Dress to Impress: How to make the most of your Trade Show experience

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Today’s the big day.  You have one large coffee in one hand and a stack of business cards in another, ready to tackle on the challenges of the day; hoping to lure people with your charm and sophistication in the most anticipated Trade Show of your career yet. Though this seems like an easy thing to handle, there’s a lot of time and preparation that needs to be done before even thinking about the outcomes you wish to achieve after it. Not many people realise this but you have control on what happens during the day and how you use your time really emphasises the results produced.

As quoted by the amazing Steve Jobs, “My favourite things in life do not cost money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

All in all, time is money and we must make the most of the opportunities presented to us during a Trade Show event. So what can we do to prepare and reach for the stars?

Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize

It’s important to pay close attention to the people that visit your booth. Do they fit your target audience? Is this a valuable networking opportunity? Staying focused and knowing what you’re in for helps to run it successfully. As long as you’re engaging and talking with the right customers, it doesn’t hurt to network at trade shows when you want to achieve big things. Any opportunity comes in the minutes you use and these little sacrifices can go a long way if you put in the effort, so be bubbly and get out there.

Same Same, but different

Overused taglines can be a drag and part of being a Trade Show expert is to be creative and innovative.  In many instances you may not have any new products to launch or new marketing messages to communicate. You might think what’s the point if you can’t offer something grand and exciting to customers? In all honesty, you can’t expect them to be all over your product if you can’t offer them something to talk about, but you still can – Two words: create hype. Aim to woo absolutely everybody. Be the talk of the town by creating an engaging space that will wow your target audience! Think outside the box with an interactive space that brings a new dimension to engaging the customer. Be it with clever technology, design or signage… make it a different message from previous years but with the same offering, just with a smarter way to communicate your products and services.

Create an inviting atmosphere

You’ve probably heard this all before but if you want to really attract customers, create a comfortable atmosphere which screams out ‘check me out’. There’s nothing more stressful than having to walk around all day and go into booths with uncomfortable furniture, noisy music and professionals trying to sell a product you don’t even want. Your booth should be a happy pad customers can relax into and feel welcomed. Creating something eye-catching and simple can really win over customers in a heartbeat!

Network as much as you can

Even if you’re in a sea of competitors, it honestly doesn’t hurt to be friends with everyone you come across. Befriending your neighbouring booths, customers as well as industry professionals can really help you build professional relationships you’d want to maintain for future business. Use the Trade Show event as a way to meet new people; an opportunity to ask the right questions and to learn new things from other like-minded individuals.

Keep the ball rolling

Even after it’s over, what you do after the Trade Show can really make a great impact in terms of your relationships with customers and industry professionals. Seek feedback by following up with the people you interacted with and see what you can offer them; communication is key. You should always have a strong nose when it comes to evaluation time; never let one Trade Show define your exhibit experience. Even if this one turned into a flop, seek new opportunities and always be well-connected. You’ll never know where you’ll end up!

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