If you are about ready to leap into the trade show arena for the first time; prepare to take some notes. While trade shows are wonderful platforms to use in order to get your products or services noticed, generate leads for your business, and gain exposure for your company/brand; it takes a lot to successfully plan a trade show from start to finish. Here are some vital tips to aid you along the way.
Attendees vs The Right Attendees
So you’re excited because you have found a show that draws an amazing amount of attendees, but before signing on the dotted line, make sure to do some research on who those attendees are (or if you haven’t already done so, identify who your intended audience is). Will this particular trade show further the company marketing efforts or will it be a waste of money and time? Speak with previous exhibitors, the show’s organizer, and even your customers to see who goes to this particular event. If possible, you might consider visiting the show before committing. Experiencing it in person and gathering the right amount of research will be a key approach to guide you with your search.
Cost vs Return
While you may not want to spend beyond the company’s means to get to a trade show, you do want to create an exhibit that is competitively built, staffed and resourced well, and puts you at least on an even footing with the booths around you. Your show manager and contractors may be able to help with these decisions. You will have to put money out to prepare for, perform, and breakdown your custom exhibit. Additionally, the return may not be obvious to you until you review the leads gathered. However, if you are diligent about the leads you acquire and properly train your staff to engage potential leads correctly, the return on your investment might keep giving for years to come.
Beyond Your Booth
Lastly, remember to find potential leads and quality business networking away from your booth. Take the time to reach out across the show, and in off hours, to find potential strategic business partners, product experts, or others in your trade. Look for groups to join before the show which aid your company in foreign lands, or as first-time trade show attendees. With thorough research and investment in your company, your experience should be a positive one. Remember; with each show comes the ability to learn how to make the next one even better!