Trade Shows are a valuable investment for your business and your performance is based the magnetism of your display, your ability to communicate quickly and effectively about your product/service, the materials you provide and most of all, your follow up. There are specific things you can do to maximize your return on this investment.
Pre Show: Invite as many people as you can! Let them know where you will be and offer various types of incentives to show up: “Make sure to stop by and pick up some free samples” or “Don’t forget to come over, say hi and enter into a drawing to win a gift certificate!” Most shows provide you with a list of people who have pre-registered, or other vendors. Use this list to send direct mail or e-mails to them beforehand to encourage them to visit you at your booth.
Make sure you have a focused message going into the trade show. Talk to your staff before hand; make sure everyone is on the same page. We recommend picking just two or three key ideas that you want to get across at the show and train yourself and your staff to “stay on message”. For example, purely sell your new product or inform people about how eco-friendly your service is. Design your graphics, pre-show promotion, literature and show directory advertising around your message. Keep things integrated.
Show time: Make attendees intrigued by your booth, ensuring they stop by instead of walking right on by. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your booth visually appealing, just make sure you put your products front and center and put the people manning the booth out-of-the-way. Think about it like this: don’t you hate having to deal with sales staff the first thing as you walk into a business? Most trade booth workers are going to be aggressive; yet people like to be left alone to look, touch, play with your product. Make sure you acknowledge the people approaching as well as pay attention to be available once they have a question, just let them explore on their own first.
Post Show: Naturally, since you were in touch with attendees before and during the show, it is crucial that you are in touch with them after the show as well. If you had a ‘bowl’ for people to enter their names/business cards in for a prize, use that information to reach out and send a personalized email thanking them for stopping by your booth. Encourage them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook or direct them to your website. If you had a sign in sheet, take that list and reach out to those people acknowledging that you appreciated them stopping by.
As you gain experience and improve your trade booth skills, you will achieve greater results.