How To Get The Most Out Of Your Next Trade Show

When you attend or exhibit at a trade show it is a significant and valuable marketing investment. Here's how to get the most out of it.

When you attend or exhibit at a trade show it is a significant and valuable marketing investment. However, just like any other marketing strategy, clear objectives and planning are core to high ROI performance from trade shows.

There are numerous reasons why, as a business owner, you will want to attend a trade show;the main one being to generate new leads and promote your product and services. Trade shows are also beneficial for team development, networking, and brand awareness. You can achieve all this if you approach trade shows in the right way.

There are many factors that contribute to positive ROI from a trade show. Below are tips to help you attract more attention and meet your business goals.


1. Offer attendee giveaways

This promotional strategy is one of the most efficient ways to market your business. Product giveaways will attract people’s attention. Chances are if you give them something valuable they will remember you long after the show. Make sure your giveaways are cost effective, relevant and branded. Some ideas include a reusable tote, breath mints, car chargers, earbuds, reusable water bottles, t-shirts, notebooks, hats, mini USB phone fans, custom wristbands, etc.


2. Build relationships

Attending a trade show is an investment of time and energy. Make sure to think beyond the transaction and take your relationship builders with you. You don’t close deals on the trade show floor or at a cocktail reception or after giving your speech. Prospects are likely to reach out to you afterwards. Make a positive and memorable impression with each handshake.


3. Properly staff the event

Staffing your trade show with the wrong team could cause a disaster. Select team members who thrive on customer services and have excellent communication skills. You can also hire reps specifically for the event.

Go with people who can operate on little sleep, wisely handle chaotic environments, and be a resourceful and friendly point of contact for attendees. 
Your trade show team should be well-versed on your business and be able to field questions accurately.


4. Create an inviting booth experience

Trade show attendees are attracted to a good looking booth. The first trick is to use bright colors and a unique cabin design. If your booth is different from the rest, it will standout to passerby’s.

Use a variety of visual signage and marketing collateral. Attendees may want to see video demos on a HD screen while others will be satisfied with a brochure or flyer.

Ensure your signage message is clear and viewable from all directions and at a far distance. Use clear signs and lighting.
Moreover, ensure that the booth is approachable.

Booth attendants should be friendly and approachable so attendees aren’t intimidated by blank stares and crossed arms.


Final thoughts

The above-mentioned tips can help you attract trade show attendees to your booth and meet your business goals. To get the most from your trade show experience, select the right exhibit. Make sure it’s a place where your target audience is guaranteed to attend. After the trade show, don’t forget to follow up with new leads.


This article has been edited.

Kristin Hovde is the Website Marketing Manager for Smash Hit Displays, a retailer of USA-made trade show displays and trade show rental displays. She has a love for marketing and all things trade show-related, which she enjoys sharing with other entrepreneurs through her writing. Connect with @asmashhit on Twitter.


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