It’s no surprise that trade shows are an excellent way to network and boost your business. They offer a plethora of opportunities such as improving brand awareness, networking with potential customers, increasing business sales, and more. But, do not forget that trade shows are a massive investment and need lots of time, money, and energy.
As a startup owner, it can be difficult to understand how to make the most out of trade shows. You may have concerns like, when and where to attend your first trade show, but there’s no need for the process to be intimidating.
If you’re planning to exhibit at a trade show, have a look at these top 6 trade show tips.
1. Make a Proper Plan
Crafting a proper strategy before attending your first trade show is the key to having a successful event. Once you decide you’re going to participate in a trade show, take out some time, sit down with your staff, and define your business objectives. Keep your goals specific and attainable in order to optimize leads and sales that are going to be generated at the event. Once you decide your goals, create a marketing strategy to accompany it.
Most trade shows offer exhibitioners a list of pre-registered participants. You can use this list to contact attendees ahead of time to let them know what your trade show booth is offering. Also, reach out to all your current and previous buyers to drive more traffic to your booth during the trade show.
2. Select Your Show Wisely
Before you come to any decision, don’t forget to ask yourself some important questions. What is your primary objective? Why are you attending the exhibition? Do you want to get prospects and new leads? Do you want to boost your relations with existing clients?
Asking these questions is essential since not all trade shows are the same. You need to find the one that best fits your goals. Know your answers to these questions and select the right trade show rather than investing in the wrong one.
3. Determine Your Budget
Whether you’re new to trade shows or going to exhibit for the second or third time, it’s crucial to determine your budget for the event. Before signing up to present at a trade show, make a detailed budget that involves all your products and services that will be itemized. Some of the items include buying booth space, preparing graphics and other marketing material, renting electricity, making trade show displays, setting up Wi-Fi, accommodation arrangements, and more. Keep all these things in mind while deciding your budget.
4. Work on Your Booth
Your trade show display is the first thing visitors are going to notice when they walk through your exhibition booth. The design and uniqueness of your trade show booth can make you stand out among other exhibitors. Even if you don’t have a huge budget invest in creating a well-designed banner with your logo and value proposition.
These simple features can encourage people to stop by your booth, inquire about your business, leading to leads and sales.
5. Advertise Your Exhibition
If this is your first trade, in order to keep potential customers coming to your booth you should start advertising about your participation at least two weeks before the trade show begins. An easy, and cost-effective, way to do this is to create posts that include the event name, date, time, and venue and publish them on different social media platforms. Be sure to let your audience know if you’ll hosting trade show giveaways and contests. Do everything possible to promote your startup and incentivize people to stop by your booth.
6. Follow Up
The follow-up is an integral, but often overlooked, part of trade shows. When it comes to following up with customers post-event, most startups don’t have any strategy in place. Remember your primary business goal is to turn trade show intros into long-term relationships. A successful plan involves reaching out to all visitors who gave you their contact information, phone numbers, or email address.
A report by the Harvard Business Review found that leads who received an immediate response after trade shows are more likely to convert into customers. If you don’t want to lose the momentum, make sure to follow up within a few days of your trade show.
The Final Verdict
Standing out at a trade show can be challenging; it needs lots of planning, hard work, and effort. But, if managed correctly, it can offer fantastic business opportunities and open up new doors for your startup.
Using these trade show tips can be a great way to encourage attendees to stop by your booth and build a loyal customer base for years to come.
All in all, be open to learning from your mistakes, notice what worked well for you or other exhibitors, and combine all these attributes to get ready to participate in the next trade show.