Trade shows can be expensive and exhausting but may also be very beneficial if operated correctly. They can be one of the best marketing tools you can have for new business. It’s important to go into the a trade show prepared with a plan of action.
We have created a few tips that can help you get the most out of your event.
Here are 8 Does and Don’t for trade show success:
- Do set a clear objectives for your trade show opportunity and have a plan to obtain those objectives. Do you want to sell products? Generate more leads? Or are you there from just a branding perspective? Go in with a strong marketing message.
- Do start marketing your booth prior to the show date. Leverage social media, your website and email to let your current clients and prospect know to expect to see you there.
- Don’t show up without a table runner, marketing materials to leave behind, and some sort of presentation. Your booth should reflect the professionalism of your company. Trade shows are an investment and your booth presentation should be as well. If you can’t afford to purchase a custom display, consider renting one or be creative and make one.
- Don’t just sit there. Get up and talk to people. Wave people in and have a conversation. Ask open ended questions and use people’s names. Invest in professional staff, if needed. A well trained ambassador can bring qualified leads to your booth.It’s also wise to make time to walk around and introduce yourself to other vendors and people who may not make it to your booth.
- Do bring promotional items, but make them memorable or useful. Hand sanitizer, chap sticks, portable chargers, flash lights, and nail files are just a few items to consider.Create icebreakers and conversation starters. Hand out samples of your product or give demonstrations.A drawing for a $10-20 gift card (for your product or an online retailer) will keep people in your booth long enough for you to start a conversation.
- Do pack a few snacks. Most trade show venues have food available but you may not have the time to leave and grab lunch. Packing a few snacks will keep your energy up.
- Don’t throw up on people. No, we aren’t talking about literally throwing up. We are talking about how you pitch your product or service to your new potential client. Yes, they want to learn more about your company but you should spend a good part of your time learning about your client and their needs.
- Do make sure to follow up and send each new prospect a thank you for their time. Be sure to take notes through out the trade show and make key points so when you do follow up, your follow up will be more personal.