Trade shows are a great place to gain exposure for your small business, network with other leaders in your industry and meet new prospects and potential customers. In addition, trade shows can also lead to media attention, helping spread word of your company’s products and services to the masses.
Overall, trade shows are a great outlet to expand your business organically and create new relationships throughout your industry. For the best outcome, it is crucial to plan, organize, prepare and execute during the show. Here are a few helpful do’s and don’ts on how your company should best attack all upcoming trade shows:
* Do perform due diligence on the history of the trade show. Showing up at random trade shows isn’t going to benefit your business. Dig into the show’s history. What other companies plan on or have attended? What is the average number of attendees? Is the destination accessible for prospects and clients? Have other local businesses had success? These are the questions you need answered in order to choose the right trade show to attend for your company.
* Don’t forget about the costs. Not only does securing a booth at any trade show have a price, but if your products or services require Internet connectivity or power, many trade shows have an additional cost associated with those needs. Organizing your booth also has internal costs. In order to attract trade show attendees to your given space among the crowd create quality, eye-catching signs or banners that are informative and lure prospects to your booth.
* Do leave an impression. Trade show attendees are constantly on the move. You have a brief window of time in which to make a lasting impression. Exchange business cards and create informative brochures that prospects can keep and dive into when they have a chance to catch up on the day’s events.
* Do hand out promotional items. Free is good. People flock to free. Distribute items that can be used in a business setting like magnets, pens, calendars, stress balls, notebooks, note pads or sticky notes. Personalize these items with the name of your business or your contact information so the next time your potential customers need a pen or write a note they are directed to your business information.
* Do reach out to your current customers and inform them of any new products or services you plan on releasing at the show. Also extend an invite to the show or ask them to come into your store for a brief demonstration. This shows your loyalty to them and commitment to their continued support.
* Do train your staff. Anyone who will be behind your booth should be well-versed in public speaking and interacting with potential clients. They should have a clean cut appearance, an extensive knowledge of all your products and the ability to maintain an engaging conversation.