Small Business Owners – Get the Most out of Trade Shows with These Tips

Get the most out of trade shows with these tips
Trade shows are a great place to market your business and get new customer leads. You have many of your potential customers in place, who are there for the purpose of looking at new products and businesses. They have even paid to come there. What could be a better place to showcasing what you have to offer to these customers?

While you can achieve great benefits from these trade shows it takes considerable planning and effort to showcase your business and products. You also need to keep in mind that there are many other businesses, like yours, who are also there for the same purpose. You need to make sure you are ready to spend time and effort required to attend these shows before making a commitment. By following these tips on what to do before, during and after the show you will be able to get your money’s worth, and more from trade shows.

Before The Show

The more time you put in getting ready for the trade show the better return you will get.

  • Create objectives – What do you want to get out of the show? Is it to introduce new products, raise awareness or get new customers and markets?
  • Create marketing plan – You need to draw up a marketing plan that covers before, during and after the show. You need to raise awareness and curiosity about your company to trade show attendees beforehand. Use various marketing channels, including direct mail, advertising, PR, blogs, etc to make sure the attendees know you will be there.
  • Create an incentive – With a huge space and every booth vying for attendees’ attention, you need to provide incentives for visitors to come to your booth. Whether it is a great deal on your products for that day only, or an amazing giveaway, you need to make sure that all attendees come to know about it before and during the show.
  • Get everything in place beforehand – Make sure that you have plans to ship or carry with you everything you will need for the trade show. Make your travel arrangements and hotel bookings as well as ship banners and other items to the tradeshow the day prior.

At The Show

  • Make your booth a welcoming and friendly place to visit. Make it look good, with a strong focal point, and make sure that it makes a strong statement about who your company is. Opt for graphics or simple words.
  • Your trade show representatives should be trained on how to talk (read sell) to potential customers and commit to a follow up.
  • You should also have reliable technology and the staff that knows how to handle it. Whether you have screens, or mobile card readers like the ones from Card Cutters testing them out beforehand and making sure they work properly is essential.
  • Give away memorable gifts such as engraved glassware, golf balls or any other ones that the attendees will show to their colleagues and show off after they go back to their work. This will continue to show your brand long after the show is over.
  • Be active on social media throughout the show using the show’s hashtag and interacting with other businesses who are exhibiting.

After the Show

Be sure to thank the organisers, online and if you can, personally. It is very important to follow up on your leads few days after the show. Measure your success by comparing to your objectives. Evaluate what you did well, and make a note of what could be done better next time.