Exhibiting at a trade show can be a real struggle no matter how much experience you’ve got. However, what methods do you employ to stop your stall blending into the background whilst your competitors stride ahead?
Showing and an exhibit requires time, effort and money. It’s a decision that needs a lot of discussion and preparation, because if you turn up to a trade show unprepared, you might find yourself struggling to make profits.
Money, Money, Money
You need to have plenty of funds to cover travelling costs, attendance and an eye-catching setup. Nobody will pay any attention to the stall in a corner with no readily available information to peruse whilst walking by. It is paramount that you have a table with a clean, smart table cloths. Having a set of high quality roller banner standswith impressive graphics is vital to catching the attention of new clients, as well as for defining your territory…It’s incredible how quickly neighbouring exhibitors can expand into your area! A few desk lamps are also a good idea, as the lights can be very attention grabbing.
Hours in the Day
Do you or your staff have time necessary to go to a trade show? You must take into account travel, attendance for a whole day, research and follow up. There’s plenty of work, but it can help your business if the time and effort is there. Once the event is over it is very important to keep the contacts that you made at the event strong by making calls and inviting people for meetings.
Do Your Homework
To really win at trade shows, you have to get friendly with people. Prior to the event get in touch with the organisers to find out as much information as possible. Promote the whole event to get in their good books, rather than just your own company at the show, and contact other brands who are attending. Figure out who your neighbours are, and what audience you want to gain. It’s probably worth sorting out a few meetings during the day with people you specifically wish to speak to, as this will imply professionalism. By making connections before to the show, reinforcing them on the day, then contacting them afterwards, you can make strong relationships rather than cold contacts.
Dress the Part
Dressing appropriately is as crucial as having an attractive display set. Leave your grubby tops at home and come in looking professional, sharp and intelligent. Girls should wear natural makeup, and guys leave off the aftershave, as a smile and a good handshake creates a better first impression. There’s no need for a designer suit or killer heels, just keep smart casual in mind when getting your glad rags on.
The truth of the trade show will always be in the fact that it can make or break a business. Try not to worry though, if you try to enjoy yourself and to make some friends, you are well on your way.