Trade shows are a continuing trend in the business sector, but participation is not a piece of cake. Here are ten things to keep in mind before and after your next trade show attendance.
Small, medium and big businesses benefit so much from making their products and services known to the public through attending different events and establishing stalls and stores. One of the main events that has proved to be beneficial to these businesses is trade shows.
The primary goal of any trade show, no matter the location, is to showcase products or services to various markets that may be interested in availing the services or the products. Moreover, other benefits can be acquired as well from participating in a trade show. A businessperson should not be afraid even if he or she is new in the field because of the amount of exposure they get through these events is so valuable.
Trade shows are a continuing trend in the business sector, but participation is not a piece of cake. You need fresh and innovative marketing strategies to catch the attention of potential customers and you should be financially able to participate. Your competitors will be present as well, so you will need to be creative in your marketing. Here are some great tips to guide you in achieving success at trade shows.
1. Identify the purpose of your participation.
Aside from increasing your sales and collecting possible leads or customers, trade shows are opportunities for you to observe the trends in your area or field of business. You may want to learn the newest products or services that your competitors offer. Through these events, you can assess how your business is catching up in the industry you are involved in and you can think of ways to improve or plan out your next step. Trade shows can also help in your networking efforts with colleagues that are not competitors and suppliers. Therefore, be sure your products and services are cut out for the trade show you are participating in.
2. Plan your budget.
Every wise man or woman should include participation in trade shows as a part of their marketing plan. In case you have a series of trade shows to participate in, be sure to inform the proper people who can help you, pose a partnership and share the expenses. Most likely, these are your show sponsors, suppliers, previous attendees, vendors and customers. Do not forget to register early for the trade show because usually there are early bird discounts.
3. Get organized.
Once you have registered, you should keep papers and pertinent documents you can refer to in the future or when the show is near. Be sure that all trade show documents such as registration form, booth and floor plans, invoices and notes are all intact in one folder. You might need all these to confirm your participation and to submit to the organizers your booth floor plan and design so they can make the necessary adjustments.
4. Identify the goals you want to achieve.
It will be an extra effort to research who is going to participate and who will be attending, but it will be worth your while. Set a plan and identify a number of high-quality leads to achieve within the period of the show so you have something to look forward to.
5. Make customers know you are participating by marketing the event.
Publish print ads in different publications, especially in the trade show’s publication. Send out invites to your prospects through direct mails. Ask these prospects and other long time customers to drop by your booth and try out some of the new products or services you have.
6. Participation does not stop once your booth is set up.
It is important for you to create an appealing atmosphere by being creative in the manner of your presentation and how you make your booth strike at a level higher than the other booths. You can include value-added services inside your booth and make use of technology such as LCD projectors and DVD players to present your product or services to customers. Make sure you assign staff that is knowledgeable about your products and services. This way, you can take a rest in manning the booth but still be confident of the person you will leave behind. Also, prepare your materials like brochures, flyers and giveaways. These are necessary point of sales materials that the customers can refer to after dropping by your booth. Be sure to have your contact details on all of these materials.
7. During the trade show, focus and get your acts together.
Try to plan out your work by focusing on your set goals and the number of prospects you will have to follow up with. Make sure to keep some notes of the promises you made to prospects like a follow-up call, a presentation of your products in the prospects office, a quotation for your services or products or even a visit.
8. Don’t forget to follow up.
After gathering some quality prospects after the show, be sure to keep their interest high by following them up with letters, thank-you cards, an email or a phone call.
9. Determine how well you did.
After the show, it is best to make an evaluation of how well you did by determining if you have reached your identified goals before the show, if you have executed your plans well and whether you did an immediate follow-up to an interested customer.
10. Plan ahead for the next show.
Keep in touch with the show’s organizers, sponsors and interested prospects and customers. Be sure to actively participate in the next show. You can even volunteer. Additional task? Yes, but it will be worth it.
There you have it—the recipe for trade show success served up on a silver platter. Be sure to keep it all in mind until your next serving.
Article source: peerfear.org