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6 Tips to Rule Your Next Trade Show (Tiara Optional)

Posted 7 February 2017 by Angelica R & Aja N

You’ve got your list, and checked it twice. Your objectives are clear, your goals are in view, and your most knowledgeable staff is prepared for the show….Now what? How can you make sure your days of initiatives are fully optimized? If you are in the promotional products industry no matter your role, sales rep, distributor, supplier or marketer you understand how crucial trade shows can be. They are great for lead generation, building your brand, selling your service and even B2B networking. But the benefits of a tradeshow are not the inspiration for this post…it’s the all-to-often mistakes and missteps we see along the way. If you want to maximize your trade show efforts, and make your next one a home run for your sales team… read on.

Be organized
This should go without saying, but the multiple project monsters can always arise to get you sidetracked. So, it is important to have your I’s and T’s dotted and crossed, respectively. Many times, the coordinator for the trade show will send out a list of deadlines for the event, including special registration rates and networking opportunities. If you do not stay on top of these dates, you could miss out on some excellent discounts and beneficial sessions. It makes things easier if you start a check list with all tradeshow tasks.

Keep your clients in the know
After you decide to sign up for a show, it is crucial that you inform your clients and prospects that you will be attending. Call or send an email to your contacts and note the following info: the name of the event as well as the dates, your booth number, the staff that will be working the show, as well any event specials or giveaways. In all cases, be sure to include your compelling reason why they should visit your booth.

Look the part
Think of your booth as the face of your company. If your booth looks messy, unorganized or unattractive you could be deterring your next big sale. Don’t design your booth to your personal tastes. The goal is to design it so your marketing message speaks loud and clear to the attendees. Avoid a mismatched design astatic in your booth. Merchandise your booth using professionally designed and printed banners, table covers and marketing materials that incorporate your brand identity. In addition to your booth looking spiffy, so should your trained booth staff. Put them in professional and coordinated apparel the matches your company branding with your company logo.

A Warm Welcome
All too often we notice vendors sitting with faces in their phones. You cannot actively sell your product or engage attendees by ignoring them as they walk by. Instead welcome everyone with a smile, and a hello. Be aggressive to meet and greet everyone at the show and find the best prospects. While some trade show booths can be small, do your best to place tables in a way that will create a welcoming space. Also take note that many events will specify that you need to avoid standing in the aisle, it’s important to heed this warning. Booths that look busy often attract more attention and traffic. Get people in your booth!

The best of the best on the front lines
Train your booth staff so they are knowledgeable about every product and service you offer. Make sure they know the ins and outs, and can answer almost any question that is thrown at them. Equip them with the tools and techniques necessary to perform well on the trade show floor. Do this for each show you’re in, not just every now and then.

A show to remember – follow up is KEY
There should also be a follow up email blast after the show thanking the clients that came to the booth. When the trade shows are complete, the event coordinator usually distributes a list of the show attendees which you can use. Everyone appreciates being thanked for their time, so making an effort is always a good call.