Image by: Redwood Media Group
By Lucy Clara
Even in the midst of digital media, nothing is better than face to face communication with your clients and customers. Trade shows are a great way to do just that. Trade shows are used in businesses all over the world. They are exhibitions that are organized sot that companies, in a specific industry, can show off and demonstrate their latest products, services, study activities of competition and even examine recent marketing trends and opportunities.
Trade shows are not only good for people who are business owners, they are also excellent ways for your employees to gain new skills and to keep up to date on the latest trends within your company.
However, managing a trade show is no easy task, but doable. Once you get the hang of how they operate, then you’ll become better prepared to set them up for years to come, depending on how often you churn out a new idea.
Managing a successful show, takes careful planning, attention to detail, persistence and endurance. You’re simply put on display for prospective customers, so you’ll have to know what you are talking about.
So what exactly does go into a successful trade show? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for your next big event.
#1) Get to Know the Event Organizer
Getting to know an event organizer not only makes your job easier, it is crucial in order to make sure everything goes as planned. Having a point of contact to consult to and ask questions will fill you in on what needs to be done and mistakes you might be making along the way.
Not does your consultant help with general planning, such as what displays to use and what products to feature, they act as responsive resources. When things get stressful, a good even coordinator will always be there to lend a helping hand. Even better is he or she has handled dozens of events prior to.
When you do land a great even planner, stay in their good graces, keep their contact information and it doesn’t hurt to send them a small thank you gift once the event is over.
#2) Make a To-do List
Some of us are great at keeping information stored in our brains, but if you tend to forget in many cases, having a master to-do list will literally save your business. Even if you tend to remember everything, it’s still a good idea to write everything down.
Master to-do lists are necessary starting points of navigating the direction you need to go and what you’ll need, who you might want to help you at the trade show, etc. Once you have all your requirements, it becomes much easier to organize items into categories.
Checking the even website for any updates, checklists and deadlines will make this task much less stressful aw well, as you’ll have everything that you need once the event begins.
#3) Keep It Simple
You signage needs to be legible, clear, and to the point. In other words, it needs to be simple, yet engaging and interesting. From a passerby’s perspective, you probably wouldn’t hold any interest in a booth that had bland signage with little excitement, so it’s good to look at things from an outsider’s point-of-view.
Does the message convey a meaningful description? Does your message leave something of importance in just a few words or less? These are questions to consider if you want to stand out at your event.
Also keep in mind, that you will probably be less likely to stop people in their tracks with wordy signage, so make a bold statement with simple phrasing.
#4) The Lead Retrieval Process
Just because you’re at an even that might include fun and games, doesn’t mean that you aren’t also at work. With this in mind, the sales that you make can also be included as part of your sales leads.
By renting portable scanners that you can purchase or rent through a contractual service, this will become much easier than writing everything down, not to mention it looks more professional.
If you predict there will be a steady traffic flow, you’ll need to rent more than one scanner, especially if you have multiple staff members working. Otherwise, they’ll all be fighting over that one device. Once the show is over, upload your contacts into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system and count them as leads from that particular show.
#5) Offer Promotions & Giveaways
As with any other marketing effort, you’ll likely draw more customers by offering incentives for them to purchase from you. As they stop by your booth, you can offer free add-ons, discounts, or samples of goods or services that you provide that will keep them interested.
Also, now is a good time to use your skills at up-selling to optimize on every sale that you possibly can. However, inevitably, you’ll encounter those that have no interest in your products, but they want your free samples. In this case, you should perform a demo with them to weed out the ones who just want freebies from the ones who genuinely have interest.
Trade shows are fun, lively ways for companies to market their products to the public or clients in a particular industry, about latest updates. The selling techniques are different than that at your regular place of business, however, you’ll want to change up a couple of things to optimize on the success of the show.
To ensure a successful trade show, be prepared to answer any questions, have ample amount of products so that you do not run out. Business cards are also a great way to keep in contact with your customer. If you keep these tips in mind, then you’ll be on your way to an exciting, successful event.
Particular booths at trade shows can be hit or miss, depending on how prepared the even planner is. Have you every attended a trade show? If so, what was it for and did you purchase anything? Please let us know what you think!