Pick the right trade show for your business
Trade shows are a great place to grow your business; however, the main challenge here is picking the right ones. First thing to do is check who is attending the trade show you have in mind. Is this trade show going to bring in the desired audience you want to reach? Are a lot of people expected to attend? Is this trade show worth your time? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you decide and commit to attend.
Plan your day
Trade shows can be exceptionally overwhelming. With up to hundreds of vendors and thousands of people it is essential that you plan your days ahead of time to get the most out of your experience. Make a list of goals and accomplishments you hope to achieve from attending the trade show and plan around them. Make a list of vendors that are your top priority of seeing and meeting. Also be sure to study the map provided by the trade show to see where each vendor will be located on the floor.
Dress to impress
Trade shows are a great place to network, meet new people and start new relationships that will benefit yourself and the company. You know the old saying, “dress for the job you want not for the job have”, well this has never been more applicable. You want to have a great first impression and the first thing a person sees when they meet you is how you present yourself. It is also important to keep in mind the type of trade show you are attending. Is the type of audience attending more likely to be dressed in suit and ties, or more casually? A good idea would be to look at previous years’ photos to get an idea of the type of audience.
Make you booth worth visiting
There is no worse feeling then having people bypass your booth to a better, more inviting booth. Avoid this with a few simple tips and tricks. Make your booth look attractive. Keep it neat, organized, colourful and welcoming. Secondly, give out free stuff. Whether it’s a pen, candy or t-shirt, people like getting free stuff no matter what it is. Lastly, train and prepare your staff. If your employees are engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, people will more likely stick around.
Immerse Yourself Outside the Trade show
A lot of the time trade shows have activities happening outside of the actual show itself. This is a great opportunity to get out there and meet up with fellow colleagues from all over. Make sure to check schedules online and to plan accordingly!
Networking is one of the most important benefits of a trade show. There are thousands of people who attend several different trade shows, most of which usually have similar interests and goals. They are as equally excited to meet you, as you are to meet them. This is not a time to be shy, but a time to put yourself out there. Be friendly, approachable, and outgoing. Make a list of people you are keen to meet and start with those. Come up with a list of questions you want to ask them, that will spark an interesting conversation for the both of you. After the trade show, make sure you maintain those relationships you have created. Follow up and keep in touch!
Follow up and Review
After a trade show, go through a checklist of everything you wanted to accomplish. Did you get everything you wanted out of the experience? Is there anything for the next show you need to keep in mind? It is all about the learning experience and learning from your mistakes. Make sure you evaluate your time and review your goals to ensure that the next trade show is even better than the last.