Exhibiting at your first trade show can be overwhelming but very rewarding. Although every event unfolds a little differently, there are certain things you can expect and should anticipate. That doesn’t mean you won’t be caught off guard at another trade show in the future, but you’ll be sure to recognize the following familiar situations.
Always have a notebook and pen with you, as you’ll need to stay alert throughout the day. You might overhear some important tips while browsing another vendor’s booth. You may even run into some potential leads on your way back from your lunch break. A trade show sometimes reveals opportunities at unusual moments. Keep one pocket dedicated to your personal business cards, and another to those that you collect throughout the day. By trying to stay organized and prepared, you will be less likely to miss out.
While meeting new prospects is always the goal of exhibiting at a trade show, you should also take time to size up the competition. Visiting other booths occasionally can help you better sell your product and understand the current market. You may also find your booth neighbors peeking in on you at times. As long as everyone remains respectful, a little curiosity is not a bad thing. You might even find yourself stumbling upon new ideas to incorporate into your own booth. You could also end up collaborating with a like-minded company.
By visiting other vendors, you can take the opportunity to see the pros and cons of certain exhibits and how they were constructed. For example, are the most successful and consumer appealing exhibits using a trade show booth rental or a custom exhibit?
Differentiating between the types of exhibits on display, and distinguishing what type of of trade show exhibit is right for you is paramount when it comes to the success of future trade show events to come.
You will get tired. Even at a smaller trade show, the constant buzz of attendees, the bright lighting, and walking back and forth to retrieve supplies or check out booths will quickly sap your energy.
Try to take short breaks and get a bit of fresh air; but know that at some point you’ll probably feel exhausted. It’s good to have a plan in place in case someone in your booth is losing their energy. Rotate every couple hours the roles certain people who are keeping your booth up and running. By doing this it allows the workers to stay more alert by mixing up the monotony that sometimes a trade show can bring.
If all else fails, though, there is always a strong cup of coffee.
Some Leads Disappear Post-Trade Show
During your first event as a vendor, the amount of potential leads shaking your hand will get you excited. Moreover, it is true that with good follow up, you should be able to generate some great new business. However, every new potential client you meet has also shook the hand of numerous other vendors. Not all will choose your company, regardless of how sincere they might seem in your booth. Later on that afternoon they might stumble upon a vendor that is better suited for their needs. Keep in mind during the day that while it is important to collect and organize your leads for future contact, not all of them will turn into customers. This is perfectly normal.
By vetting leads and qualifying them during the trade show, you can have a better understanding of which leads are more likely to turn into a client.
Learn How to Improve
The final thing you should expect from your first trade show is that you’ll continually improve with each event that you exhibit at. From better ways to organize business cards to a more effective booth design, as long as you are open to change, you will be surprised by how many great ideas you will take away from your first show.
If you are attending your first trade show, and need help with organizing and planning your exhibit, make sure to read our trade show planning checklist for more helpful tips to ensure a successful experience at a trade show.
Feel free to contact Structure Exhibits if you need help deciding on which type of trade show display is right for you. We provide all the features you need for a successful exhibit; from trade show booth rentals in Las Vegas to custom designs. We will do our best to meet all your needs.
[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]