Trade Shows are an awesome opportunity to present your company’s products and services.
In addition to meeting prospects and potential new clients, trade shows offer an ideal way to do just that and help you achieve the ultimate success.
Organizing a trade show or exhibition can be an overwhelming task. Whatever the size of the event, you need to put in a considerable amount of work or risk losing out on business.
Identify Objectives & Setting a Budget
Determining why you want to exhibit is the first step to succeeding in a trade show. Depending on your main objective (increase brand awareness, revenue, launching a new product or service is important. Nevertheless, it is essential to have in mind the biggest trade shows. Although it’s important to have a good grip on your finances while setting up your budget, never compromise your company’s visibility for cheap short-term arrangements. Now you can set-up your budget for that next Trade Show.
That has much more to do with pre-show marketing than it does with where you happen to be on the show floor. A strategic marketing plan has to include efforts to lure those key buyers to your trade show booth with:
1) Series of targeted emails,
2) Direct mail appeal or invitation (a postcard with some swag attached or a unique direct mail piece like a flip-flop or custom printed coaster),
3) Phone calls from sales staffers to your top prospects and current clients
– and even news about contests or games to be held in your trade show booth.
4) Posting out content on social media. The more relevant the content, the better chance you have to receive attention and attract the qualified audience.
Pre-show marketing is critically important to achieving the success when exhibiting at trade shows. The majority of companies, however, don’t invest enough time and effort in this area. As a result, opportunities are lost at every show. But you don’t have to be one of those companies in that majority.
Be prepared to Network and to get noticed at the show
A few weeks before the show, have a good look at the exhibitor’s list. This way, you can check on your competitors, as well as potential clients you want to deal with (suppliers, distributors). Build a list with the people you want to meet. Think about how you’ll display your business in an interactive way. The more involved your audience is, the better. For instance, you can create a game that is related to your business. It will bring added value and get people’s attention.
Set your Staff Up for Success
Train early and often. The number one thing people remember about your exhibit isn’t the great graphics, it is the staff. Even the more experienced or dynamic staff needs training before each trade show they attend. I have no doubt companies’ sales staffs are terrific at doing what they do every day, but a well-trained sales staff is the most important part of your trade show experience.
Come with Branded Swag
Trade Show Swag is a point of contention for trade shows. Branded Swag provides a valid reminder of your companies brand. Use a 2 Tier Giveaways. Tier #1 Giveaways are to be used in the booth like branded mints, jotter pads, or hand sanitizers are those attendees who come by your trade show booth and rake off the giveaways. Tier #2 Giveaways is for that Qualified Prospects and those swag gifts go under the trade show table.
Network and start measuring Success
Speak to all of the people you’ve planned to meet on your list. Don’t forget to ask for business cards from people you converse with and give yours in return: it works wonders in the long run. Network with other exhibitors at the show and business connections with them, you never know they might become your next client. Start to measure the event’s effectiveness by scanning visitor’s badge when they come to see your booth. Moreover, work as closely as you can with the trade show’s organizer to know the figures (how many visitors according to the several entrances). If a show is worthy, you can know in which area of the venue you want to participate next time.
Followup is the most important thing to achieve success
You have gathered a lot of business cards. It’s now time to classify and save them in your CRM. The next step is to contact all the people you have met on the following days of the exhibition. Send a personalized email to thank them for visiting, and providing them with more information about your business. You can even offer a follow-up meeting. It is super important to do it while everyone still remembers each other.
In order to ensure that your event is a success, you need to plan, implement and measure activities around it. It involves a tremendous amount of work and dedication until the very end. Even after the show, it is critical to follow up and seek feedback from stakeholders. Not doing this is futile and can make your efforts pointless. However, if the trade show is planned early and approached in the right way it can lead to a strong organizational ROI and new business opportunities for your company.