Trade & Consumer Show Tips

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Simply a trade or consumer show is a place where buyers and sellers meet. The benefit is that buyers come to a show looking to buy and wanting to learn about the latest and greatest that you have to offer.

Shows are a major investment of money and time. You want to do all you can to make sure your investment pays off. Careful planning and research can go a long way towards ensuring a successful showing at your next trade show.

Here are some tips garnered from our years of show exhibiting experience.

1. Start Marketing Before the Trade Show

You don’t have to wait until the day of the trade show to begin trying to get the attention of potential customers. In fact, business owners who don’t do any marketing ahead of time may be a little behind compared to the other booths at the best trade shows. You can use email blasts or social media posts weeks, or even months, ahead of time to let your target audience know about the event. Be sure to highlight any contests, product demonstrations or other aspects of your trade show booth that they won’t want to miss.

2. Choose the Right Marketing Materials

What marketing materials will best support your booth objectives? Marketing dollars are very commonly spent on the same materials over and over again, whether at a show, at the office or at client meetings. But are they working? Discuss with your team what the main message of your show is. Are you introducing a new product, do you want prospects to get on your email list? Whatever it is, gear your marketing materials to the message you are trying to achieve. For example, if one of your objectives is to get your newsletter out there, have your booth staffers carry iPads to encourage attendees to sign up on the spot. Attendees appreciate the convenience to sign up at the show, and the iPads are a great technology to incorporate in your booth

3) Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you want to set your trade show booth apart from others, you should incorporate technology in some form. For example, you can use anything from tablets and laptops to large touch screens to allow booth visitors to learn about your products or services. You can also use proximity marketing, which involves using an app to send messages to the smartphones of people walking by your booth. Sending them an invitation to learn more about your business or to enter a contest may just catch their attention during the show.

4. Host a Contest

If you want to make a visit to your booth worthwhile for trade show attendees, you should make sure you have some fun stuff to do. One of the best trade show booth ideas is to host a contest or game. Be sure to give out a prize that will appeal to most attendees so they are motivated to stop by your booth and play. Try to host a fun activity that relates to your business or product, rather than just a raffle or a chance to spin a wheel to win a prize.

5. Stock Up on Great Promotional Items

The best trade shows feature booths with swag people actually want, so now is not the time to hand out pens or magnets, or you risk being another forgettable booth. Instead, get a little more creative and hand out items that people need or want. Some examples are high-quality bags that trade show attendees can put their other promotional items in, or paper fans to help them cool since crowds tend to warm up the room, especially in Orlando. You can also bring a few more expensive, quality items to hand out as prizes if you host a contest

6. Train Your Booth Staff

Do not assume the staff being sent to run your booth knows what they are doing. Are they familiar with your objectives? Do they know the new product or service that you are showcasing or debuting? Your booth staffers need to know what your company hopes to accomplish and what your attendees are expecting if you want a successful show. If you sent out a pre-show promotion and a client brings in a coupon, does your booth staff know what it is for? Pick a booth captain at least 3 months prior to the show and make sure that adequate staff training occurs. Your chosen booth captain should be able to convey what is expected, what makes a good staffer, how to have the right conversation, how to listen to an attendee, and what the appropriate etiquette looks like. Make sure you schedule staggered breaks for your staffers and keep them accountable for time. Your attendees and clients will get a lot more out of their show experience when dealing with cooperative and well-trained staff.

7. Don’t Forget About Post-Show Marketing and Follow Up

Just because the show is over, it doesn’t mean your work is over. Your post-show marketing and following up on all of the leads you took are the most important things to ensure a successful show and hit your RETURN ON INVESTMENT goal. Post-show marketing and follow up allow you to stand out from your competitors. In your booth staff meetings you should have talked about how to follow up on leads and have a system set up to review. Each prospect should have be contacted shortly after the show.  You need to reach your prospects when you are fresh in their mind. Don’t drop the ball.

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September 7, 2017 |

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