Trade shows are a great way to get your business noticed. At a trade show, you’re able to give an introduction of your brand to people who are in a related industry and potentially in market for your product.
While some trade show visitors may know you by reputation, for many, your exhibit may be their first introduction to you and your business.
You want to give them a good understanding of your company’s services, and make sure you’re memorable. We’ve put together some tips on how to show off your business to best advantage during a trade show:
Give your logo prominence in the booth design, and make sure the overall look of your space matches your brand. If you’re highlighting an innovative technology product, make sure your booth gives an appearance of sleekness and modernity. If you’re selling a relationship-building tool, your booth should feel professional, yet cozy and friendly.
Consider whether you should highlight your product with a testimonial or demo video in case clients just have a moment walking through the space to check out what you’re offering.
And regardless of which way you go with the overall setting, it goes without saying that your booth should stay neat and tidy throughout. Keep an eye on stray papers, candy wrappers and coffee cups that guests leave behind, and tuck them away as quickly as possible.
Know your venue.
When you’re selecting your exhibit space, make sure you’re aware of the layout and flow of traffic in the area.
As an example, Ellicott Square Building in Buffalo plays host to multiple trade shows and events each year, and provides an ideal space for an event. Many events are hosted in the breathtaking central lobby space, and exhibitors should look closely at the event layout to determine whether they’d benefit from being near the towering staircases or close to the entrance.
One thing to note: there’s not always one best location. The space you want may depend on the product you’re offering.
If you want potential clients to hang around to watch a demo video for new technology, a booth near a chilly entrance may not be conducive to a lingering chat. However, that space may be perfect if you’re trying to connect with clients on a seasonal product offering and need to hammer home the relevancy of your offering.
Show off on social.
The organizing group for the trade show will probably post about the event, but you are your own best publicist when it comes to sharing information about your booth.
Post often, both inviting guests to the trade show and highlighting client experiences during the event. Keep it relevant, interesting and on-brand; fun behind-the-scenes images can actually be attractive and engaging for customers and fans who aren’t able to make it out to the actual event.
Offer the must-have giveaway.
When it comes to trade show giveaways, people talk. Event attendees know by the end of the first session which exhibitors have phone charging adaptors and which ones are just bringing pens.
Aim for a trade show item that gets the room gossiping, and sends additional foot traffic to your booth. You’ll earn bonus points if you can come up with a way to get them to use it visibly, whether it’s adding a clever Instagram-worthy tagline to your promo item or supplying the must-have coffee tumbler or hand warmers for chilly conference sessions.
Represent your brand.
You can have the most perfectly designed booth in the world. You can dedicate hours of manpower to a gorgeous highlight reel that shows your products and services in the best possible light. You can be that booth that was genius enough to hand out umbrellas as promo items during a rainy day deluge.
None of this matters unless you have this one vital ingredient: the right people. You can wow with catchy presentations, but it comes down to making connections with people.
Get your staff on the same page and make sure they’re putting their best foot forward. Make sure your trade show team is well-versed on your product, your expectations and your company culture.
They are the face of your business when they’re exhibiting at your booth. If they’re unfriendly and cold, that’s the impression your potential customers receive regarding your entire brand.
On the other hand, their enthusiasm and knowledge can make a positive impression that lasts long after you’re able to seal the deal and secure their new business relationship.
Do your post-show follow up.
Post-show follow up actually begins before the show starts. Prior to the show, plan how you’ll track your leads and decide who’s responsible for connecting with your potential consumers.
Work with your team to design a special offer for anyone who visited the booth, then contact the visitors to share this offer once they’re settled back in the office and ready to do business.
The important thing is to keep the contact timely and relevant. Encourage team members to jot down specific details about any pain points or opportunities mentioned by booth visitors. You can draft and prepare an email campaign or phone script prior to the show, then personalize messages with specific details where possible before completing your follow ups.
Trade shows are all about connecting, getting warm leads and having the opportunity to highlight your business’s top benefits to interested potential clients. The right setting and the right event can go a long way toward creating these connections and growing your business’ reach.