How To Stand Out at Trade Shows: 4 Tips that Easy to Follow
There can be no greater way to reach your target audience than at a trade show or exhibition. Being able to exhibit your products and services offers the perfect opportunity to connect with your existing and potential customer base. A huge and relevant audience all under one roof is in the palm of your hands and all you need to do is make the most of the opportunity. If organised correctly, attendance at industry events can provide cost effective exposure for your business to hundreds of professionals within your industry.
As well as providing an excellent service, strong relationships are the back bone of customer retention and trade shows allow you to establish and maintain connection with your customer base. Being surrounded by your competitors provides invaluable information on what products and services they offer and the latest technology on the market giving you vital insight that you can use to improve your existing strategy. Gaining a broad view of industry trends and products in development will ensure you and your team have your finger on the pulse and indicate where your business sits within the current market. Trade shows and exhibitions are also the perfect place launch a product and to test the market with a new product or product line before embarking on mass production.
Tip #1: Get Organised
So you have invested in your exhibition stand, marketing collateral booked hotels and transport, you are ready to go. To make the most of your investment, careful planning is essential to ensure you and your team optimise the opportunity. When booking your stand do spend time choosing the location carefully. Where are your main competitors? How will the traffic move around the event? Where will people congregate? In fact attending the event before you book a stand there will really help you decide what will work for you.
Know exactly what you want to get out of the event. What are your objectives? Do your team fully understand what is expected of them? Also you need to do your research before you go. Find out who is attending and what they are promoting to help you create greater impact on your stand.
Ensure you advertise your attendance and invite all your customers and contacts to visit your stand. Use your website, newsletters, blogs, social media and emails to get the message out there and don’t for get to include your stand number!
Make sure you have plenty colleagues on your stand. You will have to schedule breaks and you will want to attend seminars, workshops and networking opportunities. Although attendance on your stand could ebb and flow, you will need to ensure it is manned at all times with people who know your business inside out and are confident communicators.
Tip #2: Get Noticed
You will be surrounded by exhibitions stands, some more elaborate than others but all trying to stand out in the crowd. So making sure you have an eye catching stand is essential but don’t forget it also has to be practical and inviting to attract your customers and potential customers! Don’t let your display materials become a barrier between you and the public. Make sure you plan the layout well to make the most of the space. Invest in exciting banners, flags, visual displays to promote your brand, products and services. Think about having presentations running on screens or laptops as exciting, engaging visuals will encourage questions that could develop into conversations, leading to new business. What about an interactive activity? Stands that have the largest crowds tend to have some kind of demonstration, competition or game running, a fun way of informing people about your company. Your stand will get busy with people who want to take part in the activity and an audience of curious onlookers will gather, further raising the profile of your business. Be sure to work the crowds though, by chatting, handing out leaflets or freebies.
Tip #3: Get Inspired
During the event remember to note down anything that gives you inspiration. See what your competitors are doing on their stands, note what gains attention and what doesn’t. Talk to your competitors to hear about their experience of the show and what worked for them. Take photos of your stand to record how it looks and how it compares to others. If you take photos of other stands make sure you ask permission, generally people will feel flattered that you admired their work so it shouldn’t be a problem! All this seems obvious but will be invaluable when you review the success of your event and plan your next.
Don’t forget to make the most of your event by attending as many relevant workshops and seminars as you can. These could be fundamental for gaining knowledge about changes within your industry or to enhance your skills and acquire new ideas.
Tip #4: Get in Touch
So you’ve had a successful event and arrived back in the office with handfuls of business cards. The worst thing that happens is you get drawn into your usual life of emails and meetings. The distraction of your everyday working life means you forget to follow up on your leads or worse still, you call them weeks later and find that they have forgotten about you! As soon as you arrive back in the office, organise your leads, your notes and business cards, try to remember the conversations you had and make that call. Prompt communication within a week of the event is essential and will maximise all you hard work and optimise your opportunity for conversion.
I hope this quick guide can help you to get noticed at trade shows. Do you have an experience with other ways of grabbing attention at trade shows? Or do you have more great tips? If you do, please share in the response box below.
About the Author!
Megan Stealey currently writes on behalf of Bee Noticed, a UK based company who provide a variety of portable marketing solutions. When she’s not working, her spare time is filled with Russian words and long walks with her two dogs in the local nature reserve.