Archive for December, 2017

Should You Attend Out-of-Town Trade Shows?

If you have been to a few local trade shows and have experienced success in terms of generating leads and making more sales, you may have considered going to trade shows out of town. There are a few factors to keep in mind, so discuss these with your team before deciding if out-of-town shows are best for your business.

Distance

Consider the distance you must travel. When you and your team are coming up with trade show ideas, you’ll need to figure out if it will be worth your while, as well as financially responsible, to take a trip for the purpose of a trade show. If the trip is an hour or so away, it could be worthwhile since you and your team won’t have to stay in a hotel overnight. However, if the trade show is hours away but you will encounter hundreds or thousands of attendees who could turn into customers, it may be time to put a budget together for travel so you can move your business forward because of your trade show presence.

Time

It’s also best to think about the time it will take for you to prepare for the trade show. You’ll need time to put together an impressive trade show exhibit, and you’ll have to factor in the time it will take you to get to and from the trade show site. Training your team members to communicate well with attendees will also take time, and you’ll need to consider the fact that you may be taking time away from your customers while you’re getting ready for a trade show. Organizing your schedule to ensure you can still provide great customer service while doing all you can to make the trade show successful will help you determine if an out-of-town trade show is right for you.

Expenses

In addition to travel expenses, you’ll also need to factor in all the money you’ll have to spend to make the trade show worthwhile. How will you get your trade show booth to the destination? Will you have to pay for storage for your exhibit while you’re at the trade show? Do you need to get new shirts or hats for the team members who will be at the trade show table? Will you have to hire a temporary staff to provide customer service at your brick-and-mortar location while you’re at the trade show? All these things cost money and will factor into the overall cost of attending a trade show that is out of town.

Display

Finally, if the trade show is out of town, you’ll need to think about making some changes to your trade show exhibit. This is especially the case if you’ve been to a few local trade shows and attendees are used to seeing your décor or marketing materials. If you have the budget to update your booth, you should do so to make sure you make a great first impression when you arrive at the out-of-town marketing event.

Bringing the Right Team Members to Trade Shows

Once you agree to attend a trade show, you’ll need to get a team together to come to the event with you. Choosing the right colleagues for the trade show is important since these individuals help to make an impression on attendees that could result in more business. Here are a few traits to keep in mind as you’re selecting your trade show team.

Friendliness

It’s important to choose colleagues who are friendly and naturally outgoing. When you’re coming up with trade show ideas, you should make sure the team members you choose aren’t afraid to talk to attendees. These individuals will know how to make attendees more interested in what you have to offer. Team members who are socially engaging will also make a great impression on customers, and attendees are likely to remember this experience and contact your business after the trade show.

Knowledge

Make sure you have marketing materials at your trade show booth that will inform potential customers about your services and products in a way they can understand. Your team members should also be familiar with your company’s items so they can answer customer questions with ease. This is an impressive part of customer service and gives attendees the impression you’re an expert in your field. It may be best to choose a team member who has been with your company for a while or has attended a trade show before since he or she will likely feel more comfortable sharing product information with those who pass by your trade show booth.

Energy

Select team members who have energy and are upbeat and exciting. While you don’t have to be loud or draw too much attention to yourself, your team should make people feel warm and welcomed. Be sure to tell your team members to make eye contact with each attendee and thank him or her for visiting your booth. Positive energy can go a long way when people are ready to make purchases, and attendees will remember how you treated them when the trade show is over. When team members look bored while sitting at your trade show exhibit, it will turn potential customers off and make them think that you’re not excited about what you have to offer, even if your products are high-quality.

Time

Finally, choose team members who have the time to man the trade show booth. Individuals who may not be able to travel for the trade show because of family obligations may not be the best choice. Contract employees who have other work-related tasks to fulfill may not be able to sit for hours at a trade show. Select colleagues who are used to a trade show schedule and who won’t be anxious or overwhelmed with spending all day at the trade show venue. It’s best to allow your team members to work in shifts, and have a supervisor to manage each “shift” so you can be sure that each attendee is getting the right impression from your business.

Tradeshow Preparation Timeline

You’ve agreed to attend an upcoming trade show. You and your team will need to start planning so you are prepared well in advance. Pacing yourself and taking care of certain tasks and varying times in the preparation process will increase the chance you’ll get to the trade show relaxed and ready to engage with attendees who could turn into customers.

About a year before the show, you should discuss your strategy. Work with your team to determine the purpose of attending the trade show and figure out how you will promote your products. This is also the time to create a budget for the show, so you’ll know how to set up your trade show exhibit.

Once the show is about nine months away, you should set clear goals. Figure out how many leads you want to generate and how many products you’d like to sell as a result. Determine your needs when it comes to trade show booth space, and contact the vendor for your exhibit to get measurements and ensure that your marketing décor will fit in the space you’ve reserved. This is also the time to develop a solid marketing plan so you’ll know how to promote your products and services once you get to the trade show.

Once the trade show is between six and nine months away, you should compose your sales messages to make sure that attendees can quickly and thoroughly understand your company. Put the finishing touches on your trade show exhibit design ideas, so you can contact graphic designers and vendors and inform them of your vision in enough time and get the display you want.

When you’re three to six months out, you can start giving away promotional items to let people know about the trade show. Stay in contact with the vendors that are in charge of designing your trade show exhibit and marketing materials. Make sure you know the delivery dates for the materials, so you can make arrangements to have everything you need in time for the trade show. Come up with a schedule and share it with your staff, so they’ll know when they are expected to supervise the booth. This is also a great time to have training sessions with your team members, so they know how to relate to attendees.

Once you’re about a month out, put together some follow-up marketing strategies to send to your leads after the show. Get in touch with your sponsors to find out any last-minute details and have another training session with your team members. If the trade show is out of town, this is the time to finalize all your travel arrangements, especially if you and your team have to stay in a hotel or you’ll be traveling to the show via plane.

About a week before the trade show, work with your team to guarantee all tasks related to the trade show are complete. Make sure your employees know how to talk to attendees, and have a clear plan in place for following up with people who are likely to become customers.

Appealing to the Right Demographic at Trade Shows

If you want to make sure the right people are getting the message about your products and services, it’s best to come up with effective tactics for reaching them at your next trade show. Here are some of the things you and your team should consider.

Determine Your Audience

One of the first things you should do to reach the right demographic is to determine exactly who your audience is. This will help you decide the designs and colors for your trade show booth and will help you and your team come up with trade show ideas that will make your exhibit one of a kind. For instance, if you sell items for kids, bright colors and an animated logo are ideal, but you should also make sure that your wording and marketing tactics appeal to parents as well. If you want your target audience to be other business people, make sure your font and color choices are conservative but distinct.

Consider Past Trade Shows

Think about the trade shows you’ve attended in the past and consider the tactics that you need to use for the upcoming show. Which strategies worked and which didn’t? If you want to appeal to customers who are concerned about their health, was it more effective for you to offer samples or show a short video commercial? If your products are created to appeal to families, did the promotional products you offered lead to sales? Make a list of all the things that made your last trade show successful and incorporate these into your next marketing event.

Think About Your Goals 

Consider your overall goal for attending trade shows. Do you want to make actual sales at the show? Do you want attendees to visit your trade show booth and ask questions about your company so they will eventually become customers? Do you hope to connect with investors while you’re at the show? This will guide you in deciding who your marketing messages should attract. When you know what you want to accomplish at the trade show, you can plan the show in a way that will get the results you need.

Prepare Your Team

Finally, get your team ready for reaching the right demographic as you prepare for your next trade show. If your company has kid-friendly products or services, it may be ideal to have a team member dress as your company’s signature character so kids will convince their parents to come visit your booth. If you’re selling software-related products, prepare a demonstration on a tablet or monitor so attendees passing by will see it and become interested in what you have to offer. Work with your team to come up with trade show ideas that are specific to your booth, such as special raffles or coupons for attendees who leave their contact information. Remember, the way you gather leads, as well as the way you relate to customers and decorate your trade show exhibit, will determine whether your demographic is excited about your products and services.

How Many Trade Shows Should You Attend?

Now that you’ve been made aware of the trade shows in your area, or the trade shows all over the country that are in your field of expertise, you may be wondering how many you should attend. This will depend on several factors, and it’s best to meet with your team to figure out which shows you should plan for, and which aren’t necessary for you to attend.

 

Frequency

Think about how often trade shows are going on in your city or region. If you’ve got a trade show booth ready and can easily attend as many shows as possible, this could be ideal if you want to reach lots of customers and gain more leads. However, if going to trade shows too often is keeping you from servicing your customers or coming up with other marketing plans to bring in more clients, it may be best to reduce your attendance to once a month or quarter. This way, your presence will be noticed at the show, but you can still effectively run your business.

 

Size

The trade show’s size can also determine whether you should attend. If the trade show will be at a large venue so you can easily show off your trade show exhibit designs, it may be a good idea for you to plan to attend. This will allow you to reach several attendees at once and come back from the show with leads that could turn into paying customers. Even if the trade show is small, this could be beneficial for your business. If your goal is to reach a specific demographic or you want to give customers the impression that you are committed to forming worthwhile relationships, a small trade show may be a good idea. Ideally, you should plan to attend trade shows of various sizes to truly enhance your customer base.

 

Distance

When you’re coming up with trade show ideas with your team, it’s important to think about the distance you have to travel to get to the show. If you’ll be traveling for hours, but don’t have ample space to set up your trade show booth, or can’t stay at the trade show for very long, it’s probably not a good idea to attend. However, if the out-of-town trade show will put you in touch with hundreds or even thousands of potential customers or investors, it could be worth your while if you plan well. Just make sure the price you pay for lodging or travel is proportionate to how much you can expect to gain in terms of customers.

 

Booth Design

The design of your trade show booth will indicate whether you should go to a trade show as well. Check out the venue so you’ll know if you need to invest in a portable trade show booth and how much it will cost. When you reserve your space, make sure you select a spot that will allow you to properly display all parts of your exhibit, so you can attract attendees and give off the right impression.