Are you ready for trade show season? It’s time to start thinking about what you want to get out of the trade shows and a business expo you’ll be attending!
So where do you start? Let’s begin with the planning the Business Expo.
Think about what you’d like to get out of this trade show/expo. What’s your mission? Are you aiming to get more clients, strengthen your business-to-business relationships, or market a new product? Determining your goal will help you decide what to display, how to display it, and how to communicate with people to market your business.
Develop your information-gathering tactics
Will you hold a drawing where people have to fill out an information form? A fishbowl for business cards? Know you follow-up tactics beforehand: are you planning to call, send a personalized email, or mass-market with an email newsletter?
Have professional marketing materials. The banners in your booth, your sales brochure, your business card and your name tag should all give a cohesive impression (they should MATCH!). If you don’t look polished and professional, you won’t attract as many prospective clients – and won’t earn the respect of the other businesses around you.
Think of a cool giveaway
The #1 thing that attracts people to a trade show or expo booth is the prospect of getting something for free! But don’t let those potential clients just grab a free pen and scurry off – make them work for it! At least gather some contact information from them before they get a “prize” – or attach the giveaway to a marketing piece (ie: tie a price list to all your pens). Giveaways should be useful and BRANDED (be sure your logo is on them!) – pens, coozies, tote bags, etc.
Promote the expo!
Use your website and social media presence to publicize your upcoming appearance at the event. Send a newsletter out to existing contacts to “stop by and see us!” Distribute a press release to your area trade publication. Be prepared to photograph your booth at the trade show so you can post pictures and highlights from the event.
Plan your time wisely
Don’t be rushing around last-minute the day of the event! Think ahead of time about the layout of your booth, get some professional marketing materials designed and printed, develop a cool & affordable giveaway, and be prepared for questions. If you have staff helping you run your space, be sure they’ve been briefed on how to conduct the customer experience at your booth.