The impact that trade shows can have for your business should not, under any circumstances, be understated. Many business people overlook them as tools for increasing exposure, and it continues to astound me. They’re seen as an unnecessary evil, using up your time and resources that could be put to better use.
Adopting that mindset could be a grave error of judgment. Instead of bemoaning the need for taking time out of the office, look at it as the opportunity to reach out to your consumer base. There are few more effective methods of lead generation, believe me.
We previously looked at how to prepare for a business exhibition. But what about when it comes to the big day? It’s absolutely imperative that you get this right and pull off the perfect trade show. Why? Because, as I mentioned, a good exhibition is a valuable opportunity to increase your reach. But, likewise, a bad one will live just as long in the memory. And the last thing you want in business is a bad reputation. Here’s how to make sure you wow your crowd.
Work Towards Your Goals
Before you set off for the exhibition, you should have some clear goals in mind. It might be that you want to raise sales by 10% off the back of the trade show. You might wish to gain an additional hundred subscribers to your newsletter. One particularly popular reason for setting up a stall is to introduce a new product. It’s an ideal platform for raising awareness and demonstrating its features.
Whatever it is, have them in mind while you’re working the stand. Everything you say, do, and demonstrate should be with a clear eye on achieving these goals. Check out these trades show objectives for ideas: http://www.smarttradeshows.com/trade-shows/.
Make Sure You Look Great
Trade shows, despite being a pretty handy tool for gaining exposure, is also a PR stunt more than anything. You’re not just going to be around potential clients. The room is also going to be filled with industry veterans and your own competitors. That’s what you’ve got to make sure you look the part. Make sure that everything you do goes off without a hitch. Looking professional (and competent) should be an absolute minimum.
Ensure that you stick to your itinerary. If you insist that a press conference or unveiling is going ahead at a certain time, you better not keep people waiting. There’s plenty of other stuff to see and do all around you, so they won’t give you the time of day. If people get bored, you better believe they’ll just walk away and move on to the next stand.
Check that you’ve got enough literature with you. What good is being there if you run out of promotional material to hand out? That’s when the trade show becomes a waste of time. All those leads are evaporating before your very eyes. Your staff and your stand should look exciting and presentable. You should have a custom-made booth at the very least. You can inquire about having a stand created at http://www.nomadicdisplay.com/displays/.
Train Your Staff Well
There are two grave mistakes that you could make when it comes to staffing your booth. The first would be to send those that aren’t qualified. You might think that getting rid of the workers you’ll miss the least in the office is a good idea, but it isn’t. What you make up for in the office is going to be undone by an unsuccessful trade show. Send your best and brightest. Most importantly, have your most charismatic manning the booth.
You should have something of a rota in place. Regular breaks will be required. Talking in front of people all day can get a little exhausting. Your staff will need to recharge their batteries at some point. Take two teams of four people, roughly, and split them up into two shifts. That way, you can be sure that you aren’t understaffed, but that they aren’t going to burn themselves out, either.
It should go without saying that they should know what’s expected of them. As always, they’re representing your business, so they should act as such. Cordial behaviour is the least you should expect of them. But, beyond that, they need to know what your goals are. Tell them how many leads you expect them to generate. How many new sign-ups they should acquire? They need to know what you’re looking for clearly if you’re going to achieve your objectives: http://www.trade-show-advisor.com/trade-show-specialty.html.
Keep Words To A Minimum
This applies to both the spoken and the written word. Attention spans are dwindling by the day. This is only getting worse thanks to how we’re being pandered to in our culture. Listen to me. The people at these shows don’t want to digest a whole boatload of information. That’s only going to overwhelm them and, ultimately, turn them off.
You know what they say. Actions speak louder than words. Where you can, demonstrate rather than explain. That will keep people hooked and engaged throughout your presentation. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one vying for their attention. They’re already overloaded with new information. If you keep things simple, yours will be the one that lives longest in the memory.
Have A Hook
Not everyone is going to have an interest in what you have to say, or, consequently, sell. More often than not, people need a reason to get invested in something. They want something for nothing. It’s down to you to give them that. Nobody else is going to do the hard work for you. Giveaways and the like are going to gather large crowds of people simply because everyone wants to win.
You need to give people a reason to want to check you out. Finding that hook could be anything. Maybe it’s a year’s free membership to whatever kind of subscription programme you offer. A free job in relation to whatever your company does. Just make sure it’s appealing, inviting, and will leave people wanting more.
Check out these ideas for cool trade show giveaways: http://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/11-tips-for-cool-giveaways.html.