New to Trade Shows?

If you and your business are new to the trade show experience, you could use some advice. Rather than just winging it, do a little planning and execution beforehand, and you’ll have a much more profitable experience in what can seem like an overwhelming venue.

Social media is an effective way to let potential contacts and customers in the exhibition area know you’ll be at the event. To generate interest even before the trade show, offer a drawing online: they put in their contact information and are automatically entered into a drawing for something of significant value at a specific time at the trade show. This does a couple of things. It generates contacts for you marketing department, which can often be the most valuable part of a trade show. It also lets people know that you’ll be at the exhibition which gives them an opportunity to see and experience your product or service firsthand. Finally, when they show up, it gives you an opportunity to have one-on-one contact with them, the surest way to close a deal if you’re prepared for it.

Your booth at the show will be the key to drawing the masses to your product. If you have the option of selecting your booth’s location, by all means, take it. Locations in main areas of traffic or on corners offer you the most exposure. But if your booth doesn’t draw eyes, location isn’t going to matter. Your design should be simple, focused on your product, not on cheap gimmicks or giveaways. Interactive technology is great if you can afford it and if it makes sense with your business. Focused lighting which highlights your business logo, name, or product is a great idea. It can be seen from a distance and can be a great lure compared to table-height displays.

After the show, follow-up is absolutely necessary. Take all the contacts you made in your pre-show social media ads, the contacts you made at the show, and address each personally. If there are too many to be personal, a simple thank-you letter or email will let them know you appreciated their time. Who knows? Maybe the timing wasn’t right at the show and they’ll be more inclined and ready to work with you in the future. Maintain that contact and the trade show will continue to pay off for a long time.