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Avoid These Mistakes at Your Next Trade Show

A trade show is a great way to expose your products and services to people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This marketing opportunity is also a wonderful time to increase brand recognition for your company and network with other businesses that you may want to partner with. That’s why it’s so important to properly prepare for a trade show. To make sure the next trade show you attend is a success, keep these suggestions in mind.

Using the Wrong Images

Don’t use all the product images you have on your trade show exhibit. This is often too much information for your audience to take in, and they may leave your booth without a clear understanding of what your company does or provides. Choose one main high-quality image and make sure that the image can be seen clearly from thirty feet away. This can serve as an invitation for attendees to come over to your trade show booth and learn more about what you have to offer. If attendees want to know more about your products after seeing your main image, use iPads or a laptop to provide additional information in the form of words and pictures.

Making Your Exhibit Too Small

Don’t eliminate lighting for your trade show booth just to save money. It’s best to scale back on other aspects of trade show preparation if you have to. Attendees need to clearly see everything that is at your table. Choose lighting that won’t make the exhibit space too hot and go for accent lights that will focus on your products instead of giving off an unpleasant glare around your entire exhibit. Your lights should be about three feet apart, and LED lights are best since they are low on power and heat consumption. Lighting your booth up from the floor is also visually pleasing without being too overwhelming on the eyes.

Not Keeping Your Exhibit Space Neat

If you send sales reps to man the trade show booth, make it clear that all signage needs to be free of stains and creases and that marketing material should always look brand new. Presentation is everything at trade shows, and when your booth is neat and well organized, it gives attendees the impression that your business is also organized and successful. This increases the chances that they will want to become customers. Train your sales staff on setting up and taking down the trade show exhibit. If you’re not able to attend the trade show, have the sales team send you pictures throughout the event so you can make sure your event is aesthetically pleasing.

Not Being Friendly Enough

Finally, remember that being engaging and friendly is a huge part of being successful at a trade show. Choose people to man your trade show exhibit who aren’t afraid to talk to people and have extensive knowledge of your products and services. No matter what products or services you have to offer, making a professional impression is always a smart move.

What to Include in a Trade Show Swag Bag

Part of ensuring that trade show attendees will remember you is presenting the right swag bag. All of your promotional materials should be memorable and visually appealing and should eventually turn trade show attendees into loyal clients. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your swag bag is both impressive and professional.

Functional Items

Choose items for your swag bag that people can use long after they leave your trade show booth. This is an effective marketing tool because each time a person uses common items, they’ll see your logo and be reminded of your company. Consider useful items that are connected to your business, such as a mouse pad if you’re a technology company or an apron if you sell baked goods.

Trendy Items

Come up with trade show ideas for your swag bag that are in keeping with current trends. This will pique the interest of attendees and help you make a great professional impression. Find out which items are appealing to customers and incorporate them into your swag bag. For instance, if you’re finding that people are really into tank tops this season or prefer to have workout gear, purchase these items and customize them with your logo. Again, consider the nature of your company even while you’re staying on trend.

Memorable Items

Make sure your swag bag contains marketing items that customers will remember for months to come. Items like promotional codes that will provide clients with a discount on your services or gift cards that will help customers save money with your company or a business partner are ideal. People are always looking to save money and will remember this type of promotional move long after they’ve used the discount.

Edible Items

Free food is always a plus when it comes to promo items. If you don’t sell food or food items, come up with trade show ideas that still fit with your business philosophy. If you sell software, a sample of organic coffee or a healthy snack that customers can take advantage of while they’re at the computer is a fun way to continue reminding trade show attendees about your business. Of course, you can also offer edible items and refreshments at your trade show booth to attract attendees and get them interested in what you have to offer.

Regulated Items

Even though you may be attempting to get the most affordable materials for your swag bag, it’s essential to make sure that the items are also inspected for safety. Don’t choose promotional items that could be hazardous to children or materials that could potentially cause harm if used improperly. If you’re presenting marketing materials that contain chemicals, be sure to include a warning label to protect yourself legally.

A combination of these types of items could help you put together a swag bag that shows attendees just how professional and creative your business is. Be sure to meet with your team on a regular basis to come up with new and exciting items that will make your trade show booth especially successful.

How to Interact with Attendees to Make a Great First Impression (trade show booth, trade show ideas)

If you’re attending a trade show for the first time or have showcased your products at trade shows a few times and want to make some changes, it’s important to think about first impressions. When people visit your trade show booth for the first time, you want to get them interested in your product or service right away and make sure they remember what you have to offer. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next trade show event.

Use Color to Your Advantage

This is one of the trade show ideas that you should incorporate into your marketing plan. Colors can grab a potential customer’s attention even before he or she gets close enough to your trade show booth to interact with you. Colors provide a subconscious impression of your company and can spark the interest of people who are looking for what you provide. It’s best to select a combination of colors that are welcoming, professional, and not overly bright. For instance, red is a color that indicates passion and excitement, so you don’t want to use too much of this color in your banner or trade show marketing materials since red can be too harsh on the eyes. However, red accents will give the impression that your company is interesting. A color like green is ideal for natural or organic companies and helps customers take your products and company philosophy seriously. Colors like blue and brown are professional and trustworthy and give attendees the impression that you are in expert in your field.

Be Friendly

One of the most important things you can do to make your trade show a success is to treat each attendee who comes to your booth in a friendly and professional manner. Even if you think the attendee isn’t interested in your product or may not make a purchase right away, make sure that you have a friendly demeanor and make a great first impression that will stay with the attendee long after the trade show is over. Make sure that you choose team members who are comfortable talking to people and are well-informed about your business to increase the chances that attendees will turn into long-term customers.

Don’t Be Too Overwhelming

While it’s important to be friendly and engaging at the trade show booth, make sure that you’re not too forceful or overwhelming when you’re interacting with attendees. It’s perfectly fine to answer attendees’ questions and explain what you have to offer, but don’t be too pushy about getting people to make a purchase or provide contact information. This could be a huge turnoff and may change the way that people view your business.

Submit a Call to Action

Finally, you can make a great first impression on customers if you come up with a creative way to present a call to action. Have a raffle and choose winners based on attendees who supply their business card or email address. Offer a free marketing gift for those who agree to have you contact them about product promotions. Make sure that your trade show ideas extend well beyond the event so you can continue to attract customers in the coming months and years.

Practical and Fun Ways to Gather Leads during a Trade Show

After you’ve come up with the perfect trade show exhibit and have worked with your team to create a trade show planning model, it’s time to figure out how to get leads at the event. After all, the main purpose of attending the trade show is to meet interested attendees who will turn into long-term customers. Here are a few fun and practical ways to get the leads you need to make the trade show worthwhile for your business.

Raffles and Drawings

At your trade show exhibit, hold a raffle or drawing. Attendees can only enter the drawing by providing their contact information. Offer an attractive prize for those who win the raffle, such as a bag filled with samples of your products, a coupon for future services, or several trial-sized products and discounts from your company and the businesses you’ve partnered with. Be sure to feature the winners on your social media pages, which will encourage these leads to do business with you in the future. This may also motivate other social media followers to attend upcoming trade shows.

Live Streaming

Live streaming should be an integral part of your trade show planning. This feature lets people who can’t attend the show know what’s going on and adds an element of excitement to the event. During the event, you can encourage people to leave their contact info so that you can get in touch with them after the trade show to update them on your products. Live streaming also gives you the opportunity to show off your trade show exhibit and let people see others trying out your products in real time. This is a way to show that your business has quality products, as well as ask for leads without it seeming too much like a sales pitch.

Mobile Technology

There are also other forms of technology you can use to gather leads. Set up a tablet that allows attendees to input their information easily at your trade show exhibit. This is often easier than having attendees fill out their information manually and gives you another chance to showcase your logo and social media handles. You can also remind attendees of the raffle on the tablet, which may motivate them to both enter their contact details and come back to your booth often during the trade show.

Trade Show Exhibit Design

The way your trade show exhibit is set up can also help you gather leads. If your booth is made from quality materials and you’ve decorated your space in a way that is both professional and artistic, attendees will likely want to know more about your company. Your logo should be clearly displayed, and all your marketing materials should be displayed neatly. If you have a raffle wheel or a large replica of your product, position this close to your table and out of the way of attendee traffic. You can even add an area rug or banner to your exhibit to make it more visually appealing. Remember not to clutter your space but provide enough colorful items to grab attention. When your booth is attractive, you’re more likely to interact with people who want to know more about what you have to offer.

Creative Ways to Follow up With Leads after the Trade Show

After you’ve had a successful trade show experience, your team will need to come up with creative trade show ideas to follow up with your leads and hopefully turn them into long-term customers. Remember that your trade show exhibit displays are only part of your marketing scheme. After attendees are attracted to your professional and colorful display, you’ll need to wow them with your customer service and educated responses about your services and products. Most importantly, after the trade show is over, you’ll want to make sure these customers remember you, want to do business with you, and are willing to tell others about your company. Here are a few ways you can make this happen.

Time Is of the Essence

It’s important to follow up with trade show leads soon after the show. Don’t wait weeks or months to reach out to the people who showed interest in your company. They may forget about your business and lose interest. Be sure to thank attendees for coming to your booth and taking time to learn about your services and products. Invite leads to take a look at your website and interact with you on social media to keep them aware of any new developments or product offerings from your business.

Social Media Is Important

You can also follow up with leads on social media. This is most effective when you encourage attendees to follow you on social media while at the trade show. You may also acquire leads by live streaming the trade show so that people who can’t attend in person can learn about your company and access your social media page for more information. Set up a schedule with your marketing team to respond to messages and comments, so that your leads will know that you’re receiving their input and value what they have to say. You can even ask followers for trade show ideas that you may be able to incorporate into your next marketing event. When customers feel that they have a hand in making your company a success, they are more likely to become loyal consumers.

Customer Service Is Crucial

Following up with the people you’ve come in contact with during the trade show is a matter of customer service. After showing your appreciation, let leads know that you and your team are available to answer any questions they may have before, during and after the purchasing process.

As part of your customer service, you can email coupons and discount offers to your leads. Let them know that this is your way of saying thank you, and encourage them to keep doing business with you by offering other incentives for loyal clients. It can also be helpful to let leads know about projects you’re working on in the community. This gives the impression that you’re focused on using your professional skills to benefit those around you.

Feedback is Essential

You can also use feedback to follow up with leads. After encouraging each trade show attendee to follow you on social media, show a few pictures of your trade show exhibit display and ask followers how you can improve it. Offer prizes or incentives for the follower who offers the most constructive feedback, and take some time to cross promote if the follower has a company or product they are trying to promote. Being active online and not being afraid of criticism shows that your company is always open to growing and learning, which could lead to more customers.