What makes a trade show more successful than another? A successful trade show looks like one in which businesses made good impressions on attendees, they gave booth visitors something to remember them by, and they found ways to connect with these potential customers at a later date. When you’ve had a booth at a tradeshow and felt that it was unsuccessful, it may be because you didn’t get the word out in advance, you felt that you didn’t make a great impression on them, or because you were overly focused on being competitive with other vendors.
In reality, you should be treating it as a level playing field, making it a conversation with potential customers rather than a sales pitch, and you should provide a gift for those that have taken the time to come out. Take a look at the 10 commandments of high successful trade shows so that you can make sure you get it right next time.
Bring great Swag to giveaway
Those that attend the show are doing so to make connections, interact with several businesses in one place, and to take home some cool swag at the end of the day. Make sure you’ve planned out well what you are going to bring, whether it’s a fun game they can keep at their office desk, an article of clothing with your logo on it, or an interactive activity that ends with a prize for the winner.
Not only will people be more likely to stop by when they see the gifts you’re handing out, but they will be more likely to sit through your presentation knowing it ends with something they’ll get to take home with them.
The second commandment of trade shows is to become memorable with your booth visitors. While you’ll be remembered with your great swag, make sure you are showing your product knowledge and charm to your guests as well.
You want to make sure people recognize that you know what you’re talking about so that they can take you seriously outside of the hilarious presentation that you put together. Charm and smarts combined will make a great impression and increased memorability.
Make appointments before the show
Why not guarantee that you’ll have a busy booth on trade show day? Start scheduling appointments with people to come visit you on trade show day. Reach out to old contacts from the past and start scheduling appointments weeks in advance for them to see you at your booth at the trade show. Use social media to promote your booth and the details of the event.
Promote the event
Speaking of social media, if you aren’t promoting the upcoming trade show, you are going to fail yourself. You need to be promoting the event as if it were your own event, because it essentially is yours.
You could even offer to pay for the passes of your best customers or prospects to encourage attendance. Always be promoting your events, including your trade show booths, on your website, social media, email, and advertising.
Set appointments at the show
You got the attendees to attend, but are you finding ways to reconnect with them at a later date? You need to have a way to get in touch with your potential customers after the show in order to make the show successful.
Make sure you are setting appointments at the show to have your guests stop into your office or store in the coming weeks. Of course, you’ll want to respond right away to any requests or appointments you’ve scheduled because you’ll find more success the sooner you respond to people.
Be gracious and kind
Be sure to make a great impression by staying kind, gracious, and looking your best. You’ll have to talk to so many people that you’ll need to be assertive, keep your manners in check, and to keep in mind how you are coming off to people. Make sure that they remember you for being respectful, looking sharp, and always be willing to work with them rather than to sit down, relax, or act hostile at any point.
Work with the other vendors
It may seem strange, but it’s important to work with the other vendors by trading leads. You may be feeling competitive and protective of your leads, but if you trade with the other leads, you’ll increase your chances of gaining new customers. You may even find yourself with a new partner or two.
Get a speaking role
Getting a speaking role at the show will make a huge difference for you. If you aren’t going to get the chance to speak, you may as well choose a different show. Speaking at the show will make a huge difference in your success.
Don’t oversell your company
You may be tempted to simply promote and pitch, but try to remember to speak and connect instead. It’s important to show you are knowledgeable without making it about tricking people into hearing your sales pitch.
Bring lead generators to the event
Lastly, make sure you are bringing your best lead generators to the event. You’d hate to neglect collecting leads because you didn’t bring enough helpers with you. You can make a contest out of it to see who can generate the most leads that day.
Follow the 10 commandments of highly successful trade shows and you may find that you have more success than ever!