When it comes to trade shows – they can cost a considerable amount of money to set-up. And all of that money is going to be wasted if you haven’t put in the groundwork in advance. Great trade shows don’t happen on the power of the spot that you have picked, or the beauty of the stall. You have to be dressed, pressed, and ready to impress all day long. You are looking to generate buzz, have people coming to the stand to check out your goods, talking to you, and, more importantly – some sales.
You can be in eSports, TED Talks, selling hairbrushes – it doesn’t matter at all. You have to stand out. It is pretty challenging to get something that meets all of your criteria, but you can get tradeshow displays that will meet you well over halfway. The rest you can do yourself. There is a fine line between bright and inviting and intimidating and loud. Tread it carefully.
The swag bags mean a lot to attendees. In most cases, it is why so many people hit up stalls at lightning speed. You need to get in on that action. Your logo on jute bags, pens, lights, and other useful things. If you want to make it pop even more, then go bigger. Think power banks, plates, and Bluetooth speakers. All of these can be made to meet the needs of your brand. If they can wear the item and carry it around, they are advertising for you.
If you have something to give away, then go for it. Create a competition where people can leave some details and win something. It should be something that is industry-relevant, though, and something that you can afford to giveaway. If you want to get more bang for your buck, then have short surveys as the entry method – this way, you are way more likely to come away with something you can use.
Meet & Greet
Depending on your services or products, invite people to come and see you before the trade show opens. Give people the opportunity to talk to you about your new releases, and share more about your company. The best way to do this is to reach out to the attendee list a few weeks in advance and let them know you have some time slots available.
You really want people to be able to play with what you have to offer. If they can feel the quality, sit on the chair, or sniff the scent. They are much more likely to be enticed by it. It doesn’t matter if you are at a public or a trade-only show – essentially, you need to let people see what they are buying. A demonstration of your product is also a great way to go. You can schedule a few demos throughout the day and let people know what time they will be.
As well as doing your best at the venue, you need to manage your social media that day too. Having a hashtag that people can interact with is going to up your profile at the trade show and online also. You can combine the hashtag with the competition and have an online winner and an attendee winner too. If you think you are going to be too busy while at the show, you can ask a friend to help you manage it. You should follow up after the show too, ask what people enjoyed, which product the purchased or covet and keep the conversation alive.
You are going to want to speak to as many people as you can while they are at the stand. Customer interaction can turn a cold person into a hot lead and a buyer in a few minutes. So it pays to make sure that you aren’t on the stand-alone. If you have a few people at the stand and you didn’t bring along back-up, you are going to be telling people ‘just a minute’ many times. Keep conversations short and sweet, stay away from sales pitches – because all of the attendees will have had plenty of them.
You are there to make sales and collect contact information. So make sure that those are your focus. If you have the chance to close a big deal, but you didn’t test your payment method in advance, or you have no business cards – you look unprofessional, and who wants to do business with that person? You wouldn’t.