Tricks of the Trade Shows

Hello again my retail friends,

9dfc1872e06e5b8cc9844d343d4c2794 It’s Sam here again to give you the 411 on all things retail. What’s the hot topic on my mind this week? Trade shows. As a college student my first hand experience with trade shows is extremely minimal. So it got me thinking, what makes trade shows so important and what should a company do in order to be successful at one?

So what’s the big deal with trade shows anyhow? Well as it turns out, trade shows are extremely valuable opportunities for businesses looking to generate new clients and buzz about their company. This is because the attendees at these events are both looking to find new products and more often than not they have the resources to buy products. We know that trade shows are full of potential customers that are in the market for new merchandise but how do you make your booth stand out in a sea of businesses? I’ve compiled a couple quick tips to help make sure you don’t get lost in the chaos of a trade show.

1. Plan it Out, Work it Out: Logistics are the most important aspect of your trade show. It’s important to make a plan and stick to it. Gathering all of your equipment for the trade show is of course an important factor. Along with a trade show booth, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve had a look at some Promotional Signs that you could use for your trade show presentation. First you should do extensive research on what trade show you want to attend. These events can be pretty costly so it’s important to only attend shows that are suited to your business. Once you’re sure that your specific trade show is suited for your company then you can begin planning and promoting your decision to attend the event.

2. Pre-Marketing is Key: Just like any other kind of event your business would host, promoting your decision to attend a trade show is important. Let your current customers know by contacting them through social media and online marketing. In addition to contacting your current consumers, you should also reach out to those attending the event. Setting up appointments with potential clients and other vendors before the actual event shows others that you are serious about your business and helps you to appear well organized.

3. Be A Professional Booth to Boots: Finally, now it’s time for the actual event but what does your booth look like? Is it a white card table with a couple pamphlets on it? Or is it an interactive showroom with comfortable seating and knowledgeable sales people? Obviously the latter sounds much more appealing. The appearance of your booth says a lot about your business and what kind of vendor you are. Make sure that your booth is interesting and interactive without being too over the top. For example if you’re a retail consulting firm, your booth more than likely should not have fire breathers and a skateboard ramp with professional skaters (Unless your company is really into that in which case, carry on). It is probably also worth having free merchandise for people visiting your booth. You could have things like free bags or wristbands that each person receives if they visit you. SleekWristbands.com can create wristbands that have your business’ name on, making them specific to your business and bringing your business to conversation when people ask about the cool free bracelets they have.

The employees chosen to work at the trade show by your company should always be the cream of the crop, top sales people. No one wants to listen to a sales pitch from the grouchy guy in your department. Always have your best people out on the floor. Make it a competition between your employees on who can make the most sales to keep them engaged as well.

4. Getting People to The Goal: Wondering how to get people to your awesome booth? If you’re worried that your awesome business display isn’t going to bring in enough of your target. Go the extra mile. Always try to attend trade shows where you can give a guest presentation. Speaking at these events will automatically make people remember your company and drive them to your booth. When giving these presentations it’s important not to self promote. Give interesting presentations that are beneficial for your consumers. No one wants to sit through a seminar called “Selling to Large Name Retailers” only to find out it’s a long winded sales pitch about using your company. Provide the target with useful information and they will come to you.

If you can’t speak at an event held by the trade show itself, hold an event at your booth. Free stuff never hurts either. Everyone loves free stuff and if you let the public know they can get cool items for watching an hour long presentation, they will come. When I say “cool items” I mean cool items, everyone can give away free pens. Make sure your items are directly related to your business and slapping your logo on it doesn’t hurt either.

5. AFT (Always Follow Through): Seems simple enough right? If you say you’re going to call, call. If you say you’re going to email, email. Always follow through. No matter what industry your business is in, reliability and dependability are key. At a trade show the communication line should be open immediately. Any collected business cards should be scanned and entered into your system on the spot. Having a business card scanner is extremely helpful or have an employee on site to enter your new consumers into the system. Contact should be made within the first 24 hours of meeting these new clients. Appointments should be scheduled on the spot as well or planned via email by the end of the day. This is done to ensure that those who attend your booth don’t forget who you are. If the meeting is scheduled on the spot then the consumers are less likely to cancel or ignore your emails in the future. Plus showing the target consumer that you’re prompt and polite never hurts.

Trade Shows don’t seem so scary anymore huh? I hope that you found my 5 tips and tricks helpful and that you’re next trade show endeavor is a huge success. Want to share your trade show experience? Or do you have a topic in mind for our next blog post? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear your feedback! Don’t forget to spread the word about us on Facebook and Twitter! But until next time folks, it’s Sam signing off.

2 Comments

  1. Trade Show Ideas on June 23, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Number 5 is a great tip. 75-80% of trade show leads are never followed up on. Just doing that tip alone can make a major difference in your end results.

    • RB_admin on June 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Trade Show Ideas! We love feedback over here at Retailbound. If you’re ever interested in writing a post about trade shows for our blog, just shoot us a quick email, info@retailbound.com, we’d love to hear what you have to say.

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