Making Trade Shows Work for Your Business

Out of focus trade show floor with people walking about

A trade show gives businesses the opportunity to promote their products or services to a large audience. Business owners can also meet industry partners and customers, learn about current market trends, and examine their competition at these events.

Some trade shows are open to the public, while others are only available to members of the trade or press. When considering attending a trade show, research the type of show and whether your company can gain anything from attending.

Attending a trade show can be a wonderful way to generate leads and boost your business visibility. However, if you don’t plan and prepare for the show, you may end up wasting your time and money. Here are some tips for maximizing the value of trade shows for your business.

 

Planning for a Trade Show

Trade shows require planning. Decide which show you want to attend, book your booth space, and start marketing your presence.

Choose a trade show that is relevant to your industry and offers you the chance to meet your target audience. As soon as you find the perfect show, book your booth space. Booth spaces fill up fast, so if you wait too long, you might not get the space you want.

After you book your booth, promote your presence. Send out email blasts, post on social media, and distribute flyers as part of your marketing plan. The more people you can attract to your booth, the more successful your trade show will be!

Besides displaying your goods, take the time to explain the product design process to curious booth visitors. Focus on educating instead of selling to engage visitors. The goal of attending a trade show is to generate leads. Collect the contact information of everyone who visits your booth so you can follow up with them after the show.

 

Make the Most of Your Time

Whether you are a small business owner looking to drum up extra business or a corporate executive working the trade show circuit, maximize your time.

Take a walk around the show floor to get an idea of where your booth will be before deciding where to put it. Choose a location that will get good foot traffic but isn’t so close to the entrance that people will just walk right by.

When you have designed your exhibition display to present your business in the best possible light, be sure to staff it with friendly, outgoing employees who are knowledgeable about your products or services. And, if you have a large booth, consider holding presentations or demonstrations to attract visitors.

Don’t forget to give away plenty of promotional items–everyone loves free swag! Also, always have business cards, brochures, and samples of your products on hand. 

Additionally, you can attract attention to your booth by offering a giveaway or contest.

 

Following Up After the Show

After the show, take advantage of all the contacts you made. Reach out to them by email, phone, or social media. 

Also, reach out to any industry partners or potential customers you met at the show. Arrange a meeting or coffee date so you can discuss working together further.

By taking action to stay in touch with people after the show, you can turn your trade show leads into long-term business relationships!

 

You’ll Get Better After Each Show

Follow these guidelines if you’re heading to a trade show soon. They will help you to stay productive and make the most of your time there. If things didn’t go as planned, figure out what you can learn from your mistakes to stand out at a trade show the next time. And even if things went well, try to formulate your best practices for the future. Remember, whether it was a flop or a smashing success, you’ll keep getting better each time you attend a trade show.