5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL TRADE SHOWS
Aug 29, 2017
Football has started, the weather is getting cooler and the fall trade show season is upon us. You can either have a typical trade show year or you can make it one to remember. How successful have your trade shows been in the past? Do you get the leads you hope for? Do you get the kind of traffic to your display/booth that you expect? Are you able to effectively follow-up with the prospects you meet? Below are 5 tips for making this trade show season the best yet!
Tip # 1: Invest in nice displays. Perception is extremely important when you are setting up a booth at a trade show. You may have a fantastic product or service, but if your booth looks like it was thrown together overnight using “cheap” displays, then the perception is that your product or service is “cheap.” Make sure you have a nice table throw, a nice backdrop or banner and nice displays on your table that represent your company in a professional way. This is the first impression that prospects will see as they are walking by. Make sure you make it a good one. We can supply you with all the nice displays you will need.
Tip # 2: Contact your prospects before the trade show with incentives. If you have access to a list of businesses/prospects who will be at the trade show, then contact the ones you want to see and let them know you are going to have a display and you want to personally invite them to come by your booth. One unique way of doing this is by offering a nice promotional product to them beforehand. For example, mail out a coffee sleeve that goes with a nice tumbler and let them know that if they bring the coffee sleeve by your booth, then they can pick up their complimentary tumbler that goes with it. There are a host of ways to increase prospect curiosity about your company/organization and have them making a bee-line for your booth before the trade show even begins. We provide complimentary marketing plans to our clients showing them how to use these techniques.
Tip # 3: Save your best giveaways for only the most interested prospects. Let’s face it. There will always be the people at trade shows who just want your “free” giveaways and have no desire to use your service(s) or product(s). We call these the “trick-or-treaters.” For this reason, never have your best giveaways on the table for just anyone to pick up. Pens, notepads and other items under $5.00 are what we recommend to have on your table as freebies for those who take the time to stop by your booth. Any items with a value of more than $5.00 should be reserved only for prospects who show genuine interest. Keep these items hidden from the general public and only give them out to good prospects. This will make the interested prospects feel special, as they have received a special gift that most people are not getting.
We recommend that 80% of your trade show budget be spent on general giveaways and the remaining 20% off your budget to be reserved for a better gift for those good prospects. We can show you which items would be good giveaways to the general public and which items are better reserved for the interested prospects so you can get the most bang for your buck out of your trade show budget.
Tip # 4: Have a drawing for a nice prize. One way to ensure you leave the trade show with a plethora of contacts is by having a prize drawing. Require that all participates put their business card or at least their name, number and e-mail in order to be considered for the prize. Also, it is important to make sure the prize is worth their while (e.g., a nice jacket or hat, a blue tooth speaker, etc.). We have a very nice line of unique electronics, gift items & apparel that work as an excellent prizes and have no minimums!
Tip # 5: Follow-up. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. I do not understand why someone would spend the money and effort it takes to set up a display at a trade show only to neglect following up with the prospects and leads they met. Always, always, always get their contact information. Do not rely upon them contacting you. Make sure you contact them. For our clients, we offer complimentary trade show follow-up plans utilizing promotional products.
- Kevin Pendergrass