If you are planning on taking your business to the public at one of the many trade and industry exhibitions on offer this season, then you will want to make an impression that is a) good and b) lasting.
As with all things, preparation is key to getting it right at tradeshows so start planning now to make the most of the opportunity to create new leads and potentially bring new customers to your brand.
Before the Event
When you are preparing for a trade show there are a number of angles that need to be covered before the event itself kicks off. Things that you will need to consider in the run up to the show include:
Publicity – while it is great that some potential customers will stumble across your trade show stand simple as the result of chance, it can be helpful to have people seeking you out specifically. The way to achieve this is to publicise your appearance in advance of the event. You may wish to offer a hook that will draw people to your location – tried and tested methods include offering free massages, refreshments or even an enticing competition form that can be completed in advance but must be delivered in person on the day.
Stand – your stand will need to “stand” out from the crowd, so there is no point in leaving banners and hangings ‘til the last minute. These should feature eye-catching designs and prominent branding and need to look slick and professional if you are to have any chance of securing new leads at the event itself. It can be a good idea to set your stand up at the office in advance and get employees to evaluate its effectiveness – do this in plenty of time to allow for changes if necessary.
Promotional Materials – if you want to capitalise on potential leads from a trade show environment then it is important that you give those who take the time to stop by a reminder of your business and brand. Order branded items well in advance of shows and make up goody bags to take with you on the day. Depending on your budget you may wish to consider such items as pens, notepads, key rings, or even logoed USB exhibition sticks, which can also be pre-loaded with information about your company should the recipient want to find out more about what you do.
On the Day
If your preparation is up to scratch then the day of the event should not throw up too many problems. Some things to consider on the day itself include:
Image – make sure everyone working the stand understands clearly the image that needs to be presented on the day, advise staff whether they should dress in a uniform, business suit or trendy casual clothes depending on the message you wish to convey.
Lead Retention – if people take the time to stop at your stand make the most of it. Ensure you have practices in place to take details from potential customers, whether through a newsletter registration, competition or simple feedback form – once you have contact details you can follow up the leads in the future.