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How Many Trade Shows Should You Attend Annually? (trade show ideas, trade show booth)

Whether you’re a new company or you’ve been in business for decades, you know that marketing can make a huge difference when it comes to your profits and overall success. Trade shows have long been an effective marketing tool, especially if you add new and innovative trade show ideas to your marketing plan. However, you may be wondering how often you should attend trade shows. If you’ve been in business for a long time, is it necessary to go to trade shows every few months? If you’re running a newer company, should you go to trade shows as often as possible? Here are some things to consider when deciding how many trade shows your company should attend on an annual basis.

Your Budget

It’s important to think about your budget when you’re putting together a trade show schedule for your company. Consider whether you’ll have to make adjustments to your trade show booth to accommodate different trade show spaces. Think about travel expenses if you’re considering going to trade shows that are not in your city or state. If you’re going out of town, you’ll also have to think about hotel accommodations and meals for the time you’ll be away. Don’t spend so much money on trade shows that you’re not able to keep your business running or accommodate the customers you’ve already gained.

Trade Show Location

The location of the trade show can also help you decide how often to attend. If most of the trade shows are near your city, there’s a good chance that you’ve attended enough times for potential customers to become familiar with your services and products. You don’t want to overdo it since this can give clients and consumers the impression that you’re not getting enough sales from other marketing methods. If most of the trade shows for your industry are out of town, attending these shows often could significantly cut into your company budget.

Marketing Materials

It’s best not to attend too many trade shows without updating your marketing materials. Keep your trade show ideas fresh by meeting with your marketing team often. Figure out which aspects of promotion are best suited for trade shows. Determine the ways that you’ll make your trade show booth visually appealing so that attendees will be more inclined to come over and learn about what you have to offer. This is especially important if you’re going to trade shows in or near your city within a few weeks of each other, since you may encounter some of the same attendees.

Trade Show Scheduling

The trade shows you attend should fit into the overall scheduling for your business. Be sure that you’re not neglecting local customers to go to trade shows across the country. On the other hand, try to make time to attend at least one trade show per quarter if you don’t have to travel far. If most of your team members are at trade shows when people visit your storefront or contact you online, you may lose customers who feel as though you’re not attentive enough. Be sure to notify your customers well ahead of time when you’ll be at a trade show. They may even be more inclined to spread the word or to meet up with you in person at the event.

How Many Free Samples Should You Offer?

If you’re in the midst of trade show planning, you may be wondering whether you should offer free samples to attendees. If you’ve already decided that samples are a good idea, you may need to determine how many you should have at your trade show booth. Of course, you and your team will also need to figure out what your samples will be. There are several things to consider, such as determining the products that are bestsellers or bringing attention to new products. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your marketing methods are effective at your next trade show.

Is One Free Sample Enough?

When you are attending a trade show for the first time, offering free products or samples to attendees is likely part of trade show planning. After all, you want to get the attention of consumers and possible business partners while making a great first impression. You may be tempted to offer several samples or to give attendees a swag bag with smaller versions of your best-selling products. This may be a good idea for an initial trade show when you’re introducing yourself to the industry, but it’s also important to think about your overall budget. If you can stay within budget while offering more than one sample, this can be a great way to make customers more familiar with your business. If not, choose your top product or service and offer this to help build your client base.

How Much Is Too Much?

While offering attractive deals and discounts can draw customers in, offering too many free items can make attendees suspicious. If virtually everything you’re offering at the trade show, on social media, and on your website is free of charge until you have a larger customer base, people may start to wonder if your products or services are of high quality. Provide enough samples for customers to get a true feel for your products, but not so much that people don’t see the need to pay for what you have to offer.

Convincing Customers to Buy

Your free samples should be your “hard sell.” Don’t try to persuade attendees to buy your services or products by pressuring them into taking another sample or deciding if they will make a purchase at your trade show booth. Instead, take this time to get the attendee’s contact information and send a follow-up survey to see how he/she enjoyed the sample. At that point you can casually mention that there is a variety of products ready for purchase.

Spreading the Word

After you give out free samples, encourage attendees to spread the word about your services and products. This is an important part of trade show planning since it helps you get the word out to people who weren’t able to attend the trade show. In addition to giving out samples, you can encourage attendees to take pictures with their samples at your booth or showcase the samples on social media, which will help you reach thousands of possible leads quickly and efficiently.

How to Dress for Trade Shows

Preparing for a trade show means that you should be comfortable enough to move around or be on your feet longer than you would in a traditional office setting. However, you should still look polished and professional so you can make a great impression for your company. Here are a few suggestions on the best outfit choices for your next trade show.

Comfortable Shoes

You probably already know that high-heeled shoes aren’t the best choice for a trade show since you’ll be standing for long periods of time. However, when you’re selecting a professional flat shoe to wear, choose one with a soft sole so that your feet will be comfortable during the day. If the trade show is casual, and you and your team are wearing tennis shoes, make sure your shoes are clean and free of scuff marks. Even in nontraditional office clothing, it’s still important to look your best from head to toe.

It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that you’ve worn before. If you purchase brand new shoes for the trade show, you’ll spend the event breaking them in.

Company Shirts

It’s quite common to design shirts that contain your company logo as part of your trade show planning. You may already have company shirts and want to update them for the trade show. If this is the case, make sure that each member of your team is wearing the same type of shirt with the updated logo. This sends the message that you’re organized and want to present your products and services in the best light. The shirts should also be ironed, cleaned, and tucked in if you’re wearing dress pants or slacks.

In addition to company shirts, you may want to wear other clothing items displaying your logo, such as hoodies or hats. These items should be as presentable as possible as well. If necessary, have some new items made just for the trade show so that the fabric won’t look old and worn.

Finding the Right Fit

When it comes to trade show attire, you want to make sure that your outfits attract positive attention. Your logo should stand out when customers visit your booth, and your color schemes may even give people trade show ideas for the next event. However, it’s also essential that your clothing fits well. None of your attire should be extremely form-fitting. Avoid low-cut shirts, and if you’re wearing a shirt with buttons, either button the shirt all the way up or leave one button open.

If you’re wearing jeans, make sure they’re not too tight or too baggy. Stay away from workout clothing, unless it’s part of your inventory. If you wear fitness gear, make sure it’s not too tight or overly distracting.

These are just a few of the ways you can make sure you and your team look your best. Remember that attire is part of the trade show planning process and that your clothing should coordinate with the professional trade show ideas and concepts you’re presenting to attendees. Good luck!

Answering Tough Customer Questions at your Next Trade Show

One of the hardest things to do when you are presenting your business and products to a crowd of people is answering their questions. No one is ever fully prepared to answer every question a potential customer may have, especially if they are tough questions. The truth of the matter is answering tough questions about your business at your trade show booth can be beneficial for you. By answering these questions, potential customers will feel secure about joining your business.

However, many people do not know how to deal with tough questions and may even feel insecure about answering them. Instead of feeling uncertain and not knowing how to answer these questions, consider the following tips.

Clarify the Question

Customers tend to ask two different types of questions: one about an issue or feature and secondly about their opinion. Before answering the question, you want to understand what the attendee is asking you. The best way to do is to repeat the question to the customer and ask for clarification. This allows you to fully comprehend the question that is being asked while making it easier for you to comprehend and respond.

Share your Expertise

When customers ask questions, they want to be sure that you know what you are talking about. You want them to know that you are an expert on the topic. Consequently, you want to begin any response with “based on my expertise I would say” or “I have been asked this question multiple times, and the response is.” Responding in this manner will show the potential customer that you are well aware of what is happening and can give them a considered response.

Make Sure your Staff are Knowledgeable

Many times, during the wholesale trade show, you won’t be around to answer all the tough questions that are being asked. Therefore, you want to make sure your staff is well aware of how to respond to tough questions as well. They should be able to feel as if they have the answers to everything that has been asked.

Always Provide an Expert Point of View

Attendees are twice more likely to join your company as a customer if they can trust your opinion. This is why you want to share with them your expert point of view. In fact, you do not want to sell them anything while answering difficult questions instead you want to be the expert advisor they need. Being an expert will make you trustworthy and knowledgeable in the potential customer’s eyes.

Remain Calm

Your demeanor, when asked tough questions, will speak volumes. Always remain calm, cool and collected. If you look or feel flustered, the customer will notice and will see that the question makes you uncomfortable. You want to speak with authority and knowledge; you also want to keep eye contact at all times, making the potential customer confident that you are an expert on that topic.

How to Network at Trade Shows

During any trade show event, networking is extremely important. The way your business networks with others can make or break the success you have at any trade show event. However, every trade show attendee will tell you networking is not as easy as you may think. Even trade show experts do not have networking all figured out.

We have done our research and have found the best ways to make networking easier while helping you achieve your goals to get as many leads as possible. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Use Social Media

Social media is key when it comes to networking. You want people to know about your business and the event you will be attending. You should use social media to keep everyone in the loop with information about your business and how well your trade show event is doing. It is also a great way to have attendees become part of your social media interaction. You can create a hashtag and/or have large screens be part of your custom trade show booth or exhibition booth rental that shows prospects what others have to say about your products and/or services.

Know your Ideal Client

Although, when attending a trade show, you want to network and speak with as many individuals as possible, you also want to keep in mind your perfect customer. Keeping your ideal customer in mind will help you network effectively as you will know what to look for when you speak with an attendee that is interested in your business.

Tell a Story

During a custom trade show event, consider telling a story about your business or yourself. People love stories, especially if they can relate to them. Telling a story also makes you memorable which is exactly what you want from a trade show. You want to be memorable as well as relatable to all individuals who visit your booth. You want the attendees to feel as if they are part of your vision when they join your prospect list. Individuals want to feel a part of something and telling them your story will do just that.

Be Unique

When networking at trade shows you want to be unique as there are hundreds of different brands competing for the attention of each attendee. Everyone is different and so is every brand, however standing out from the bunch is not easy. You need to have something other businesses do not have to offer. If you can do that you can attract people who are truly interested in your products or services.

Gather Information

One mistake many trade show business attendees tend to make is forgetting to gather potential customers phone numbers and email addresses. The idea is to have the attendee’s information so you can follow-up with them. If you don’t do this, you will not have the information you need to contact them and finish making them part of your team.