Trade shows take place in almost any industry you can think of. They provide opportunities for advancement, education, and fun. The benefits of attending trade shows are many, including raising your brand awareness, forging new business relationships, gaining highly targeted leads, learning about your competition, and furthering your education in your industry.
If you’re considering attending a trade show soon, be sure to follow these foolproof ways to make the event a success.
1. Give Away Cool Swag
Offer unique promotional products but don’t just give them away. Ask your visitors to sit through a 15-minute presentation first.
If your swag is worth it, people won’t mind watching your presentation to get it. Remember – only people with need will buy from you, so it’s your job to tell them why they need what you have.
2. Look Sharp and Be Kind
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure you and your staff are dressed well and that your booth looks good. Don’t leave any food or drink lying around the booth and avoid sitting down as much as possible.
Talk to anyone and everyone and be kind. In today’s social media driven world, a bad experience shared online carries a lot of weight, so treat everyone politely – even when you know that some people won’t convert to paying customers.
3. Mix and Match Leads with Other Vendors
Although the other vendors at the trade show are your competition, they are a powerful lead generator for you. Trade leads with as many vendors at the trade show as possible because even if some overlap, the number of additional leads you gain will be worth it. You may even find that you’re forging some new business relationships at the same time.
4. Bring Your Best Lead Generators to the Show
Bring along your best sales reps or marketing team members to the show and watch as they go to work. Encourage competition among your reps by creating a contest to see who can get the most leads. Making a game of it and offering a prize to the winner really encourages your reps to up their lead-generating games.
5. Make Your Booth Memorable
Many trade show vendors go above and beyond to lure attendees to their booths. These tactics can prove to be great ways to get extra eyes on your booth space. While it may be fun to have swimming mermaids in tanks in your booth to attract visitors, unless you’re an aquarium dealer, they really have nothing to do with what you have to offer.
Instead, be smart about how you bring people in. For instance, if you’re offering an all-expenses-paid Hawaiian trip to your top lead generator, it’s perfectly acceptable to have Hawaiian hula dancers at your booth. You can also order alcohol and snacks and host a Happy Hour at your booth for attendees. This is one of the top methods of bringing in extra traffic.
6. Promote the Trade Show
Even though the trade show isn’t technically your event, the fact that you’ll be there promoting your own products and services means you should promote it as if it is. Tell all your customers and partners about the event and invite them to attend. Give free passes away to your best customers so they can join you there. It’s always a good idea to give back to your trade show hosts.
There are several benefits associated with attending trade shows, so if you’re thinking of attending one in the near future, use the tips outlined above to nail it.