When attending a trade show, it is critical that the time and money you and your company invest ultimately translates into good quality leads, future clients and sales. Many companies struggle with the costs associated with trade shows when it comes to ensuring they have the best booth. However, there are many low cost and even free ways to improve your next trade show exhibit to ensure a return on your time and money.
- Research your next trade show: With the countless amounts of tradeshows in your industry, you may feel inclined to attend them all. However, if your prospective clients aren’t there, then you shouldn’t be either. Make sure you research all of the shows you are thinking of attending ahead of time, especially if you have never been an exhibitor. Talk to colleagues about the success they’ve had at the show in the past. Spending a little time up front deciding which shows are best for you will save you money in the long run.
- Define goals and objectives: One of the most important things to do before attending a trade show is to ensure you have defined their goals and objectives. Trade shows are an investment of both time and money; therefore, your company will want to have clearly defined objectives set before you hit the floor. Setting objectives is the only real way you will be able to measure the success of the show afterward.
- Invite loyal customers and fans to come down to the show: To ensure you have a good turnout at the show, get in contact with loyal customers and notify them about your upcoming trade show exhibit. These customers will now be more inclined to visit your booth, and hopefully they’ll have friends and family in tow. A lively trade show booth full of visitors is more enticing to your potential customers than an empty one! Plus, you will strengthen your relationship with existing clients.
- Give each booth staffer a role: Often times, companies just want to make sure they have enough staff to man the booth and engage with prospective clients. However, without direction, your staff may feel confused about their role at the show and may not perform as well as expected. Therefore, make sure to assign clearly defined roles to each staff member so that they provide quality service and information to clients.
- Send knowledge and friendly staff: Staff members who aren’t experts on your products and services or aren’t approachable will become very useless at a trade show. With so many competitors all in one building, you need approachable staff that will make a lasting impression on clients. This way you stand above the competition and can be easily remembered when you follow up with potential leads. Choosing the right people to man your booth – not just volunteers – can be the key to a successful show.
- Product demonstrations: Depending on your industry, a product demonstration is a great way to have quality consumer engagement and demonstrate to potential clients what your company has to offer. Before your next show, brainstorm new ways to demonstrate your product or even have potential customers give it a try themselves.
Establish follow up protocol: The most critical part of a trade show happens when you return to work. How will you utilize the leads you generated? Ensure you have a follow up protocol in place, so that you and your company can begin to make contact with leads and hopefully turn them into customers. This is ultimately where you will see the return on your trade show expenses.