Even though the Internet has proven to be an invaluable asset for business, some of the older methods of advertisement and marketing are still quite successful. Attending a trade show is an excellent way to get the word out about your business, launch a new product and see some of the current trends for your specific industry. There are certain steps you can take to ensure that your next trade show is one that will be remembered as one of the most successful.
1. Attend Trade Shows That Match Your Business
Don’t sign up for the first trade show that you see. Do thorough research to make sure that the trade show is one that matches up with your particular interest. You don’t want to spent a lot of time and money setting up your booth, getting transportation, booking your hotel room and creating an itinerary only to discover that the trade show your graphic design company will be part of is the 10th Annual Pet Expo. Even if your business isn’t directly related to a particular trade show, there may be a niche that you can take advantage of.
2. Have A Marketing Plan
Make sure that you have an idea of what you’ll be doing at the trade show. Will you be marketing a new product? Seeking out new customers? Attempting to keep existing customer engaged? By having a specific strategy, you’ll better be able to plan out what you’ll need for the trade show. You’ll know what you need to take and what you can leave behind rather than bring several items and materials that you may or may not use. That being said, you should still try to bring in new business if at all possible. Word-of-mouth has proven to be one of the most effective advertising tools.
3. Develop A PowerPoint Presentation
We live in a day and age where our eyes are constantly engaged on our cell phones, tablet computers and TV screens. People are used to fantastic visuals and enjoy having something visually appealing to look at. A PowerPoint presentation is a great way to draw in customers, even if they don’t think they’re interested in your business. Pique their curiosity and you never know what could happen. Make sure that you’ll have access to a power outlet so that you don’t have to worry about running down the battery on your laptop.
4. Include Marketing Tools
Marketing tools should be used before, during and after the trade show. Much like launching a new product, you have to build hype before the product launches, keep it going when the product is released and maintain it weeks and months after the product is out. Think about having brochures or QR codes to pass out. Other useful tools are giveaways and contests. Try to get the names, numbers and e-mail addresses of customers as a way of compiling a list of leads. If you do decide to have a giveaway, try to make the prize something that matches the image of your business. If you plan on giving away bags, keep them behind your booth and only give them to customers who take a genuine interest in your business, that way you won’t have to needlessly spend money on several bags.
5. Include An Effective Exhibit
Don’t waste money on your trade show booth, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to spend money on an effective booth or exhibit. The keyword here is effective. You can have a flashy booth or display, but if it doesn’t effectively let passersby know what you and your company do, then you’ve simply wasted your money. People’s attention will be split in several directions, so you’ve got to catch their attention and keep it. Include your company brand or logo on panels in addition to having images of your services or products. When thinking about cost, ask yourself if one of your employees will be designing the booth or if you’ll have to use an outside service. Give your designer at least two weeks to complete the task, and remember to account for the amount of time it takes for everything to be shipped to you if need be. You should also keep in mind what size booth your budget will allow.
Make the trade show enjoyable for everyone. While you’re there to do business, you want to be approachable and warm to all trade show attendees.