A trade show or business expo is a great way to meet and influence prospective future customers in an environment designed to promote business.
To get the most out of your participation in Trade Shows, you might find the following tips useful:
1. Prepare beforehand
Decide what you want to get out of your participation, decide who will staff your booth (make sure it’s someone who can answer questions and help sell/ promote your product or service) and ready suitable display literature.
2. Send out an Email Reminder
Send an invitation to loyal customers and strong prospects before the show urging them to attend and visit your booth. Research has shown that exhibitors who undertake pre show promotions, to build quality visitors to their booth improve results by 300%.
3. Visually Appealing
Design your stand so that a person is able to walk past your booth and in 5 or 6 seconds have an idea of what you are selling and whether it applies to them. Use text and images that can be read from 5 metres away.
4. Have Your ”Elevator Speech” Ready
This is 30 seconds where you have to describe what you do if you were to meet a stranger in a lift. Ensure you have 3 or 4 engaging questions to help qualify visitors as real prospects. Avoid trite questions such as “can I help you?”, “are you enjoying the show?”. Decide your main message ideally make it a single short sentence that’s memorable.
5. Product Demos
These are a great way to draw a crowd and engage with potential clients. Create interest in your stand and encourage visitor to stop and enquire. Make sure you have plenty of information and suitable brochures or information for visitors to take away from your stand.
Make sure the people manning your stand are capable of answering questions and help promote your product. Do not sell, rather educate!
7. Give Something to Get Something
Competitions and giveaways are a great way to create interest, excitement and to more easily gather contact details for later follow up.
The prime purpose of a trade show is to establish contacts that can lead to a future sale. Be proactive go out and engage with visitors, get out into the aisle, don’t sit back in your booth and wait for visitors to talk to you!
9. Record Leads and Contacts
A good way to do this is to write on the back of their card or staple their card to a contact sheet with details on what you promised to do) and establish a follow up protocol for hot leads, promising prospects and likely customers. Make sure you follow up immediately after the show in a professional manner to help turn interest into a sale.
10. Remember the Little Things
Keep hydrated (you will be doing a lot of talking), bring an anything box (pens, stapler, plenty of business cards etc), wear a professionally made name tag, use lulls in traffic to network with other exhibitors (many of them are probably potential customers) and wear comfortable shoes.
Finally, enjoy yourself. Trade shows and expos are a great way to meet people, present your product or service and initiate new sales.