Successful Trade Show Exhibiting:
by Joanne Ruston, Speedpro Signs, Calgary NE
Here’s a list of tips to assist you in getting the most out of your trade show exhibiting:
Before The Show
Planning for a trade show needs to start a few months in advance. Booth space is limited and must be reserved in advance. Once you have booked a booth in a show, advertise the heck out it.
Type of Trade Show Display
Decide the type of display signage that you are going to need for your space:
A good exhibit clearly communicates one major message. This draws in more prospects to your booth than an unfocused cacophony of messages.
An open booth design, with no tables obstructing access, invites attendees to come in.
Maximize walking around space by mounting brochure displays on walls. Use interesting graphics to draw people’s attention. When designing your message/content for your various signages, ensure it is easy to read and understand – and that the graphics tell the story at a glance.
Ensure your marketing materials are up to date. Take care of this early, in case revisions need to be made. Ensure you have enough collateral printed for hand outs. Design forms for filling out prospect information – clear forms eliminate guesswork. Consider giveaways to generate attention, brand awareness and a sense of fun. These don’t have to be expensive, just make sure the items are useful or unique. Even Pens with your logo and web address can be very effective.
Demos, videos, power-point presentations
These will draw attendees to your booth and help them learn more about your business.
Create a unique identity for your booth staff
Decide on a “dress code” for your staff. Matching shirts or blazers will make your representatives easily identifiable, and will look professional.
Train your booth staff
This is very important! Your staff needs to understand what is expected of them. They need to be briefed on all new products, programs and initiatives that should be emphasized. They must know how to run demos and presentations, and some basic trouble shooting. Nothing looks more unprofessional then when demos don’t work.
During the Show
Set up a rotating booth schedule for staff
Your staff needs a break for lunch and relaxing. They will be more alert & cheerful if they don’t’ have to stay at the booth all day long
Remind staff to record all prospect information
Encourage staff to record everything they learn about a prospect’s needs. Stress the importance of getting email addresses and phone numbers.
Encourage staff to greet people warmly – and SMILE!
This is often forgotten. An inviting attitude can give you a valuable first impression. Staff should avoid having their backs to the entrance, or taking phone calls while on duty.
After the Show
Send requested literature immediately
Send requested material within 24 hours if possible. A quick response is your second opportunity to make a favorable impression.
Include a teaser on the envelope or in the email subject line
Be sure to mention your company’s name and the name of the trade show on the outside of the envelope/subject line of the email, so they know your letter is not junk mail.
Keep track of your prospects
Nothing signals the success of your trade show effort better than having prospects purchase your products. Keep a record of the customers who found out about your products through the trade show. These results tabulated, can show you the show’s return on investment.
Analyze “lessons learned”
After each show, evaluate what went well and what didn't. This will help improve your efforts in future trade shows.
Plan a TRADE SHOW: