Trade shows are ideal for showcasing your products and the services that your company can offer. They are also a great place to scope out your competitors and see what they are doing with their business, score new clients, see what must-have products are on the market and generally get your name out there. However, they can take a big chunk of money out of your budget to attend, not to mention the time and the human resources, so it is important that you go thoroughly prepared. Here, we have put together a guide to help you with the essentials for a trade show.
Get your audience excited.
While a trade show is a great way to meet customers that you may not have reached in other ways, it is important to let your customers and social media followers know that you are going to be attending, so if they want to visit, they can book tickets and arrange travel to and from the event. You could even get hold of some tickets and offer them as a competition prize if it is allowed, as this is a great way to spread the word about your business and reach a big audience, especially on social media.
Other ways you could do this include:
- Writing a blog post for your website with all of the key information – the dates, exhibit or stall number, who and what to look out for
- Share photos and posts on social media from the event website
- Create a press release and send it to journalists and magazines and get them to spread the word on your behalf
Prepare and take merchandise to the trade show
Everyone loves a freebie, so getting some branded merchandise to hand out to customers and other interested parties is a great way to get your business name out there. From quality reusable coffee cups for business branding to t-shirts, baseball caps, fridge magnets and pens – people will love them, and you get advertising – it’s a win for everyone!
Give people a reason to visit your exhibit.
It is highly unlikely that you will be the only company from your industry or niche at a trade show, and will be surrounded by stalls and exhibits selling precisely the same things, so you need to give people a reason to come to you over your competitors. As fabulous as your product may be, you need to tempt them in.
- Food is always a good one – cakes, sweets and biscuits always draw people in!
- Design a presentation that catches the eye – videos and high authority (or even celebrity, if your budget allows!) speakers are helpful.
- Reveal a sale on the day of the exhibit that is hard to resist.
- Host a competition with a decent raffle prize
There will be people who wanted to come to the event but couldn’t, so make sure you take plenty of photos and have a member of your team updating your social media throughout the day so no one misses out!