Archive for June, 2018

How Trade Shows Help with Professional Development

There are several benefits to attending trade shows. You will get practice marketing your goods and services to several different types of customers. You will have a chance to create a display that allows you to put your best foot forward in your industry and connect with CEOs and other business owners that you can work with to advance your company. Trade shows also allow you to improve your professional development since you will be faced with a number of scenarios that will allow you to gain more confidence when it comes to your business.

 

Being Organized

 

Creating a trade show exhibit and getting ready for an upcoming show means that you will have to be organized, which is an important part of professional development. You will need to know ahead of time how much space you have to work with at the trade show venue, and you’ll have to get in touch with vendors that can make the signs, banners, and table covers that will make your booth complete. Being organized also means choosing the team members who will be at the trade show with you and briefing them on the goals you want to accomplish well ahead of time so that everyone will feel comfortable talking to potential customers. The more organized you are, the most at ease you’ll feel about showcasing what your company has to offer in a way that customers can understand and appreciate.

 

Public Speaking

 

When you set up your trade show booth, you should be aware that you will have to do a lot of public speaking. This is another essential part of professional development since you’ll need to be comfortable talking to people about your business in a way that doesn’t feel forced. You should also be knowledgeable about your product and learn the ways that people in your demographic communicate, so you can get your marketing message across effectively. The same confidence and preparation that you need to make sure that board meetings and interactions with investors go smoothly are the same skills that it takes to successfully talk to attendees at trade shows.

 

Networking

 

Make sure that you practice networking before the trade show as well. You will need to know how to actively listen and describe your business in a way that will help you make positive business connections. You should also have a plan to keep up with the people you’re networking with so that you can strengthen your potential business relationship. Offering free or discounted products or services to other businesses can help with networking as well and can open you up to new opportunities to expand your business.

 

Of course, a combination of these skills is necessary to put your best foot forward at a trade show. Be sure to meet with your team often before the show to go over these professional development skills so that everyone will be on the same page when it’s time to showcase your company at your next trade show.

Do You Need to Attend Trade Shows Yearly?

Trade shows are some of the best ways to showcase the best that your business has to offer. You can also make worthwhile business connections at these events, and you’ll meet attendees who will potentially turn into long-term customers. But, how often should you attend trade shows? Here are some things to consider when you’re putting a trade show schedule together for your business.

 

Types of Trade Shows

 

Think about the type of events where you set up your trade show booth. Are these events lucrative marketing opportunities? Are they held annually? If you notice that you’re getting great feedback from attending these trade shows, it’s probably a good idea to keep attending regularly. However, if you notice that you’re encountering the same people after going to the show a few times, it may be best to start looking at other trade shows that will expose you to new customers.

 

Distance

 

If you only go to one major trade show a year and you normally come back with a lot of qualified leads and positive feedback, an annual trade show is likely a good idea for your business. If you find that you need to connect more with your local community, perhaps you should set up your trade show exhibit at shows that are closer to your office. In most cases, you won’t have to change your marketing materials and you could appeal to even more customers. This is also a good way to network with other local businesses and possibly come up with promo packages that can benefit both companies and show your sense of community.

 

Team Members

 

Think about the team members that you have available for attending trade shows. If you have a reliable team that usually attends your annual trade show, ask these employees to come to smaller trade shows where you can make even more connections. If you find that attending an annual trade show doesn’t get you as many leads as other marketing methods, such as social media or giving promo items to people who visit your website or office, it may be best to skip the trade show for a year or two.

 

Your Business

 

Consider whether your business actually benefits from setting up a trade show exhibit. Do you find that you’re making a significant amount of revenue after interacting with trade show attendees who become customers? Do you have enough team members in your office to run the business as usual while you’re at a trade show? If going to a trade show means that your bottom line will suffer while you’re marketing to other potential customers, an annual trade show may not be necessary right now. However, you may still want to showcase your products and services in a way that will appeal to those in your demographic, so live streaming or demonstrating your products on social media can also serve as an effective way to make sure you’re reaching more people without compromising the customer service you’re providing for your current consumers.

How to Set Aside Office Storage Space for Your Trade Show Materials

If you attend trade shows often and have a lot of supplies to store at the end, you probably know that putting all your goods in a storage facility can get pretty costly. Many of the large items that you use to display your services and products have to be stored safely to remain intact every time you use them. Storing your items at your office could be a more affordable option. Here are some tips for setting aside a storage space that will keep your trade show booth materials intact.

 

Stay Organized

 

It will be much easier for you to keep your trade show exhibit articles looking their best when they are organized in your office storage space. You may need to get crates or movable shelves to store your items and label everything so the supplies you need are easy to find when you need them. This cuts down on the time it will take you to get ready for your upcoming trade show.

 

Find a Temperature-Controlled Room

 

It’s very important your signs and exhibit items are in a temperature-controlled environment. This will keep the print or font on your signs from fading and will keep your tablecloths intact. Choose a room in your office that is not too hold or cold and properly ventilated, so that when you go to use your trade show materials again, they’ll be in the same condition you left them.

 

Partner With Other Businesses

 

It may be a good idea for you to partner with other businesses in your office complex to purchase or rent a storage space for your trade show booth materials. This could be more affordable for you and increases the chances that you’ll have a quality facility to store your stands, banners, signs, and tablecloths. The cost of the storage space is usually based on how long you need the space and how large the storage area needs to be. If you need special coverings for your items, let the storage facility know this so your most valuable exhibit items will be protected.

 

Monitor Your Items

 

Whether you’re storing your items in the room next to your office or in another area near your workspace, it’s important to check on your items as often as possible, especially when the seasons change or if there have been storms, a drought or heavy rain in your area. Make sure you take pictures of all your supplies in case you need to submit these photos to your insurance company if your items are damaged.

 

Even if you’re keeping your trade show items in the best condition, you should still meet with your team every few months to evaluate your supplies and determine if any need to be upgraded or replaced. You should also keep up with trends in technology and design when it comes to trade shows as well, so you’ll know if you need to get new supplies that send the message you’re always focused on appealing to your demographic.

How Often Should You Change Your Trade Show Exhibit?

Part of what makes trade show participation unique and effective is always coming up with innovative ways to appeal to attendees. If you have a standard trade show exhibit you have been using for a while and you have gotten great results, it may be a good idea to keep the basic structure while changing a few things to make the display a little more modern. If you notice that your display is very different from the ones you are seeing at trade shows, it could be time to make more significant changes. But, how do you know when it is time to change your exhibit?

 

Cost

 

If it is not cost effective for you to change your trade show exhibit often, wait until you can make the necessary adjustments and stay within your budget. There may be items in your office that you can use to update your booth and make your exhibit more interactive. A tablet or small computer that attendees can use at your booth to watch demos and commercials may not cost you anything, and you will make your display more interesting.

 

Time Frame

 

Consider the time frame that you have in between trade shows. If you are going to shows once a month, changing your trade show exhibit too often could prove to be very expensive. However, if you only go to trade shows once or twice a year, a new exhibit could appeal to more customers and make your company appear exciting and up to date. You should also learn about technologies that would improve your trade show booth and adjust your display accordingly. For instance, displaying your demo on an LED screen instead of a regular computer monitor could make a big difference in the way attendees perceive your company.

 

Trade Show Types

 

Think about the types of trade shows you are attending before you decide if you need to keep making changes to your exhibit. If most of the trade shows are conservative in nature, it might be best to keep your exhibit simple, without adding too many bright colors or fancy fonts. Of course, these features could be exactly what you need to get the attention of attendees at trade shows that are more creative in nature. Appealing to your audience is one of the best ways to attract and retain customers, so the changes you make to your exhibit and the frequency of these changes should reflect the fact you are paying attention to your demographic.

 

Customer Feedback

 

It is important to keep coming up with trade show ideas that will get the attention of attendees in a positive way. When you conduct surveys to get feedback from existing and potential customers, pay attention to their comments and adjust your exhibit accordingly. If you find that you are getting similar comments often, try to make small changes to your exhibit each time you attend a new trade show. This shows you are listening to what consumers have to say and want to appeal to them.

 

The History of Trade Shows – Where it All Started

Trade shows have long been an important part of the way we market services and products to the public and other business owners. But, how did trade shows begin, and what made them so popular? Knowing the history of trade shows can help you to better understand this promotional method and give you insight into how you can make your trade show exhibit more appealing.

In the Middle East, bazaars have been held for centuries. Local merchants came to a central meeting place and showcased artisan and edible goods. These days, a bazaar is an open marketplace within a permanent structure where products are sold or exchanged. There were also a number of smaller meetings that were held in various parts of the world that were precursors to trade shows. The meetings were relatively small and were often conducted outside. Later, the trade show was held in what would now be considered a convention center in a busy city that would serve as a hub for professionals who wanted to make sales and connections with other businesspeople to form lucrative relationships.

The Great Exhibition is considered one of the first trade shows, and it was held in May 1851. The objective of the event was to show all the world’s best products in one place. Central London’s Hyde Park was the place where the Great Exhibition was held. There was even a venue built especially for the Great Exhibition known as the Crystal Palace. The location was taken down after the show but was moved to South London where it remained until 1936.

The Great Exhibition’s opening ceremonies were held by Queen Victoria and the trade show went on for much longer than modern events. The Great Exhibition lasted for five months and about 6 million people traveled to see all the show had to offer.

The first trade show wasn’t niche-specific and featured several a number of products, including musical instruments, pottery, fragrances, and machinery. It’s also important to note that the idea of a large trade show table or exhibit has been around for quite some time. Elaborate tables were a huge part of the first trade show, and appearances from celebrities and well-known business owners have long been part of what makes trade shows more appealing.

During the late medieval period, trade shows remained popular, since merchant capitalism was common. Craftsmen and farmers would travel from place to place to display their goods in markets that were mainly outdoors. This became pretty common during the 1700s in North America and Europe.

While many aspects of trade shows have changed over the years, it’s pretty clear that face-to-face marketing is one of the most effective ways to get the attention of consumers and encourage word-of-mouth marketing. When it comes to taking a modern approach to a trade show, be sure to advertise the event well in advance on your website or social media pages so you can attract more people to the event to help your business grow.