Exhibiting at trade shows is an effective part of a company’s marketing mix. Trade shows offer a wealth of opportunities, including access to industry leaders, creating brand awareness, networking with prospective clients, finding and developing new business relationships, and making sales.
Trade shows are an investment for any company. So planning a successful trade show requires a lot of organization, creativity, patience, and most importantly resilience.
Start planning ahead of time
Although it might seem like an obvious thing, you need to start prepping early for the trade show you’ll be attending. It is never too early to start. Once you know where the event will take place, start scanning flights, booking hotels near the location. Create a timeline that outlines important dates and has deadlines. Make a concise budget of all event-related expenses. Take into consideration other logistics like if you are launching a new product around the same time as the event. How many samples do you need to bring?
Bring product samples
Make sure your products are displayed, and attendees have easy access to try on samples. People usually like to test things before making a purchase.
Assemble a memorable display
Having a trade show booth that stands out from the rest will attract potential customers to stop by. Your booth must be interesting and inviting, it needs to tell the story of your brands. Create a display that people can be seen from afar. Your goal is to get customers to notice you and check out your products.
Schedule pre-show booth meetings
Before the events begin, reach out to potential prospects, customers, and partners that are in the area and try to pre-schedule booth meetings with them. Furthermore, you can make a calendar, so everyone on the team is aware of when each executive will be available during the trade show.
Set aside a part of your budget to invest in a giveaway or in an activity that will attract attendees. You can even have a coffee machine available for people to stop by and have a cup while they chat with you. It is an opportunity to break the ice. Everyone loves free stuff, and they usually expect to get goodies at trade shows
Be active on social media
Integrate a social media plan with your show. Post upcoming show schedules, post live video of you walking around the booth, and invite people to come to visit. It’s important that you actively post photos from the trade show to your social channels throughout the event.
Post-show follow-up is crucial to a trade show’s success. Therefore, make sure you have all your lead’s information and set up future meetings to discuss potential business opportunities. Your message should be a personalized as possible and just a few days after the trade show.
Do you have any other secret to having a successful trade show? Send me a DM on Instagram @lauraleebotsacos