Get the Most out of Every Trade Show
Trade shows are a great way to market your business, provided you make the best
use of them and follow some basic guidelines.
Everyone loves trade shows, and almost every business will cite them as being among the most important tools for marketing their business, reaching out to customers and suppliers, keeping an eye on the competition and generally making sure they are au fait with everything that is happening in the industry. This all sounds very laudable, but how often have you ended up sitting around at your stand, looking admiringly at other people’s exhibition displays, drinking endless cups of machine coffee and unable to shake the distinct impression that your time could be better spent doing something else? If the sensation sounds familiar, then read on, and we will look at some simple ways to turn you into a trade show winner, and make you the envy of the other stands.
Get people involved
If your idea of an exhibition stand is a couple of banners and some glossy brochures on a trellis table, then it’s little wonder you are drowning in coffee as you watch the world go by. The most important tip is to get interactive. Get one person involved, and others will stop by to see what is going on, and the snowball will be in motion. There are several ways you might achieve this, including interactive games, some sort of challenge or quiz, or maybe even an unusual photo point where you can encourage people to come and take selfies.
Give stuff away
Here’s a simple fact of life: People like free stuff. However, the idea is not to come away from the trade show having made a huge loss, so be smart about it. Most people at shows pick up all sorts of literature and are soon juggling it, so some branded bags are a great idea, and will get you noticed. We mentioned that horrible machine coffee earlier, so how about setting up a couple of pots of the real thing and offering people a cup? The smell will lure them in, and they will stay around for a chat while they have their drink.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this is the digital age. Sometimes, you would think that we are still in 1990 at the average trade show, as companies fall back on the good old brochures on tables we mentioned earlier. Touchscreens, lighting effects and clever apps to send information directly to people’s smartphones will attract the crowds and make your stand something to remember.
Drag them in
Finally, however wonderful your stand, it is not necessarily enough to set it all up and expect the world to come to you. Issue invitations to your key clients and suppliers, as well as to those who might become customers in future. Make your invite imaginative, and be clear about the fact that you want them to attend and will have something relevant to say.
Driving your business forward
Trade shows are a great way of developing business, but only if you use them to their full advantage. Good luck!