Presenting at a trade show?
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted, the trade shows and exhibitions are starting to tour again.
If you are intending on exhibiting at one of these events you need to have a solid plan.
Here are my tips:
Before the show
1. Figure out WHY you are exhibiting and create a budget around that.
2. Order any marketing materials you may need. Ask the trade show organiser what is available and included e.g. tables, power points, size of stand etc.
- Slideshow presentations, short video clips, and demonstrations packed with visual aides can go a long way to engaging potential customers.
- Promotional items for goodie bags. Everybody likes free stuff - Before your show, reach out to a business that makes customised gifts—t-shirts, calendars, mugs, wristbands, bags—and brand them with your company’s logo, motto, and colour scheme.
- Business cards/flyers and price lists
- Stationery holders to keep your marketing material looking neat, tidy and presentable.
- A box of emergency supplies e.g. staplers, blu tac, scissors, Stanley knife, tissues etc.
- Tech box e.g. extension cords, phone chargers, light strips etc.
- Refreshments for you and your team e.g. lollies, power bars, bottled water
3. Tell people about it. Advertise, post content on social media, email your database.
4. Study who will be at the trade show. Which competitors will be there and also any prospective or current clients. Trade shows are not only about exhibiting but also networking, make a list of other exhibitors you’d like to speak with before you attend the show.
5. If you are hiring staff to work in your stand, make sure they know your objectives and are comfortable spruiking your product/service. The more comfortable and confident they are, the more leads you will gain.
During the show
6. Think about what you will be doing to grab the passing exhibitor’s attention. Demonstrations are a great way to as people like to be entertained, also goodie bags are always a hit. If using goodie bags make sure there items are reusable and branded.
7. If you have promising conversations with attendees, make sure you retain their business card or write their contact details down with notes about the conversation. You will need these later.
8. Network: Grab that list you made before the show and seek out the exhibitors you targeted. Make sure you grab their business card or flyer so you have their contact details for post-show follow up.
9. Figure out best position for the next event. Ask the trade show’s organiser the final figures (how many visitors according to the several entrances). If a show is worthwhile, you can plan which area of the venue you want to participate next time.
After the show
10. Follow up! You should have collected a lot of business cards from attendees and fellow exhibitors. As soon as possible, create a database and you can email or snail mail a personalised thank you to them. Strike while the iron is hot and while you and your brand are still top of mind.
11. Evaluate you ROI for this show and make decisions whether you will attend another.