If you don’t fully understand the power of trade shows, then here are a few things you need to know.
They are fantastic ways to get exposure for your company. They can solidify your branding. They put your business in the mind of potential customers, and can create a buzz for your products or services. They give you a chance to see what other companies are doing in your industry, and are all-around great ways to network. Trade show success can lead to new business and brand exposure.
No matter what industry you’re in, there’ll be a large trade show happening somewhere in the country, and it’s in your best interests to be there. However, it’s not enough to simply show up: the aim is to have a successful trade show, not just make up the numbers.
So what goes into trade show success for a company? We take a look at a few golden rules below.
Plenty of prep
You can’t leave it until a week before the trade show to begin thinking about what you’re going to do when you’re there. If the show is going to push your business forward, then you’re planning should start many weeks — perhaps months — before the event. In the run-up, think about what parts of your business you’re going to showcase, and how you’re going to do it. You’ll also need to think about the logistics of the event, too, such as how you’re going to get there, where you’ll stay, and so on. None of these things are particularly complicated, but they will take a little bit of time.
Getting the right look
There’s going to be thousands of people attending the trade show, but there could be hundreds of exhibitors, all of whom are trying to get the attention of passersby. As such, much effort should go into ensuring you have a standout look for your stand. You’ll want to have a custom trade show stand made, and also get a teardrop banner flag from Vivid Ads; they’ll help to catch the eye of people walking around. Do your best to ensure that the look of your stand is a reflection of what your company represents — people should have an idea of what you offer just by taking a quick glance.
Bringing your A-Team players
Your products and services may be fascinating, but they’re not going to promote themselves. For that, it’s all about the people. For your trade show, you’ll want to enroll the help of your best and most energetic members of staff. They should know your company inside out, of course, but, just as importantly, they should have an energy that’ll draw other people in. The people who are talking with passersby will have a huge impact on how people view your company, so don’t just send anyone. Whoever’s going to be manning the stand should also be involved in the development of the plans, too.
Have an objective
One of the best things about trade shows is that there are multiple ways you can go. In order to figure out your angle, you should think about what you’re trying to achieve by going there. Are you trying to get exposure for your brand? Meeting with other industry leaders? Or perhaps you’re trying to build excitement for a product or service that’ll be launched in the future. Whatever your objective is, make sure it’s clearly defined before you go. It’ll help to narrow your focus and ensure that all roads are leading to the type of success you set out to achieve.
For your visitors
Trade shows are about showing off your company, sure, but they shouldn’t solely be about your business. They should be about the people who come up to talk to you too. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, not everyone is going to be as excited about your business as you are, so it’s best to offer them something extra. For example, you might think about offering food and drink (who doesn’t want a drink and a snack when they’re walking around for hours). It’s also important that you’re offering some fun, too! Find a way to dress up your company in a way that’s entertaining — interactive displays, competitions, and giveaways are all good ideas.
Finally, remember that the work doesn’t finish when the trade show ends. In many years, it’s just beginning! Following up on the leads and ideas formed during the day is super important for trade show success. Put all your hard work to good use, and make the trade show good for your company’s long-term growth.