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Which Trade Shows Should You Attend?

As you and your team are coming up with great trade show ideas for your next marketing event, you will need to figure out whether you should accept the trade show invitations that you receive. While it may be tempting to go to every trade show in your area or pertaining to your industry, it is important to choose wisely when you’re promoting your company.

Trade Show Location

The location of the trade show will let you know whether you should attend. If you have to travel far for the event, you may want to avoid it unless you know it will turn into a lucrative experience for your company. Remember you will have to pay for the airfare or ground transportation for your team members and trade show equipment. You will have to pay for hotel expenses if you and your team will be staying in the trade show city for more than one day. Traveling for a trade show can also affect the way you run your business. If you’re not actually in the office for an extended period of time, this will affect how fast you are able to respond to customer inquiries or make sales. So, make sure that the trade show attendance is worth your while.

Trade Show Duration

Consider how long the trade show will last as well. When it comes to your trade show exhibit, you want to make sure that attendees will see the hard work you did for as long as possible, and if attending the trade show for a long period of time will decrease sales, it may be a good idea to sit this particular one out.

Team Members

If you have got reliable team members who will handle all the business associated with your trade show and the show is local, it may be a good idea to participate. If you know that you don’t physically have to be there throughout the duration of the show, you can still do business with existing customers to make sure that you are still fulfilling the needs of your clients. The right team also helps you make a great impression on trade show attendees, presenting the company as a friendly and professional organization with quality products.

Past Success

Finally, be sure to look at the success you have had at similar trade shows, especially in the last few months. This could serve as an indication of whether you will get more customers or turn your leads into sales. If you notice that certain trade shows don’t have a huge turnout, or that the space or venue you have to work with doesn’t appeal to customers as much as you’d like, you may want to avoid these marketing events. Choose marketing scenarios that will give your business a positive and professional impression. Even if attendees don’t end up purchasing right away, there’s a good chance that they will tell others about your business. You want to make sure the reviews are positive.

What Are the Best Promotional Items?

While it’s very important to have a trade show booth that is professional and attractive, you’ll also need to provide promotional items that will deepen the impression of your business and make attendees more interested in your services and products. Of course, offering free items to attendees is also a plus, and will attract more people to your booth. To determine which marketing materials are best, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Functional Items

Choose trade show promotional items that attendees will actually be able to use after they leave the show. This will increase the chances that these potential customers will remember you, and will get in touch with you to make purchases. Functional items also give the impression that your company cares about making life a little easier for customers. This shows that you’re considerate and concerned about your community, as opposed to just being focused on making sales. Items, such as mousepads, hats, T-shirts or reusable grocery bags, can help to make the right impression since these items also feature your logo to remind attendees about your company.

Edible Items

Items at your trade show booth that attendees can eat can also make your display more attractive. This is especially true if attendees have been at the trade show all day and may need a snack or beverage to give them a boost of energy. If you sell edible items, it’s a good idea to offer potential customers a sample. Not only will this directly give attendees a glimpse of what your company has to offer, but it increases the chances that attendees will tell others about your booth, which will make your exhibit more popular. This, of course, could turn into more customers for you.

Memorable Items

It’s also a good idea to choose items that will make customers remember you. When potential customers come to your trade show exhibit, they should walk away with tangible items that they can refer to for months or even years. Even if you’re giving out discounts or promotional perks, give attendees a card with the discount information, so they can make their purchase online if they don’t want to buy anything at the trade show.

Impressionable Items

Promotional items that will make a lasting impression on attendees can go a long way when you’re looking to gain a reliable client base. If you sell technological products, you may want to give out small digital picture frames that allow attendees to keep special photos of friends and family. If you sell all natural products, a sample-size candle or potpourri satchel can remind potential customers about your company each time they come in contact with the scent. The key is to make attendees feel as though their lives will be easier and more fulfilling if they become your customers. When you can show potential customers the direct benefit of your products from marketing items, you’ll gain customers who will likely spread the word about your company to others.

Do You Need a Large Trade Show Display?

Whether you’re going to a trade show for the first time or you want to make some changes so your trade show booth will be one of the most appealing at your next marketing event, you will need to consider your overall display. This is the part of trade show advertising that will appeal to attendees first, even before they get the chance to talk to you about your products and services. There are some things to keep in mind when you want to figure out the size of your display. If you consider your overall design scheme and the goal of attending trade shows, you’ll select a display that is right for your company.

Trade Show Prep Time

When you are coming up with trade show ideas that will make your exhibit one of the best at the event, you’ll need to consider how much time you have to prepare. If you’ve got months to get ready for the event, it may be fine to choose a large display since you’ll have time to make any needed changes to the design. Of course, a larger display will make it easier to see your company’s logo and slogan, and this could bring potential customers to your table so you can tell them about the quality products your company provides.

Trade Show Space

The size of your display should be proportionate with your trade show booth. If you don’t have a lot of room or if your table is relatively small, don’t choose display items that are too large. They may cover part of the table. This could make it difficult for you to directly interact with customers when they come to your exhibit. If the display and signage are too large, this could also be a turnoff for attendees. It could give the impression you’re so concerned about selling products that you don’t prioritize attendee interaction. Just make sure your display includes a combination of neutral and bright colors, so your advertising wording will stand out, even if you’ve only got a little space to work with.

Budget

Of course, you’ll also need to think about your budget. The money you’ve set aside for the trade show should include expenses that are designated for your display. Don’t spend so much money on the signage for the trade show exhibit that you forget about preparing quality marketing materials that attendees can take home with them. You should also have money in the trade show budget for travel expenses if the trade show is out of town, as well as money for hotel accommodations. Consider all the things you’ll have to spend money on to prepare for the show so that you won’t allocate too much of the money for your display. As long as you have display materials that are made from quality materials and your logo and company name are easy to see, you should be able to make a great impression on attendees and increase potential customer interaction.

Etiquette for Talking to Attendees

Even though you may have the trade show booth, decorations, and all the necessary information to set up your trade show exhibit, you still need to know how to relate to the customers who come to your booth. The way you treat potential customer can make a huge difference in how your corporation is viewed at the trade show and in the future. Here are some etiquette tips to remember the next time you prepare for a trade show.

Be Courteous

Remember that basic manners are very important when you’re dealing with customers. When attendees approach your trade show exhibit, greet them warmly. Encourage them to look around your booth to see what you have to offer. Be sure to let them know you’re available to answer any questions and inform them of any specials or promotions you have. When people don’t feel pressured to buy, they are more likely to be comfortable and feel more at ease to ask questions and potentially become customers. It’s also best to say goodbye to each attendee when they leave. Remember your last impression is just as important as the first, and will probably be one of the things that potential customers remember most.

Listen Actively

When attendees ask you questions, or even tell you about potential concerns they have about your product, it’s important to listen actively. Don’t simply listen for the purpose of providing a response. You have to pay attention to what the attendee is saying, so you can offer a response that is actually helpful and doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Keep in mind that showing real concern is a part of customer service. It lets attendees know your company prioritizes consumer satisfaction and isn’t hyperfocused on simply your moving product.

Take Your Time

When attendees come to your trade show booth, don’t make it obvious you are trying to hurry them along if you feel like they aren’t interested in becoming a customer right away. This can be a turnoff, and may even cause attendees to tell others that they should avoid your booth. Take your time explaining your products and services, and wait to see if the attendee has any questions before getting impatient or turning your attention to someone who seems more interested.

Ask About Follow-up

Finally, don’t automatically assume that every attendee you speak with wants to be contacted after the trade show. Politely ask if you can have the potential customer’s contact information, and let him or her know that you won’t bombard him or her with e-mails or social media messages. Once you assure the customer you won’t overdo it when it comes to contacting him or her, you’ll increase the chances the attendee will be receptive to your communication. This shows you are respectful of other people’s time, and want to form a relationship with the attendee instead of simply making a sale. This is also great customer service and helps to give you a favorable reputation that may proceed you before your next trade show.

Exhibit Options Tradeshow ideas, tradeshow planning, tradeshow exhibits, trade show booth

Ways to Use Social Media for Trade Show Advertising

Now that you’ve agreed to attend a trade show, you’ll need to let potential customers know about the event, so they can come visit your booth and learn about all the great things your company has to offer. Social media is a great way to do this. Here are some tips that will make all the work you’re doing with your trade show exhibits worth it.

Live streaming

Start live streaming certain events that pertain to the trade show to get followers use to this practice. This way, they’ll be looking for you to live stream the actual event. For instance, you can live stream the process of decorating your trade show booth or set up an interview with your team members to talk about the different things attendees can expect when they come to your booth. Once you set up the live streaming feature for the actual trade show, you should let those who are watching know they can ask you questions and get the answers they need in real time. Be sure to let those who are watching see how you interact with trade show attendees as well. This will help you to make a great impression on people who can turn into potential customers.

Online Commercials

Trade show ideas, such as like online commercials, can also serve as a great way to advertise about your upcoming trade show on social media. The commercial can include testimonials from customers or can serve as an announcement about the trade show specifically. You should share the commercial on your page as often as possible and encourage your followers to post it on their pages. Chances are some of the people who come to the trade show will have found out about the event because of your social media advertising.

Social Interaction

When you have constant interaction with your followers, you will boost the chances these people will come to the trade show and find out more about what you have to offer. Be sure to answer customers’ questions in a timely manner and make sure you are friendly and engaging. Remember that potential customers are getting an impression of your company while communicating with you online, and you want them to look forward to visiting your trade show booth. Be sure to encourage your followers to post their reactions to your trade show materials and share their experience once they visit your booth. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure that other people will start taking your business seriously.

Staying Current

Finally, make sure you post on your social media page about the trade show as often as possible. Have your marketing team remind followers about the trade show about once a week, or twice a week as the event gets closer. When you continue to reinforce information online, you continue to remind attendees of this important event, and increase the chances your followers will tell others, which results in a bigger trade show turnout.