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Trade shows offer an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services. Businesses are able to meet potential customers in a competitive, yet beneficial environment.
While setting up a shop alongside competitors is not easy, planning and performing well at a trade show can lead to a considerable increase in sales.
Like many areas of operating a business, your comfort level and performance at a trade show will increase with time. It is normal to be overwhelmed when running a booth for the first time. From choosing the show to attend to choosing your display and setting it up, you can easily be caught up in the planning process.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to turn your first-time trade show into an instant success. Read on and learn more:
Understand the Basics
Don’t attend a trade show blindly. Be sure to learn and understand the various rules that govern a trade show. These rules vary from one show to another, meaning you should not ignore this step for every show you plan to attend.
Review the rules and regulations for every trade show to avoid facing unpleasant experiences when you arrive at the show.
Be sure to communicate directly with the organizers of the trade show so you can learn more about your booth and whether you’ll be required to pay any extra amount.
Every show is different. For instance, some trade shows provide carpet while others require you to buy it. Some will provide chairs and a table while others don’t.
To avoid last-minute issues, be sure to communicate with your trade show staff in advance.
Define Your Goals
Why are you exhibiting at a trade show? You should answer this question before taking any steps.
Whether its lead generation, brand awareness, or sales, be sure to create a list of goals you want to achieve at the show.
Research Trade Shows
Once you’ve defined your goals, the next step is to find out what trade shows you can exhibit at.
To achieve this, you need to determine your target audience and what shows they’re most likely to attend. Make a list of those shows and then compare them carefully to see which ones are most beneficial for your business.
Consider factors such as the number of exhibitors, event location, number of attendees, duration of the trade show, the dates, popularity, frequency of the show, among others.
It is also advisable to reserve your exhibit space as early as possible. Unlike when everyone is registering, you can get your space at a fair price by reserving your space early. Early registration will also give you more time for planning.
The most important thing is to be aware of the deadlines. Set reminders to ensure that you don’t miss any chance for discounts on space, events, services, sponsorships, and more.
Define Your Budget
Trade shows can be costly at times. It is, therefore, important to prepare your budget in advance. However, don’t just create a low budget. While you can get affordable exhibit displays, be sure to plan for unexpected costs too.
Prepare Your Staff
Attendees at a trade show will ask questions. So, ensure that the staff you take with you are knowledgeable about your products and services. To ensure that all members fo your staff are well prepared, create a list of the questions you anticipate your customers to ask, and role-play them in advance.
It is also important to ask your visitors questions. Apart from selling, you’ll also want to establish a mutual relationship with your visitors.
Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy
It is also important to research and develop your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy should connect and resonate with your target audience. You can easily achieve this by thinking like an attendee.
Think about the marketing strategies that you saw that grabbed your attention. What marketing strategies made you remember a business name? What invoked your interest in a company and made you research their brand?
After asking yourself these questions, create a list and choose the best strategies for your target audience.
Some first-time exhibitors make the mistake of collecting business cards from attendees, but fail to take notes on each attendee.
Be sure to take notes so you can have information when following up with your leads. Which attendees were ready to start a business partnership? Which attendees showed interest in the general information of your company? All this information will be helpful when doing follow up.
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