Want to exhibit like a pro this trade show season?
Before you decide to commit to a trade show, it’s very important to establish a solid plan to make it as successful as possible, which is why we’re here to help!
While a trade show helps you increase your brand’s awareness, it’s also great for networking and seeing what’s going on in your industry. Here’s how you can prepare and ensure that your trade show runs smoothly and brings you success.
Before the show:
Identify your goals and set up your budget
When you’re preparing for your trade show, it’s important to set aside time to identify your goals and what you’re trying to gain from the show. Everyone is different. Are you trying to get new leads and/or establish solid relationships with existing customers? Maybe your primary goal is to introduce new products and/or services. Either way, your goal(s) should be measurable.
Another extremely crucial part of the planning process is setting a budget. Although it’s important to have a good grip on your finances while setting up your budget, never compromise your company’s visibility for a cheap short-term arrangements. What may seem cheap and attractive now, could be damaging in the long run.
It’s also important to calculate travel expenses involved in getting to and from the show. Many people overlook this part of the budget. Of course, you must also factor in any pre-show and post-show marketing initiatives, which are significant in your overall success with the show.
Make sure you have the necessary materials to really draw in customers at the show. Do you have a captivating display? Printed materials for them to take away and refer back to? Giveaways to entice them to do business with you?
Promote your attendance
Why would you exhibit in a show if nobody knows it? The best thing to do is to send regular newsletters to your database, as well as posting content on social media. If you plan on speaking at the event, be sure that you mention that as well. The more relevant the content, the better the chance you have to receive attention and attract people to your booth.
Possibly take photos of your preparing for the show and posting them to social media platforms. Be sure to find out if there’s a Facebook event page for the trade show and/or if there’s a hashtag they’re using. This would help you further promote your attendance.
Choose your staff and train them well
Having good sales people is crucial and we suggest you pick the best of your team for the trade show. Train them thoroughly, clearly explain the goals and stakes involved. You should providing them with tasks and a schedule for them to follow. Your staff is your best store front, so the more comfortable they are, the more efficient they will be.
During the show:
Do product demonstration
Spending money in an event is worthy only if you can show a glimpse of your business. Don’t hesitate to display your products, and distribute samples to the visitors if it’s possible. Prepare goodies for the occasion. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, make sure that customers will remember your company. The more you distribute products with your brand’s name, the more visibility you get.
Take pictures and post them
Just like we suggested that you should take photos and post on social media before the show, you should definitely be doing the same during the show. Engage with your Facebook fans or Instagram followers with live video and updates throughout the show while shouting out where people can find your booth. Another great idea is to ask an excited visitor if you could possibly take a picture either of them or with them, possibly with your product.
Network and start measuring your success
Speak to all of the people you planned to meet in your list. Don’t forget to ask for business cards from people you converse with and give yours in return. Be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn.
Start to measure the event’s effectiveness by scanning visitor’s badge when they come to see your booth. Work as closely as you can with the trade show’s organizer to know how many visitors according to the several entrances.
After the show:
You have gathered a lot of business cards. It’s now time to classify and save them in your CRM. You should contact all the people you met in the following days of the show. Send a personalized email to thank them for visiting, and providing them with more information about your business. You can even offer a follow-up meeting if you think it’ll be worthwhile. It’s crucial to do it immediately while everyone still remembers each other.
Plan the next show
The best exhibitors are continuously looking for the next big trade show. Although you may have succeeded in the last event, you need to ensure that you have fully measured what you did, how you did, and how you can repeat what worked well and improve what could’ve gone better.
In this increasingly competitive business world, it’s important now more than ever to get noticed. Regardless of what type of business you have, whether you want to attract booth traffic at an upcoming trade show or create dynamic digital signs, our marketing strategists take the time to understand your needs and create the perfect solution. Contact us today!