If you’re attending a trade show for your industry, you want to make the most of your time and effort. Here’s how.
Just because online marketing is easier than ever doesn’t mean trade shows are no longer important. Taking your products to a trade show is a great way to get them in front of an audience. But attending a trade show can take up a major part of your day—or even your entire weekend. Here are a few key ingredients on how to make trade shows as useful as possible.
- Go to the right trade show. There are tons of options for trade shows for almost every industry—but which one is right for you and your company? Take into consideration attendance, travel costs, and reviews from past vendors.
- Go electronic. Just because you’re at a trade show doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the Internet to elevate the experience of show browsers. Instead of bringing paper catalogs, upload images of your products on iPads for potential customers to browse through. Instead of bringing outdated business cards, implement a customer relationship management (CRM) where you can gather e-mail addresses as leads instead. Trade shows can be hectic—having some digital organization will be incredibly helpful.
- Incentivize buying. Create a special deal for those who choose to purchase at the trade show, like 10 percent off or a freebie thrown in. If trade shows aren’t giving you leads and sales, they aren’t worth your time. By incentivizing buying at the show, you’re increasing the chances that the trade show will help your business grow.
- Bring a unique freebie. Everyone goes to trade shows expecting to walk away with stress balls, pens, or koozies—but what about an out-of-the-box item to pass out? Consider umbrellas, minispeakers, clocks, or another item that browsers can’t get from every other table. Snacks, water bottles, or candy are always winners as well—walking around a trade show floor can be exhausting and a sugar boost may be just what attendees need.
- Train your staff. Your sales team should be thinking offensively, not defensively, when it comes to trade shows. We’ve all been to trade shows where the salespeople seemed awkward or uncomfortable—sometimes, salespeople even stand there browsing their laptops instead of reaching out to audience members walking by! Your sales staff should be adequately prepared to reach out to browsers, encourage them to enter your booth, and engage with them in an inviting manner. It’s your Customer Service team, not your giveaway or display setup, that will make or break your trade show experience.