7 Trade Show Essentials

7 Trade Show EssentialsIt’s no secret that trade shows are an excellent way to build awareness of your brand and tell its story. They present…

7 Trade Show EssentialsIt’s no secret that trade shows are an excellent way to build awareness of your brand and tell its story. They present the opportunity to get face time, build leads, and close sales with a massive amount of prospects in a short period of time. What you may not know, if you haven’t attended many shows or it’s been awhile, are the things you must do to make the most of the experience.

This is the golden rule. All other rules point to this most important facet. With hundreds of other vendors at the show, many of which offer the same products or services as your company, everything you do needs to seep with memorability.

The first step in making this happen is having a booth that busts out of the clutter. Research the trade show before designing your booth. Find photos of the previous years’ show to see what everyone else is doing — and then blow them out of the water. Attending a similar conference beforehand can also help you find ways to stand out from the crowd. And standing out is exactly what you need to do to draw people out of the aisles and into your sales pitch.

To do this, find a unique way to deliver your message. Make sure it’s focused, easy to understand, and includes strong visuals. A cluttered booth with visual overload is a sure way to repel prospects.

Undoubtedly, you and your coworkers are your best brand advocates and experts on your offerings. Enlist your most personable and engaging people to share that enthusiasm with prospects, and remind them to simply be themselves. Over-the-top sales pitches only go so far — what makes a lasting impression is a genuine human connection, backed by the trust that your business can help their business.

Most people have a hard time remembering the names of people they just met at a small party. Don’t expect trade shows filled with thousands of people to be any different. Even if you carry out the previous steps perfectly, there’s a good chance your name will slip prospects’ minds. Work against this by providing a branded takeaway item that relates to your booth theme or company offerings.

Takeaways increase the chance of a prospect contacting you, but the truth is that sometimes you have to make the first move. One way to build in a mechanism for capturing contact information is by offering a small giveaway in exchange for a business card. Or a high-end giveaway like an Apple Watch can both draw people to your booth and build your list of prospects.

Don’t just set up shop and stay put — be sure to wander the aisles to see what your competition is doing. What are they saying? Where do you have opportunities to capitalize and what they’re not saying? Also take advantage of social events to network with potential customers. You can’t always make people come to you, so make sure you go to them.

In addition to comfortable shoes and a booth with a padded floor, experienced trade-show exhibitors remember the key to powering through these marathons is a healthy diet, ample sleep, and lots of caffeine.

Remember these critical elements for your next trade show and contact us for help with anything from custom booths, to strategy and promotional materials.