A trade show is a great opportunity to put your brand in front of potential customers. If you’re offering a product or service to a specific audience (and who isn’t?), a trade show can be a wealth of sales leads for your team. But only if done correctly. Any brand can show up to a trade show, schmooze with potential customers, pack up and go home. Without a proper strategy, you’ll be leaving a lot behind on the trade show floor!
We’re sharing our 7 best trade show practices to help you set a great strategy and succeed at your next trade show. Check them out:
- Develop goals. How will you know if the trade show is a success without goals? Before you even sign a contract to go to a trade show, sit down and map out your overall goals. What is your ultimate thing you’d like to take away? It can be leads, increased brand awareness, sales and much more. Whatever it is – write it down and make sure your entire team is aware of it!
- Develop a pre- and post-event plan. Engaging attendees is the name of the game here. Make sure that you’re reaching out to potential customers, influencers and people you want to meet before the show to set up meetings. Additionally, put a plan in place to reach out to leads and other influencers post-event.
- Set up your team. Make sure that when you’re planning a team to work the booth at the trade show, that you’re selecting your best employees and decision makers. You’ll want to bring those who know your products and services in and out, can answer questions and are energetic and friendly. Keep in mind that these are the faces and voices of your brand and that attendees who have paid a lot of money to attend the trade show will want to speak with them.
- Take advantage of media coverage. Speak with trade show organizers to find out what kind of coverage they’ll offer. It could be an ad in the program, logo inclusion on a website, social media posts and much more – some of which are even free! Make sure you’re taking advantage to get as much exposure as possible.
- Keep a consistent look and feel. You’ll have a booth, promotional material, handouts and much more. Make sure that it all looks cohesive and has a consistent look and overall feel. Pay special attention to your booth – make sure it’s warm, inviting and engaging. How will you attract people’s eyes and draw in visitors? Ask yourself if you would stop at the booth. If you wouldn’t, make adjustments.
- Quality over quantity. Having every single trade show attendee stop at your booth would be amazing! If only every single attendee was qualified and needed your products or services. Make sure that you’re focusing on attracting qualified people only. This can even mean adjusting the trade show you’re at!
- Host an event. Once you have identified influencers and potential customers, consider inviting them to an event! Offer attendees you’ve invited drinks and appetizers. Everyone likes an occasion to relax and have a little fun, and it’s a great chance to talk business in a relaxed setting. Plus, event attendees are more likely to return the favor by visiting your booth on the trade show floor later.
What’s your best trade show best practice? Share below!