You’ve packed up the display and all your giveaways, you’ve loaded up your flooring, secured all the contact information you gathered, and are headed home from the trade show. What’s next?
For many small and large businesses, the trade show can be an effective way to introduce your business to a new population, generate sales, and make industry connections. How do you make sure you’re going to see long-term benefits from the show? A few key questions should always be in your head while you’re preparing for and participating in the exhibition. What do I want to walk away with? How do I guarantee I get the results I want? How do I build on what happens at the trade show? If these questions inform how you present at the next exhibition, you’ll have a strategic position from which to gauge your performance and future trade show returns.
What is it you’re expecting from the show? Higher sales, hands down, is everyone’s hope at trade shows. So how you design your booth, how you staff it, and the impression you give to potential customers is crucial. A booth designed to be easily accessible is your first front. Maybe a rental is the way you’ve chosen to go. While it can be cost-saving in the short-term, it limits your ability to manipulate your booth from venue to venue and to grow with experience. Flooring options are a way to enhance your booth’s appearance, and even attract customers with unusual patterns or grains. While carpet can’t be easily transported or adjusted to fit different sized booths, EVA foam mats can give the appearance of carpet, wood, or multi-colored logo-complementary patterns while fitting easily into many differently shaped booth designs and can be adjusted from venue to venue. When your booth catches their eye, they’re more likely to stop and talk, peruse your selection, and become a customer. Present a bland, uninteresting display and it will be all too easy for potential contacts to walk on by.
Let’s say you’ve impressed them with your display and they’ve purchased your product or given you their contact information. Having a game plan for follow-up in mind before you even get to the exhibition will help ensure the contacts you make turn into continued sales and growth. Social media makes it easy to stay in touch, but there’s nothing more personal or meaningful than an intentional contact: call them up, send an email with information that indicates you remember them and appreciated their support at the show. When you sell them on your customer service, you’ve made a loyal customer.
When the trade show is all said and done, your work’s only begun. Wrap up the exhibition knowing that the good work you started will continue with personal follow-up and attentive customer care. Your experience at the trade show will be productive, lucrative, and leave you energized for the next one.