As a business owner, have you ever wondered if it’s worth the time and money to become an exhibitor at a trade show? Well, here’s an eye-opening stat: 90% of people attending a trade show are looking for new products.
Your product or service could be the exact thing they’re looking for, but they might never know it without walking by your booth.
So, how can you make sure your trade show experience goes smoothly and results in plenty of new leads? We’ve got your back.
Keep reading to learn about the best trade show tips your business should follow.
1. Research as Much as You Can
Once you’ve decided you want to attend a trade show, that’s great! But, now the real work begins. There are hundreds of trade shows for just about every industry you can imagine.
So, which one is the best fit for your business? Do some research about which shows best align with your products and services.
Once you narrow down a few potential options, then spend some time researching the types of people that typically attend those shows. After all, if your target audience won’t be there, then it’s not worth your time to go.
And, don’t limit yourself to just local shows either. For the right fit, it could be worth traveling across the country.
2. Set a Budget
Once you’ve narrowed down the show you want to attend, you’ll need to set a budget. Each show has set exhibitor fees and they can vary based on the size and location of your booth.
But, the costs don’t end there. You’ll also need to account for the amount of money it takes to buy booth supplies, print signage or handouts, and potentially get new business cards.
If you want everyone at your booth to wear company-branded gear, incorporate that into your budget as well. And, don’t forget to account for the cost of travel to the location and the cost of having employees out of the office for a few days.
3. Make Your Booth Stand Out
When you’re at a large trade show, all of the exhibitors can start to blend together quickly.
If you can figure out a way for your booth to stand out, you’re much more likely to grab people’s attention during the show and stick out in their minds even after the show ends.
It could be worth it to hire a company that specializes in trade show exhibits like Rockwayexhibits.com. This can give you an edge over the competition and bring more eyes to your brand.
4. Advertise That You’re Going
Once you’re registered as an exhibitor, don’t forget to tell people that you’re going! You can send out emails to your distribution lists, encouraging them to stop by your booth if they’ll be there too.
Use this as an opportunity to tell people where your booth is located, share what kind of information or demos they can see in your booth, and tease out any giveaways you might be doing.
You can also post about all of this on your social media platforms and on your website as well.
5. Consider Purchasing Swag Items
One of the things people love about going to a trade show is the little swag items they can pick up at each booth. And, it’s a win-win. Attendees get a freebie to take home and you give them something with your company info on it.
When thinking about possible swag items, try to think outside of the box. Instead of branded pens, why not give something more unique, like lip balm?
Or, choose something that relates back to your business. For example, if you’re a home inspection company, you might hand out small branded keychain tape measures.
If you really want to drive more traffic to your booth, consider doing a giveaway of some kind. You can have people enter to win with their business cards, so you can capture lead data while you’re at it.
6. Make Sure Your Staff is Prepared
Do you know which of your team members will attend the show? Once you’ve decided on that, you have to make sure they’re prepared, both physically and mentally.
Make sure they have things to help keep them comfortable at the show, like water, small snacks, and plenty of chargers for their phones and laptops.
Then, make sure they’re prepped to speak with leads.
If your booth includes a demonstration, make sure they know it and are comfortable answering questions about it. It’s not a bad idea to go through some test scenarios, preparing them for some of the things the show’s attendees might ask about.
7. Create a Method for Capturing Leads
Don’t lose sight of your main goal in attending a trade show: lead generation and networking. This is all for nothing if you don’t make connections with potential customers or partners.
Many trade shows now have electronic methods for helping you capture leads, like giving you a scanner that’s used to scan an attendee’s show pass. But, if that’s not an option at your show, you need to have a method in place.
Create a document used for writing down quick notes about a lead or even jot notes down on their business card if you need to.
The more you can keep track of the conversations you have at the show, the better chance you’ll have of making a connection when you do your post-show follow-ups.
A Trade Show Can Take Your Business to the Next Level
Now that you know more about how to prepare for a trade show, what are you waiting for? Start researching some shows that are relevant to your industry and planning your trade show strategy using the tips above.
It could be just the thing to take your business to new heights.
Looking for more ways to help grow your business? Read through our other articles about business and entrepreneurship today.