collaborative post // Trade shows are those types of events where you can boost your business in so many different ways. If your business is not known, a trade show is the quickest way to get your business out there beyond traditional advertising and promotions. When you participate in trade shows, you are showcasing your business in its most overt way to help people see why your service or products is is going to help them.
This is why you’ve got to have an understanding of what it takes to promote your business at a trade show effectively. You are competing with hundreds of others under one roof at a trade show, so you’ve got to stand out. Let’s show you how.
A Great Stand
Prior to heading to a trade show, you’ve got to understand what you’re up against. When you start to look at what other businesses have done to show themselves off in the past, which you can do by creatively Googleing and searching on social media, you will have a better idea of the type of exhibit your competitors have used.
If they have used advertising inflatables, a set of large graphics and fonts, or AV equipment, it is important to understand that you can also use the same components to draw attention and maximise your exposure. However, bigger is not better. You can always use technology, but make sure it is organic and in keeping with your brand.
There is no point in being gaudy just to bring people over. Ultimately, you need to have the substance under the style. A great stand will help you stand out and attract visitors, but this goes beyond a couple of banners or tablecloths.
When you decide which trade shows you are going to take part in you need to register as soon as possible. Depending on the organisers, you may find you can get discounts by registering early.
When you register for your trade show early, you’ve got a better choice of where you can set up your stand. One of the oldest tricks of the book is to find an area with lots of footfall. When you are setting up, you can try a couple of the following approaches.
- By toilets or restaurants.
- By entrances.
- At busy intersections of the venue.
- By an industry leader.
This last one is particularly important because you can benefit from basking in the shadow of those that draw the bigger crowds. However, you’ve got to remember that you should be matching their abilities in terms of the stand and the displays on offer. You might have great real estate next to a big-name brand, but if you are not matching their abilities, you will easily get looked over.
Promoting yourself is not just about the trade show itself, but about ensuring you know what to do in the run-up. The best course of action is to begin at least 4 weeks before the event. Social media is a great way to garnish interest in your attendance, for example, by using an event hashtag when you are posting content, but you can also email your prospects or customers to let them know you are.
When you are trying to navigate something like a blogging event, this is where you can use a trade show as the perfect opportunity to arrange one-to-one meetings. When you are emailing customers or prospects, it’s important to be courteous and give them a wide variety of information about how you can be contactable during the day and potentially schedule a 5-minute discussion that you can follow up via email or a call.
Bear in mind that we are all busy and these events are there to draw more support. Giving somebody enough attention is crucial, so if you are there purely to look for new customers, you don’t want those you’ve already been in contact with to feel sidelined. Ensuring that you have those essential soft skills and courteousness can make a big difference.
You need to promote your business by speaking to people that could turn into potential customers. Therefore, you have to make the decision as to whether you are going to hire staff members to be there for the day to show off the glitz and glamour of the product, or are you going to do it yourself with dedicated employees who have been with the business? It’s beneficial to opt for the latter most of the time.
Ultimately, when you or your employees are venturing to a trade show, you are going to have better knowledge of the product or service. But you should also ensure that you are all on the same page when it comes to the promotion.
A lot of people let their personalities do the talking with style over substance, but you need to get people skills up to code because you are pitching your services and you’ve got to know how to make it appear less “salesy.” It’s always a good idea to attend networking events in the run-up to a trade show so you can fine-tune these skills.
Promoting at the Stand
You may be trying to showcase your products or service so you need to ensure that you are displaying your services and how they work, but you can also drive more support for your stand by holding competitions and showing off promotional items with branded giveaways so you are giving people a bigger incentive to visit you.
Everybody loves a freebie, but try to come up with something that is more original. As easy as it is to get cups or pens, if you are attending something like a blogging event, think about something more unique such as a metal bottle, a USB stick, or even socks or candles.
Trade shows are so important to building up a business, but we cannot go into them with our eyes closed. ensuring you have the right etiquette will bring about a lot more custom.
Lots of good tips and information here! 🙂