If you’re picturing an enormous suitcase full of trade show preparation goodies, stop! Let’s take a step back. You want to take away as much as you can from trade shows, not bring as much as you can. “Packing” does not only entail what you physically need to equip yourself with, but also the information you need to pack in your brain before the big event.
When you’re standing behind and in front of the booth presenting to your prospective customers, you need to be in top-notch condition to steal the show. Keep in mind; there is no ‘back’ button once you’ve given your prospects an impression to remember. Mistakes can sometimes be unforgivable at trade shows, so make sure you prepare appropriately and accordingly.
Here, we explore the tips to help you do so.
Since you’ll be talking lots at the event, why not get a head start and practice your social skills. Talk to experienced exhibitors and people from your own professional network. Pay close attention to your competitors, target markets and geographic location.
2. Paperwork and Exhibitor Manual
You don’t want to break any rules before, during or after the show. Also, many opportunities and beneficial information that you are looking for may be in there.
Right after you’ve booked your booth at the trade show, look for all the early bird specials you can put your hands on: booth booking; travel; accommodation; and perhaps even coupons to restaurants nearby.
4. Business Cards
Give your prospects an additional channel to find more information about your product and other details. In some cases, if you’ve missed out on a lead, they may contact you back themselves.
5. Company Logo/ Brand Signage
This is a must. One of the most definitive aspects of a company is its logo/brand and its ability to dig a deep, and hopefully good, impression. Don’t forget to bring your trade show displays!
If you forget about your trade show exhibit tools, you may as well not attend. Also, make sure to plan how you’re going to set up and take down the exhibit, how you’re going to transport the exhibit, and so on. For more on setting up your booth, visit Functional Considerations for Your Trade Show Exhibit.
7. Pens and Paper
If your leads and prospects don’t have business cards (or ran out), then get their contact details in ink. Be sure to follow-up in a timely manner to ensure they don’t lose interest.
8. Messages to Convey
Shorten your 10-page product description into short, summarized, attention-grabbing lines. Give attendees the main advantages of your product and forget about the common features that are already expected from any product of the same (or less) caliber.
9. Energy and Enthusiasm
This is essential to pack with you, as an interesting exhibit and product only goes so far without spirited exhibitors to back it up. Your enthusiasm spreads to those around you; the more you get excited, the more convinced they are that they should be excited about your product too.
10. Pleasant, Interactive Employees
Do not under-staff at a trade show. No prospect should be left unattended and even worse; no prospect should be given a cold shoulder or unpleasant experience by an employee. Employees presenting at trade shows are crucial in affecting the company image.
Free stuff always brings in traffic. However, attendees may not have the attention span to stay longer than it takes for them to get their ‘goodies’, so strong to-the-point punch lines will have to step in here.
Your colourful and attractive display may get the attention and praise from trade show attendees, but what will get them hooked on to your product is the actual product itself, how you present it, and how you communicate with them. The behind-the-scenes work put into preparing for the event will not go unnoticed. Now that you are sufficiently packed up for your trade show, be ready to put in your utmost effort in making your show a grand success!