Exhibitions and trade shows are a crucial part of marketing for most businesses. They give your company visibility and establish your presence in the marketplace. If you’re a newcomer to the industry, a trade show can give your business an air of credibility.
So, how do you make the most of the experience? Often, exhibiting is expensive. If you’re spending a high proportion of your marketing budget on the trade show, you want to ensure your get a good return on investment.
Thankfully, we have plenty of advice for you below:
1) Define objectives and set goals
What is your reason for attending this trade show?
- Because it’s the “done thing” in your industry?
- Because you go every year and it’s “tradition”?
Those are both terrible reasons! You need to spend a little time thinking through your objectives to decide what you’d like to get out of the trade show. What is your ideal outcome?
Examples of potential objectives:
- To establish your company as THE premier service in the industry
- To reposition your brand in the industry
- To grow awareness of your fledgling business
- To look for prospects/leads to follow up later
- To generate sales or presales
- To find new members of staff
- To test a new product idea on a room full of potential prospects
After deciding your objectives, set goals for the day itself. Understand how you’re going to achieve your goals. Only then begin planning your booth and building your team.
2) Make it impossible for people to pass your booth
Give yourself the best possible chance of drawing in the crowds by setting up an attention grabbing stand. Spend a little time drawing up a list of ideas to help you make the most of the event’s footfall.
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Ensure the design of your booth is eye-catching, so people notice as they approach the area. Speak with an event production company and then hire lighting, sound and audiovisual technicians to ensure your booth looks and sounds at its best.
- DO keep your booth on brand and make sure it reflects the ethos of your business.
- Can you provide something people will stop for? For example chairs so people can rest their feet?
- Draw in passers by with a demonstration. For example, if you’re exhibiting a new range of home bar equipment at an interior design trade show, cocktail and mocktail demonstrations will go down a treat!
- Everybody loves a freebie! Draw in potential customers by offering free samples of your product.
- Don’t forget the power of promotional products! Offer goody bags printed with useful products featuring your company logo.
RELATED: Read through our guide outlining are promo products effective, according to polls and surveys!
3) Hire plenty of staff – but don’t hire just anybody!
Ensure your booth is fully staffed to ensure success. A good team can be ‘make or break’ at trade shows.
You need to ensure that:
- Your team know the company inside out
- They understand your company’s values/ethos
- You’ve trained them to talk about the BENEFITS of your service/product
- They are natural salespeople, but not too pushy
- They’re friendly and good with people
4) Set a budget and plan ahead
Without proper planning and foresight, last minute expenses can soon mount up. Spend time planning your booth in good time, to ensure you cover all bases.
Here are some common expenses that can sting you at the last minute if you’re not prepared:
- Finding and training extra members of staff
- Realizing you need to pay double time to technicians setting up your booth, because it’s a Sunday.
- Missing the ‘early bird’ fees for exhibiting, because you didn’t realize the deadline passed.
- Realizing you need help with plumbing/electrical/lighting at the last moment for your exhibit/booth and not having time to shop around for the best prices.
- Smaller last minute purchases that you did not expect due to poor planning, which all mount up. E.g.) New uniforms for staff or napkins for free samples.
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Wearable Imaging specializes in designing creative strategies to get your business noticed, and finding just the right promotional product or corporate gift to fit your vision and stay within budget. Watch our YouTube video to learn more about how Wearable Imaging will get your brand noticed.