Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to show off you, your products and services and your creative flair. It can aid you in getting your name out there with people who are interested in what you do already – of course they are if they are attending trade shows.
Small business usually choose to take part in trade shows have a couple of main goals in mind.
- Brand Building
- Lead Generation
- Cultivating Relationships
Which are all perfectly valid, but unless you can get people to your stand in the first place, it’s going to be impossible to reach your goals. To get the most out of your trade show, you should consider employing a few of the following tips.
Before you hire a stand from this site, you should carefully consider your options. If you’re in the corner make the most of that corner stability, if you’re in a dark or black walled area, it is imperative that you stand out. Personally, you should try not to blend into your booth either. Gimmicks work, as much as you might not want to dress up or have a tagline – things that grab attention usually have a habit of being memorable. T-shirts in bright colors, company logos on hats are all ideal thing to have friends or staff walking around in. People will notice them, and therefore your company. That is half of your goal achieved.
Let your creative side fly.
Hear Ye Freebies
Depending on the size of your products, you should think about giving some away. People who visit your booth are likely going to be looking for information and a sample of your product. If it’s food you make, then you should have a tray ready, if its keyrings then have a selection ready to go.
Not only will this make people WANT something from you, and you instantly deliver – but once they leave, while they check out their goodies, your company name will be nestled in that bag.
You can also run giveaways throughout the day. Reusable coffee cups, bags, hats, or discounts for your products and/or services are all going to be big winners.
A great example is serving fresh hot coffee during the day. You might not even make coffee, but you can invest cash in getting personalized coffee and cupcakes for trade show visitors. When they get home and really fancy a coffee, they can use the sample pack you gave them – with your brand name on. Instant creating a good feeling (so long as the coffee is good anyway).
Free candy is also a great way to go. A fishbowl filled with sweet treats will give you enough time to engage with the people who have their hand in there. Each time someone heads for the bowl you have around 15-30 seconds to provide them with a short but sweet pitch. Without throwing your hand forward for a handshake, you can get a name, swap cards, find out where they are from and see what you can do for them. Think of this as the sweetest elevator pitch you’ll ever have. A great tip here is to have a few different bowls. Boiled sweets, chocolates, and even vegan ones. The simple act of thoughtfulness will go a long way.
Props To Props
Much like wearing bright t-shirts, props will keep you firmly in the mind of potential clients and buyers. Having interactive games, spin the wheels, and even ‘cook your own.’ People, for the most part, like to get involved and hands on. Give them that opportunity at your stand.
You can have prizes available for winners, like those bright t-shirts with your logo on, some branded chocolates, or gift certificates for future use with your company.
Props are fun, and can really break-up those long trade show days. For you and the other attendees.
If you don’t have a team of people in your company, then you can call in some friends and family to help. Make sure that everyone has been given some necessary information to recall about your business, your stand number, and even your website. Trade shows can be a stream of people just going up and down, up and down, and unless something really catches their eye, or they have picked out a few stalls to visit you’re going to be hard pushed to get people to come to you.
Make sure that you ask people who are naturally bubbly and seem approachable. So that they won’t intimidate people, and a big smile can break up the stress that some trade stalls can emit.
Leads And Follow Up
One of the main goals, while you are at the trade show, will be to pick up those leads. Having a tablet that people can enter details in, or somewhere that people can write and a space where they can drop in their business cards. Once you head home, you should make a pile of those that interest you and those that you might leave for a later date. Reach out to people you had a rapport with and send a friendly email to those that you want to set up meetings with. Everyone who attends a trade show is there because they work in that sector and has a keen interest in extending their network and sourcing more products and you might just be the perfect person for them.
Trade shows can be a lot of work, but once you have the hang of how to quickly set up and breakdown your stall, keeping track of your inventory, ensuring that you have been clear about how you will be storing peoples details (within the data protection guidelines), and keeping your staff morale high – you’re going to love them. When you are thinking about your own stall, think about the booths that you have visited in the past that piqued your interest and implement some of that in your own one. And, above all, have fun with it!