So, have decided to attend a trade show. The stand is booked and you know you need promotional products to give away and a banner. Surely that is pretty much it.
Well not if you want to make the most of it.....
You could just leave it to the last minute or you could get organized and be ready. Stands don’t come cheap so you should really make the most of it. You have the opportunity to meet a lot of people and represent the business, but you will have a very small window to impress and make a first impression. So why not make the most of your day and most of the money which has been invested.
Here are our 5 things to help.
1. Start preparing early
It can be tempting to put it all off and think you have lots of time and then suddenly its only three weeks to go. I mean Christmas catches people out every year. Leaving it till the last minute will add more expense with express charges and somethings you will not be able to have, as the lead time is too short. So, save yourself from the headaches and the last-minute stress, and plan.
2. Don’t keep it a secret.
Let people know you will be at the show on social media, by email and when you talk to them on the phone. Invite them to pop along and say hello. This will give you a great opportunity to meet new people and to have a chat with existing clients and strengthen relationships. To find out what they have coming up, that you might be able to help them with.
3. Extend your reach.
Have something people can take away, a good quality promotional products which will be useful and will get your brand in front of them. This could be a small notepad and a pen which they may use at the show, a tin of mints or sweets for the journey home. Just make sure it is not too bulky to carry around. But don't give away other businesses branded stuff (eg Cadbury celebrations), not that they are not nice, but let Cadbury promote themselves!!
4. Show interest in others
When people come to the stand, show an interest in them and what they do, to create a conversation. No one likes to feel trapped on a stand and sold to. You can always bring the conversation round to what you do, but most people will ask anyway. Many people will be at the show to make connections and learn. Not to be sold to instantly, so go for the long-term relationship building.
5. Measure ROI
Keep records of who you met and what you have gained from the show. This may not be all instant business, so it is important to see what happens in the months to follow after the show. You can then calculate if the cost and effort give a good return.
In most things, the more you put in the more you will get out and trade show are no exception. Make the most of it and collect contact details and follow up with everyone you meet. Ask them to sign up to your mailing list, which will allow you to keep in touch in the future. The trade show should be the start of a relationship and it is your job afterward to make the most of it. Do not leave it to the customer to get in touch with you, as you may have a long wait. And most of all enjoy it. It’s a great opportunity and you never know who will come and visit you!
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