Trade shows are an exceptional marketing tool because they allow you to get in front of a large group of prospects in a short amount of time. Here are some insider tips for you to make the most out of your next trade show.
What do you bring?
How do you know what you will need? While a professionally constructed trade show display is nice, it’s not a necessity. Take advantage of the pipe and drape provided by the show producer to physically form your booth space.
Bring a banner or perhaps a poster, samples of your product or service, as well as business cards and brochures. You’ll need a table and table cover (preferably with your logo on it), paper to write notes on, lots of business cards, and a fish bowl to store contest entries.
Making an Impression
The experts tell us that you have only 10 seconds to make an impression on the people walking by. How do you capture their attention?
Above all, make your booth a welcome place to enter. Arrange your table so that it doesn’t block people from entering the booth, and cover it with a table skirt, or table cover. At the very least, have a banner hang from the front of the table.
Within easy reach for people passing by, provide a drawing for a gift or one of your products or services. Add these names to your mailing list, and after selecting the winner of the drawing, follow up with the rest of the prospects by sending a thank you letter for stopping at your booth.
Graphics that Grab You
Remember the 10-second rule for capturing people’s attention—use color graphics and bold messages to attract prospects.
We suggest a banner because it stands above the crowd when hung at the rear of your booth. Keep your banner visually simple, but use the space to display your logo prominently. When the trade show is crowded with people, this will often be the only part of your booth the public sees as they walk the aisles.
Make the banner a good size: two or three feet high by six feet long works well in an eight-or ten-foot wide booth. Large, full-color posters mounted on a lightweight material such as PVC can also hang from your back wall.
Stand apart from the crowd
Give away samples of your product or service. Share food products if you’re a specialty food manufacturer; or display your latest fuel-efficient furnace system in action. We know a wood carver who displays his artwork, and then starts carving a few pieces. Does he gather a crowd? You bet!
Some final thoughts
On a practical note, never leave your booth unattended. People will think you aren’t serious about your business so they won’t stop. Also, how is anyone going to answer their questions and close the sale?
Look at a trade show as one more way to establish a business relationship. Say hello to everyone and encourage them to enter your drawing. Ask if there is anything you can help them with. Trade shows are a fantastic marketing method.
Let us know how productive your last trade show was. Did you discover any better ways to display your company's image?