Trade shows are a great opportunity for businesses and organizations to network and build brand awareness. Going to your first trade show can be a nerve racking experience, as you spend almost the entire day constantly talking to consumers, executives, and competitors. There is no true black and white way to go about it, as there are a world of possibilities on how to attack a trade show and how to gain a positive return from it. Whether you are putting together the whole thing yourself or being assisted though event services companies, these tips can be a big help for any first timer. A well put together trade show can do wonders for any company looking to meet specific goals, so by following these few suggestions, you can go into your first trade show with confidence.
Have a Welcoming Presence
It’s easy to go to a trade show and be the same as everyone else. In order to separate and stand out, you need to have a booth that is easily approachable for attendees . Having a giveaway of a cool item that people would be interested in is a great way to spark up a conversation with anyone. Giving away something like a bumper sticker with your company’s logo on it or water bottles with the name of your company on it are great ways to engage with people on all levels. Everyone working at your setup should also have a very smiling and eager to talk presence, and never look bored or uninterested in being there. If employees at your setup look bored and unexcited, this will reflect your company negatively and people will be reluctant to approach. Be the life of the party everyone wants to talk to.
Don’t be Afraid to Be Bold
It is common for a lot of first time trade showers to be afraid to be bold their first time and tend to be a lot more conservative. Don’t be afraid to make your booth extra flashy and colorful in order to really stand out from the crowd. Going as far as having people dress up in wacky costumes and handing out flyers or gifts can be a great way to get people talking about your booth. Although trade shows are about promoting work related things, there is no reason you can’t balance that with being fun as well. By making it a fun experience for every attendee that comes by your setup, this will make people remember you and will reflect very positively on your company.
Listen and Be Attentive
Sharing information about yourself and your company is not is not the only reason for attending a trade show, it is to also learn about other people and to listen to all the attendees who approach you. Let’s say you run into a very high qualified individual you met at the trade show two months ago, and you ask them about something specific you two talked about at the show, this will be very impressive from their point of view and show that employers at your company care and listen attentively, which might entice them to pursue working for your company. First time trade showers commonly make the mistake of thinking they are only there to teach others rather than learn themselves. Trade shows are a wonderful opportunity to learn about different companies’ strategies and how your competitors are positioning themselves.
Let People Know You’ll Be There
Get the most out of your trade show by letting the world know you are going to be there in the first place. Sometimes organizers can provide your company with a list of employees expected to attend, allowing you to send out a massive email providing the details of the location and time of your setup. Setting up a unique landing page on your website promoting your trade show is also a great option. Social media can also be a a great medium in this area as well if your company has a decent social media presence. Posting an instagram photo of your booth or tweeting the times and your location can be effective in letting your followers be aware of where you are at all times.
Make the Follow-Up Process Simple
Clearly one of the main purposes of a trade show is to network and build relationships with people. Anyone can have an exciting and attractive booth, but if no one can get in contact with you afterwards then it might be all for nothing. Make sure everyone working at your setup is distributing business cards to all attendees so they can reach out to you via email or phone. Make sure you make people aware of how you prefer to be contacted as well, or when you prefer to be contacted.