Business Promotion: 9 Strategies For Winning At Trade Shows

Collision conference and trade show in New Orleans on May 4, 2017

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Depending on the nature of your company, some of the people reading this post might have to exhibit their brand at trade shows in the future. That can become somewhat of an expensive exercise because the business has to pay a fee to the organisers in most instances. There are also lots of other areas in which you’ll have to spend cash if you want to achieve the best results. There are some expert strategies listed below that all entrepreneurs should consider before arranging their next big trade show date. Failure to take note of this advice could mean your firm never reaches its full potential, and you never make the level of profits you deserve. So, take a read through this information and apply it to your business model as soon as possible.

Choosing the most suitable events

Before you do anything else, all business owners will have to make sure they identify the most appropriate trade shows for their brand. There are thousands of different exhibitions all around the country every single year. So, even those in niche markets should manage to find something that works for them. Get in touch with the promoters as soon as possible and ask about the process of getting a stall at the event. In most instances, you will have to send a small deposit and pay the entire cost at some point before the date. Some organisers are known to charge a small fortune, and so it’s wise to discover the price as soon as possible. That way, you have enough time to prepare. Ideas for reducing the price include:

  • Sponsoring the event
  • Striking a deal with the promoters

Just make sure the events you select will enable you to chat and network with the owners of rival firms, and any members of the public who show interest in your marketplace.

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Taking your best team members

No entrepreneur should go to a trade show without lots of back-up. That means it’s vital that you take a look at the people working in your office and try to work out which of them will provide the most assistance during the event. Ideally, you want someone who knows the company inside out and has an excellent approach to customer service. When all’s said and done, whoever you take along to the trade show will represent your brand just as much as you. They will have to speak to new potential clients and customers while trying to convince them to spend money. So, you want someone who deals well with stressful social situations of that nature. Bear in mind that anyone you take will have to:

  • Speak to people who show interest
  • Answer questions about the business
  • Present themselves in a professional manner

Once you select the right employees, you can write a script and ask them to learn it. That way, you still control 100% of the things they say to any attendees during the event.

Looking the part

First impressions count in the business world, and so anyone attending an exhibition will need to ensure they present themselves in the right light. If you run a fun company aimed at young people, wear some jeans and a funky t-shirt for the best results. If your brand focuses on providing legal services to large corporations, you’ll probably want to invest in a designer suit or something similar. Make sure any workers you take along to the event also follow that strategy. The last thing you need is for someone who looks like they’re about to go jogging to deal with new potential clients. That is not going to encourage anyone to part with their hard-earned cash. Some quick tips might include:

  • Wearing a uniform
  • Dressing to suit the occasion
  • Wearing branded clothing
  • Visiting a tailor

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Investing in promotional materials

It’s vital that you have lots of promotional materials available at your trade shows. That is because lots of other companies will occupy the same space, and so visitors won’t have enough time to stop off at every stall they encounter. Still, the last thing you want is for people to walk away without learning anything about your products or services. So, promotional materials like flyers, business cards, and other items are going to come in handy. Also, take a look at some cheap ID carrying ideas, so attendees have no trouble distinguishing between those working for your brand, and those stopping for a chat.

You might also like to buy:

  • Branded t-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Pens
  • Mousemats

Creating a quiet area

Some of the people who stop and have a conversation at the trade show might want to learn more about your company. For that reason, it makes sense to create a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle where you can chat. There are lots of tools that will assist during that process if you don’t mind investing some money. Indeed, it’s possible to find work pods online that should cancel out most of the background noise. That will make it much easier for individuals to hear themselves think and learn some more information about your business. Of course, those who can’t afford to do that should consider arranging meetings for the following day. Just hire an office somewhere near to the convention centre and book people in for a discussion.

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Getting in touch with graphic designers and printers

There is no getting away from the fact that you need to make your exhibition stand appear as attractive and appealing as possible. That is why you shouldn’t try to cut back on spending when it comes to contacting graphic designers and printers. Just search Google for renowned specialists in your local area and then visit them to discuss the work. Ideally, you’re going to want lots of posters and banners to ensure your stand catches the eyes of passers-by. Anyone on a tight budget should aim to use the same company for both the design and the printing work as that is the best way to get a discount.

You can also use some of the same graphics for the leaflets and flyers you hand out during the day. There is nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone, and in most instances, the imagery will work well. Just ensure that every large graphic contains:

  • Your logo
  • Your business motto
  • Your website address
  • Other contact details

Making the stall interactive

You’re living in the digital age, and so it’s wise to use technology as much as possible at trade shows. There are lots of ways in which you could approach that goal. However, most entrepreneurs choose to invest in iPads and other tablet devices for exhibitions. Load them with product catalogues or brochures that explain your services, and then fix them to the stall. Some attendees won’t want to hold lengthy conversations with your team members because they’re shy or in a bad mood. However, those folks will often find the time to stand around for ten minutes taking a look at one of your tablet devices. Other ways you could make the stall interactive include:

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Giving something away

Everyone likes getting something for free, right? Well, maybe you could use that psychological knowledge to ensure you make an impression on everyone who takes the time to attend the trade show. Giving something away that contains your logo, or alternative branding is a fantastic move that doesn’t have to break the bank. As mentioned earlier, promotional materials are essential for all exhibitions. So, why not take it a step further and create some goodie bags that people can take away? In those bags, you could place:

  • Branded stationery
  • Magazines
  • Music CDs
  • Mousemats
  • T-shirts
  • And pretty much anything else you like

Assessing the results

It’s critical that all entrepreneurs work out a method for evaluating the results from their trade show activities. The easiest way to do that is to ensure everyone at the event gets a discount code they can use on your website. You then just have to get the marketing guys to see how many individuals entered that code after a couple of weeks. That idea shouldn’t take too much time to arrange, and it’s quite useful. However, feel free to think outside of the box and develop a new concept. Just make sure that you have a way of working out how many attendees bothered to research your brand and spend money after the event. That way, it’s easy to perform a calculation and determine if the exhibition assisted your company in making a profit.

Now you know how to win at trade shows, nothing should stand in your way of success. Just remember the first point mentioned on this page before you rush into anything this year. If you fail to identify the most suitable events, you will always struggle to achieve the best results. In most instances, everything else relates to common sense and trial and error. So, now is the time to start the ball rolling and improve your business’s prospects in time for 2018. Good luck!

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