’ll be able to bring your message to life with a stand that clearly communicates to and attracts your target audience.
Your exhibition team may be fantastic at breaking the ice with new prospects and getting the conversation flowing, and making that positive first impression certainly counts. But If you or certain members of your team aren't confident about greeting people, particularly if you’re new to exhibiting, consider hiring a professional booth host to help make that first impression for you. It can prove a wise investment.
All you need to do is prime them with several key points about your business to allow them to answer basic questions with a warm smile. Then, once they have established customer interest, they can pass them over to you or your team for a more in-depth discussion of what you have to offer.
Your presence at the show is an investment, your booth is an investment, and giving out freebies to people who attend is a wise investment too. This can be anything from branded merchandise such as pens and USB sticks through to drinks, snacks, and even a competition for a higher value item. The right items provide a persistent marketing opportunity, with the potential to put your logo or brand name on the desk of your target audience members for months after the event. Everyone likes a free gift, and it's a truism that sometimes word can travel faster around a trade show about a booth with great merchandise than one that offers a great business. Whatever gets people to your booth doesn't matter, it all gives you the opportunity to increase your brand recognition.
Remember that visitors to the trade show will likely be experiencing some degree of sensory overload, with multiple brands competing for their attention. Exhibitions can often be very busy, vibrant and noisy. If you're going to make your show as successful as possible, you need a simple and consistent brand message that will easily be remembered.
The key to effective branding is consistency - so everything about your presentation needs to be branded and it needs to be consistent. This means colour schemes, typefaces, logos, and taglines need to be uniform across your exhibition stand, the clothes you wear, and the marketing materials you use.
Plan Your Time
A trade show will be of little use to you if you simply turn up and hope for the best. Find out in advance who is going to be there, and do your best to book some meetings or demonstrations. This is your opportunity to both network with other business owners and cultivate meaningful client relationships.
Starting the ball rolling on this early means you're never going to be at a loss of what to do with your time - make sure to schedule meetings in your booth wherever possible so you're always giving the impression of being busy. It might sound strange, but customers are more confident when they see others doing business with you.
The last tip is a simple one - use social media. Post regularly in advance to the trade show that you're going to be there and how people can find you. Keep posting throughout the show, too - it may even be an idea to offer incentives for social media followers to find you and visit your booth.
Come up with a hashtag to use across social platforms so that you and your visitors can easily find content about your brand and your exhibition stand and make sure you tap into the event social media from the organisers too.