Trade shows provide businesses the opportunity to showcase their services and meet potential customers in a competitive, but highly rewarding environment. Although it is never easy to shop alongside rivals, performing well at a trade show can significantly increase sales.
Like many aspects of running a business, your performance and level of comfort at a trade show also improve over time. Running a booth for the first time creates a feeling of anxiety. Amid the logistics of travel plans, setting up your own booth, worrying about your display appeal and interacting with customers, there’s no shortage of stress when it comes to attending trade shows. Fortunately, there are many ways in which first-time trade show participants can get off the field and turn their first experience into an instant success.
Understand the basics
You never want to be blind to a trade show. Learning, and understanding, the various principles of a trade show should be your first step. The rules for each venue and show are different, which means that you should start with this step to attend each trade show. Review the list of rules thoroughly to make sure you don’t miss out on surprises when you get to the show.
“When performing [a show] for the first time at a trade show, it’s important to understand what comes with your booth and what you have to pay extra for, the trade show staff It is important to communicate directly with them. “Some shows provide rugs. Others you have to buy extra. Some provide a table and chairs. Others need to source you. Every show is different, so don’t think your booth will come with your needs. Your team and trade show staff are on the same page so there will be no last-minute problems when you arrive. “
If you have concerns about what the trade show atmosphere is like, you want to go to a different show with similar participants and move around different areas.
“I always recommend [attending] a show before committing to a new show,” said Jacqueline Vos, director of marketing and business development at a Russian restaurant. “This will give you an idea of the participants and what other vendors are doing to attract participants to their booth.”
When it comes to attracting people to your booth, it’s a matter of standing out. Handing over flyers and business cards can increase the visibility of your business a little, but it will be the basics in almost every booth. Ask yourself the question, “What can we do to take notice?”
“Think about what you can bring to a booth that’s completely out of the box,” said Ben Hindman, CEO of Splash, an event marketing technology vendor. “For example, all five senses, in order to expose the audience to a particular aroma, to present or offer unique foods to them. Provide entertainment that will surprise and inspire Please, like a local chef has prepared a meal. “
Depending on your budget, hiring a chef or even a magician can easily attract crowds to your booth. Once the other participants are gathering at your booth for a taste of fresh food or watching the magic trick on your food, they will reach your booth to avoid being entertained. If hiring a chef for this event is not cheap, there are other ways to think creatively and attract the crowd to your booth.
“When business owners attend their first trade show, they should think about what to offer at the booth that draws participants’ attention and also harmonizes well with their brand.” “For example, a helicopter supplier can provide a small number of helicopters as key chains or bottle openers, and it can have a remote control toy helicopter race with prizes for each winner.”
Trade show participants realize that you expect them to use your business for their services or products, but that doesn’t mean that you should become overly salesperson. Focus most of your conversations on potentially interested customers, but don’t explicitly ignore people who likely won’t buy from you. Friendly conversations and conversations can still help boost your brand’s overall reputation. There is no downside to having a memorable conversation with trade show participants.
“Build relationships,” said Jonas Schuler, marketing director at eminent management.com. “Don’t try to close a deal, or you’ll get people off. Trade shows can be a sensational burden, and potential customers are most likely wearing their cell armor. You need to stand and remember more. When you build a personal relationship – this may not be an immediate deal but may result in new sales down the road.
Make sure you get information for these users and follow up with them when the event is over. Including a personal note that traces their past conversations with you can go a long way toward agreeing to do business with you.
Observe the competition
This step should be done before and during the trade show. By researching your competition before the show, you can create a message that shows why you’re the best solution in your industry.
“Start by completing an audit of participating competitors,” said Nick Holland, Account Coordinator, and Marketing Master at ARPR, a public relations firm. “This audit should include deep diving into their messaging, branding, booth space, pre-show exhibits, etc. so that you can have a booth for your company and accordingly.”
In the show, it is important to look at the rival booths. Consider taking notes on what you like and don’t like about their exhibit. By witnessing competitors, you gain valuable insights about their marketing strategy and leave with the display ideas you want to implement at your upcoming trade show.
Cage the opportunity value.
From budget restrictions to travel time, there are many reasons why some small businesses may or may not attend trade shows. If you are lucky enough to attend a trade show, thank you for the opportunity. Despite all the logistical tensions involved, the trade show offers you the opportunity to build relationships with potential customers and ultimately turn these leaders into real customers.
“With so much interaction in digital, trade shows are a rare opportunity to spend some time with your customers, the media, and even your competitors,” said Michelle Berry, founder of Mesmerize Media Consulting. “It’s your chance to look at your company’s brand and showcase what makes you unique. Also, think of the participants as your audience, all in one place. How often do you get a chance to do this? “