Have you ever participated in a trade show that seemed to provide great results for other businesses but you just didn’t see the benefit? Sometimes just being there isn’t enough. With hundreds of booths the show goer can’t make it to all of them. How do you get them to stop at yours? Better yet, how do you get them to remember you when they leave? Standing out, inviting people in and giving back are really important to gathering the leads that you need in order to conduct a successful trade show booth.
Choosing a trade show to attend can be quite challenging. They usually cost just enough to make you think about whether it is right for you but not so much that the benefits don’t outweigh the cost. It is important to choose an event that will have a fair amount of foot traffic. With that being said the other vendors can prove to be equally as valuable as the attendees, if not more valuable. Either way the event must be marketed well so that you have people to talk to.
You wouldn’t give a presentation without running through it first, think about your trade show like a big presentation. Set your booth up in your conference room and take photos to take with you to the event. Performing a trial run allows you to make tweaks as well as see how much room you will have during the day of the event. A photo can prove helpful when you enlist help from your counterparts in setting up, they will already know where everything goes.
A show attendee will not walk into the booth of a person sitting behind a table playing Angry Birds on their cell phone unless they have free candy (and I mean good candy). Stand up, put a smile on your face and welcome people into your booth to learn about your business.
Your end goal should be to have meaningful conversations and gather contact information for qualified prospects. Setting forth a few determinates will allow you to decide if a prospect is qualified. Asking who, what, when, where, why and how questions can allow you to make sure your conversation progresses to your end goal.
Often, businesses offer a good giveaway to get people into their booth. There is nothing wrong with a good giveaway but you want to offer it to the right clientele. At your next trade show try offering something that people need, maybe an assessment of their internet or a chiropractic consultation. By offering this type of service attendees understand the services your company offers as well as gain useful knowledge on a topic that is important to them.
Contacting prospects after the trade show is integral in making sure they remember you. How can you contact them if you don’t collect an email, phone number or business card? Earlier in this article I spoke about giving them useful information about a topic that is important to them. A great way to gather information is emailing results. This is just one example to insure you have a way to contact them in the future.
Most of the time the back side of your table of your trade show booth looks like a tornado came through. Put a few measures in place to keep those business cards that you have collected in one spot so you can follow up in a timely fashion. It is as easy as a show box or Ziploc baggie to keep yourself organized. In addition to the place using a system to associate people with their business cards. For example if the person is a good prospect make a note of what you spoke about, what color shirt the person was wearing or another noticeable feature.
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