All of us have probably been to a trade show or two in our lifetime but a lot of us don’t think about what goes into making you a rock star of that tradeshow. Trade shows are one of the greatest ways to build your business, improve outreach, and acquire customers.
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Find the Best Show for You
For example, if you’re a local business then you don’t need to waste money going to a national show — find the one that’s going to reach your target audience. There are so many shows out there and you can find a show in any industry on any day of the week.
Planning Ahead is Key
One of the biggest steps is to plan ahead. You should really plan at least two or three months out and we’re going to cover the reasons why. A lot of people try to do everything overnight and rush it. These people fail to go over some very important details. Some of the things you want to think about are things to do ahead of time include:
– Labeling boxes.
– How many people you need.
– How to decorate the booth.
What a lot of people forget to do is pre-arrange appointments. Many individuals think a show is solely a way to obtain new customers but it’s also a great opportunity to get with old customers and prospects. Get with some of your prospects or favorite customers and book times for them to come and talk to you.
Distractions in Your Booth
David often prefers having no chairs and he will not allow anyone to sit, eat sandwiches, or use their phone on their breaks. He says that because you’re pre-occupied, it seems as if you don’t want to be bothered and therefore you will lose a lot of potential customers or clients. Removing all distractions is your best bet — a crowded or distracted booth makes it less inviting.
Giving the Right Gifts
Moving on to ‘gifts’ — a lot of businesses give out gifts at their booths that have nothing to do with their target audience. For example, a company that may never plan to sell a piece of technology would probably be seen giving away an iPad as a prize. Instead, offer them something of value that also relates to your business, whether it be a product or a service
Reaching out After the Trade Show
You also can’t let the question of how you’re going to reach out after the show be forgotten. Who’s going to be responsible now that you have these leads? You need to set objectives for this trade show — how many leads are you hoping to get? What show specials are you going to offer? How many sales do you want to get? Without clear objectives it’s like saying “Let’s go on a road trip!” with no map or a final destination — you’re pretty much just lost running in circles. Have a path where you’re trying to get to and figure out what you need in that booth to make it happen.
Elaborating on Gifts
Going back to gifts, if you have nice things to give away then people will remember who you are. You should make this a quality item. It doesn’t have to be expensive but you should have put a lot of thought into it. When you give away a cheap product it gives off a bad impression.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re going to spend your hard earned money and time going to a trade show in order to get leads, then you should make sure you choose the right show for you, plan ahead, pre-arrange appointments, set objectives, also have ‘swag’ to give away. Something a lot of people often overlook is contacting the show to see if you can be a guest keynote speaker — it’s a great way to have a captive audience and at the end, you can drive them to your website or even back over to your booth to meet with you one-on-one. This positions you as an expert and gets you all sorts of notoriety, being in the brochures and anything advertising the event.