I’ve attended my share of Trade Shows and conventions — as a consumer and as a Team member in promotion of an organization and product, and at the conclusion of every successful one I could only hope, pray, and wish for a few days off for recovery. Considering all the preparation, strategy, travel, the show itself and its numerous social functions, conquering the Trade Show is no easy fare, but we’re here to help you dominate your next event.
What are the steps you need to take before attending your next Trade Show? How can you engage with your potential customers and make a lasting impression?
1. Before the Show: Prepare
First things first, set your goals and objectives and know the answers to the following questions—
What do you want to accomplish at this particular show? Who are the folks you want to target and do business with?
By identifying the big guns and doing your research, you’ll know how to market yourself and your company to create the right, positive impressions.
Train your Staff— everyone on your Team needs to be on the same page. Throughout the course of these few days, you’ll (hopefully) be vibing off each others’ energies as you switch from one customer to another, pitching the same important dream. [Teamwork makes the dream work!]
Ensure traffic to your booth during the Show by creating some buzz prior to it. Blast some emails out, share your booth info/# on Facebook & Twitter, Instagram a sneak peek of your booth or freebies. It doesn’t hurt to get the word out.
2. During the Show: Engagement is Key
Your booth is a reflection of your company and its products, and its appearance and your presentation is vital. Even on a limited budget, be creative. Your goal is to make a lasting impression. You’ll be able to stand out if you make customer engagement your priority.
We suggest the following:
-Giveaways and freebies that serve a purpose [Shameless Plug: AnyPromo has a wide variety of these items!]. *Bags emblazoned with your company name and logo are the best walking ads!
-Demos are great. Demos of your new featured products are even better, and if you don’t have a physical demo just yet, demos on iPads and tablets can even be more clutch.
-Take notes! You’ll have an edge when you’re following up with a potential customer and you include a personal (but not creepy!) life/story detail.
-Work that booth— be genuine, and approachable. Make sure you keep your energy up even through the final day, final hour.
-Don’t miss out on cocktail hour—people go to Trade Shows to mingle, exchange ideas, and trade contact info. You’ll never know who you’ll meet over that first round of beers/mixed drinks (depending on your preference). Imagine all the possibilities, all the Social Media campaigns you can create and run with potential new partners.
3. After the Show: Maintain Relationships
The fun and work begin once you go home and return back to the office. Don’t slack off now. Continue these conversations. Send an email or note a few days following the Show. Remember, personal details can help you out here, but make sure it’s appropriate.
The next email should be a call to action – whether it’s finalizing a few product orders or a proposal for a marketing campaign. You’ve created this relationship, thus, you have no excuse not to maintain it!