Trade shows are a great way to attract new business and have meaningful face-to-face interactions with potential customers. While they offer a wide variety of opportunities, they aren’t cheap and it takes time to successfully prepare for a trade show. Here are some do’s and don’t to keep in mind while preparing for the big day.
First and foremost, you must tell your target audience that you will be attending the event. In the days preceding the trade show, post to social media and tell people exactly where your booth will be set up and invite them to stop by. Tag the trade show to increase visibility and run a small targeted paid campaign on social media to boost your reach.
If you are going to spend the time and money on the trade show, make sure you are exhibiting a strong, consistent brand image to the audience. You don’t need to have the flashiest booth to attract your target audience, but you do need a cohesive, stylized booth clearly displaying your message, products or services. Inconsistent or poorly designed booths, including sales materials and table covers, make your company look unprofessional and could end up making a negative impression on attendees.
Keep your sales materials brief. Attendees don’t have a lot of time to spend at each booth so having short sales sheets or brochures is a good idea. Handing out a concise, straightforward brochure will make a better impression on guests, even after they leave your booth.
There will likely be hundreds of different booths at any given trade show and as an exhibitor, you only have a few moments to grab people’s attention and explain your company’s mission. An elevator pitch is a quick way to convey your brand’s value points. Take time before the trade show to sit down with your sales team to prepare a quality elevator pitch that will help you generate leads.
This may seem silly, but don’t forget to bring your business cards. Collecting business cards is a great way for attendees to remember who they spoke to and continue the business relationship after the trade show is over.
Don’t be shy about asking for business cards or giving out your own. Make a note of the people you spoke to and made strong connections with and follow up with them after the event. Make a note directly on their business card, highlight their information, make a silly alliteration, do whatever it takes to remember who you were talking to and don’t forget to add these contacts into your database after the event.
People joke about names going in one ear and out the other, but this can happen at trade shows. Make sure that you ask specific questions in order to get to know the person you’re talking with. Find out their position in the company, what their company does, the industry they work in, and any other attributes to make a personalized connection. These personalizations go a long way.
With all the hustle and bustle going on, it is easy to feed off this energy and tell people every detail about your product or service. Someone once said “don’t throw up on attendees”, meaning don’t give them too much information that they won’t be able to recall later. Remember, keep your conversation on track and just discuss the most important information.
Give your team enough time to prepare for the trade show. Make sure your print material is up to date, your booth is ready and your team is trained. If you need to order a material like a banner or table cover, make sure you build in enough time for shipping.
Brand Iron can help you with every step of the process. We’re experts in all things trade show related. Contact us today to see how we can upgrade your trade show game!