Trade shows are the best way for your business to gain exposure and meet prospective clients.
As we all know, preparing for a trade show can be very scary and frustrating. It requires organization, creativity, and resilience because it certainly is a huge investment for a company. The first things you need to find out are the specifics of the trade show you are registered for. This step is very important. Therefore, if you find it necessary, don't hesitate to contact the organizers of the event.
Try to get details on the type of visitors that the show attracts and the layout of the area where you will have to display your business.
We also recommend you to find out the size of the trade show display table you will have. Is there a wall space for your company sign and are there any electrical outlets available? Establish the show space specifics and then move on to deciding what to take and how you can ‘show your stuff.’ So stay tuned to find out more details on how to get ready for your important trade show.
Tips on How to Make Your Custom Trade Show Display Successful
Did you know that exhibiting successfully at a trade show can surpass any marketing or growth technique? A lot of business deals are done at trade shows every year. Keep in mind that there is no secret recipe for networking at trade shows. The level of effort that goes into it ultimately determines its success rate. We have been working a lot around to put together a list of our top trade show tips and strategies. Let's get started!
1. The right staff will make the difference
The reason why businesses exhibit at trade shows is to generate leads. Your stand staff is responsible for engaging your customers and creating these leads.You need a well-trained staff that is knowledgeable of your industry and the products and services you offer. But they also need to be friendly and as helpful as possible at the same time. This is so important because the way visitors feel about your company will be predicated directly on their interactions with the staff.
Therefore don't hesitate to provide your stand staff with the training they need to be successful.
This will give them that extra confidence as they will be able to learn how to stop and engage passersby, how to properly demo your products and services, and when it’s time, as well as how to close the lead.
2. Try to give away something unusual
Did you know that free corporate pens and mugs are totally unoriginal and can actually aggravate passersby? Have you ever thought about this? What you really want is to entice them! There is a way for you to stand out from the bland big dogs by giving away something quirkier and still putting your company's brand on it. For example, try giving away things like corporate headphones, balloons, laptop skins, socks, sunglasses. There are endless options and the chances of standing out are huge!
3. Remember to follow up with your leads
Not following up with generated leads is a very common mistake. As mentioned before, lead generation is typically one of the primary reasons for businesses to exhibit at trade shows in the first place.
If you want to take advantage of generated leads, work on having a plan in place beforehand.
We recommend you include in your plan a method to efficiently document and track leads as they come in, as well as how your team will be following up post-event. To document them use what works best for you.
Try CRM software or something simple like a sheet of paper with a checklist.
It's important for your staff to know exactly how to handle each lead as they come in. A follow-up plan might include scheduled phone calls and emails, a printed direct mail piece like a personalized letter, postcard or thank you card, or some other customized gifts.
Here are some common methods for following up on leads:
- Email — Use a direct one-to-one follow up email to the customer or a series of pre-determined automated email messages
- Direct Mail — We recommend you prepare your follow-up packets before the event. Don't forget to include thank you cards, brochures, promotional offers, business cards, and a promotional custom-branded personalized giveaway item.
- Appointmentsand meetings help a lot too.
- Phone calls and Social Media
For sure some leads will eventually prove to be more valuable than others. Your staff is supposed to have a way of qualifying leads as they come in.
Remember to follow up on a lead within 24 – 72 hours of the event.
It's important to do so because any connection you made will remain fresh in your customer’s minds. Plan and schedule that follow-up time in your overall trade show event plan. Don't forget, a successful trade show exhibit is all about making connections.
4. Set clear goals
For each event, you must set clear goals. We all know that exhibiting requires a large investment in time and money and that's why your best objectives must be measurable.
This is important as it proves the return on your trade show investment.
Some possible measurable goals to focus on would be: the total number of leads generated, the number of qualified leads generated, direct sales of products or services, number of sales appointments generated, number of product demos completed, etc. A post-event following a meeting with your team would help to review your goals and outcomes. You'll be able to discuss what did and did not work. Your newfound knowledge and experience can be used to improve your next event.
Remember, the more you exhibit, the more your business will get better at this.
5. Work harder to draw attention
Promote your business on social media. Let your customers know that you are participating in a trade show and invite them to stop by and visit. You can also try to create a video or slideshow presentation to display on TV monitors on your stand.
Cre8 can help you to mount flat screens for trade shows. Otherwise, if you don’t have this equipment you can also consider renting or borrowing it. Your visitors will find this visually appealing. Have a draw for a prize if you can. This prize that you are going to offer should complement your business if possible, and appeal to anyone. You can make your entrants sign a guestbook, fill in a ticket, or drop their business cards into a fish bowl or gift bag. You can then use this information at a later date to make a follow-up contact.
Here's what to avoid so that your trade show becomes a success
1. Not setting the appropriate budget
Usually, most of the exhibitors’ trade show budget is spent on the booth space which doesn’t include the exhibition stand, staff costs, show services, and logistics. You have to take into account your staff's salary, training, and accommodation. Also, you'll have to include utilities and WiFi into your booth space rental cost.
Furthermore, did you know that your logistics cost will differ greatly depending on the type of stand you choose? Some other logistics costs include storage, customs, and insurance. It's important to consider all of the costs needed to succeed.
2. The wrong trade show
As we all know, there is at least one trade show for every industry. Choose carefully. We are mentioning a few factors to consider when selecting a trade show.
What type of trade show do you need?
Is it a B2C or B2B trade show; or in other words - is it a consumer or industry trade show? Next, consider the type of attendees to the trade show. Try to find out how many attendees were at last year’s show? Who are those attendees and are they mostly decision-makers? This is important if you are selling B2B. Budget for booth space – Remember that this is just one part of the total cost of your trade show. Don't forget to factor in other costs such as the marketing collaterals, and staff costs.
3. Too much text into your graphic
This is one of the most common beginner’s mistakes, information clutter. If you lack design experience you would probably want to add as much information to your graphic as possible.
Keep in mind that it's not true that the more information you add, the more information you can get across to their prospects. It's the opposite, the less likely your prospects are going to read them. They are just going to walk past your booth not knowing what your company does. Furthermore, try to avoid messaging and photo clutter. Did you know that one very good image does a much better job than 100 images? We recommend you sit down and brainstorm a clear and concise message which can be understood within 3 seconds. Next, try to combine that with a superb photo that is able to grab your prospect’s attention when they are walking past your booth.
4. No storage - this brings clutter too
You have to keep your booth neat, free of clutter, and looking professional. That's why you need a place for your stand staff to keep all their belongings and the boxes of brochures as well as other marketing collateral which you ordered for the trade show. The most affordable storage idea is under a trestle table with a printed tablecloth over it. But you can also use portable counter with built-in storage or built-in cabinetry in your stand’s walls.
It's true that it is very difficult to execute a successful trade show exhibit. But, it is possible to be successful using the appropriate marketing strategies.
Do you want to get the most out of your exhibit? Then your business should expect to commit a substantial amount of time and resources. Because when exhibiting is done the right way, the investment will prove to be a worthwhile venture. And of course, if you ever need help, we would love to be there and guide you to succeed. TAKE A LOOK AT OUR SERVICES!