When it comes to your own business, you’ll do anything you can to increase your pipeline of leads to get those all important sales. Trade shows are a fantastic place to do this. If you’ve chosen the right trade show, it will be full of people in your target audience and all you need to do is sell them on your product or service! While most people think it’s just as simple as getting some great AV and stands from a company such as expocart, there’s much more to it than that (though it is an important part)! Here are the steps you need to take to help your business take off at a trade show!
Before The Day
The first step to any plan, whether implementing a new service, promoting your business at a trade show or anything in between is preparation! Without first researching, planning and preparing, none of this guide will be useful to you. So, set some time aside, grab a coffee and figure out the following (assuming of course you already know which trade show you’re attending!):
- Your target audience – You should already know this from your first phases of marketing your business, but it helps to get as detailed and deep with this as you can. Where will the kind of people you want to target be after hours? How are they likely to move around the trade show? You can’t get too detailed! Pro tip: LinkedIn is very useful for spotting trends with your target market!
- Your competition – You should have a good idea who your main competitors are, so figure out if they’ll be going too, where their stand is, how big it is and anything else you can find out. Preferably do this beforeplacing a deposit on your stand, so you can beat them out! Pro tip: Figure out what the main elevator that will be used is and try to be opposite it!
- Your goals – What are your goals for the conference? While it may be easy to say “promote” my business, there will be a noticeable difference between networking high influence individuals for your long-term development and collecting email contacts to drip-feed marketing campaigns. Figure out exactly what you want to achieve at this trade show! Pro tip: Certain trade shows will naturally be better suited towards certain goals depending on who attends and where it is based.
- Can you get involved? – The last step is to find out if you can get involved in the actual conference; whether a speaking gig or on the panel itself. This naturally lends itself to people coming to you rather than you going to them! Pro tip: If you don’t have enough clout in the industry to do it this time, start laying the ground-work now! Write a book on your topic start a podcast, anything to start influencing the space so that you grow your profile for the next trade show!
On The Day
Now that you’ve prepared for the big day, hopefully you’ve put in place plans for what you’ll do, where your booth is & how you’ll promote your business. First, your booth should look amazing enough that people naturally want to see what you’re about, with some great AV work, fantastic lighting & a step and repeat for all those selfies you’ll take with visitors (and don’t forget to tag them on Facebook or Instagram!) and marketing stands for people to see you from far away!
The first thing to do is go with two or three others! It’s very important that you aren’t stuck at your booth all day. You’re the face of your business, so you should be making your presence felt by being everywhere else but your booth while your employees or partners look after it. This way you’re not just capturing people that come to your booth, especially if it looks amazing with furniture from a company such as Expocart, but also people elsewhere in the show. This is such an often forgot tactic, that you’ll usually be getting twice as much done as your competition who are sitting there waiting for the audience to come to them!
The second thing is to remember your work continues after the show, your research should have highlighted where your target audience will go after the show, so go there too!
Finally, ask interesting questions at the panels and main conferences; this shows people you know enough about the industry to talk with the best on current issues and gets people interested in you!