Making A Trade Show Plan

- Monday, November 05, 2012

Many new, small and medium-sized businesses wrestle with the decision of paying to attend a trade show.

While it could reap rewards through exposure to potential clients and investors, having a solid attack plan and an eye catching trade show exhibit in order to achieve your goals is extremely important.

Here are five tips from trade show experts that could bring in the results you’re aiming for.

1. Set pre-show goals

Setting pre-show, achievable targets for your trade show presence is essential for success and for future business.

It’s important to consider who you’d like to do business with and think about inviting those prospective clients along – this is a great chance for some face-to-face time with clients in a more relaxed environment.

Sending formal invitations with a small gift prior to an event can really boost attendance rates.

Keep your trade show team motivated by setting some realistic goals, such as collecting a certain number of email addresses, approaching a certain number of attendees, or handing out a certain number of brochures.

2. Attract attendees to your booth

Think about how you can engage the visitor using all five senses. Visualize the feeling you want to deliver to attendees when they step into your booth space.

Keep your exhibit area clean, open and inviting. Book a large enough space to properly display your information or ensure you design your booth and produce signage with your stand dimensions in mind.

If space permits, create a casual area to sit down and have deeper conversations. Don’t overstaff, as attendees can get intimidated if they have to approach more than three staff.

Create eye-catching trade show exhibits with outstanding signage with simple text and/or illustrations. Don’t provide a long list of what your company does in your signage.

Strategically place lighting within your trade show booth space to highlight logos and graphics or create fading motion.

Be sure your design communicates (1) Who you are (2) What you do and (3) How you can help.
Use interactive technology and have products on hand that the customers and touch, feel and sample.

Appeal to the other senses (smell and taste) by providing a complementary coffee or fresh snacks that will attract extra attendees.

3. Once you've got someone to your booth, know what to do with them

Firstly and importantly you need to have the best people work in your trade show booth to achieve your objectives.

You need people that can easily communicate with potential customers, who can quickly assess if the customer is a hot, warm or cold lead, and decide whether they have the power to make a decision to purchase your product or service.

Have a system that can record this information.  

Train your staff on how to connect with people, ask the right questions and then quickly disconnect with the delegate and move on if that person will waste their time.”

4. Make your trade show exhibit booth an experience to remember

The idea here is threefold: First, it gives attendees something to do when they visit your booth. This encourages them to stay longer in your space and hopefully have more meaningful conversations with your staffers.

Second, it provides an experience they can't get at a retail store.

Finally, people tend to remember experiences much longer than they remember casual conversations or static product displays.

5. Your work isn’t done when the show finishes

Throughout the day, your team will probably have picked up a good number of business leads – make sure you have a meeting with your team at the end of the day to gather this information.

Follow up with your leads by arranging a meeting at their convenience; send your information to them by way of an "icebreaker’ email and follow this up with a phone call.

Social media is playing an increasingly bigger role in exhibitions and trade shows.

For more information on creating and designing trade show exhibits, contact The Exhibit Source.


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