10 April 2016, 00:18 AM

7 Ways to Ensure Success at an Exhibition

Attending a trade show is a big decision that requires a large investment of both time and money. However, trade shows continue to be popular for both large and small businesses because they yield results. To ensure that you have a successful trade show experience, keep these seven tips in mind.


1. Know your goals

Make sure you set clear goals on what it is you plan to accomplish. By doing so, you can create a strategy for your team and yourself. This will help you stay focused throughout the day.Are you trying to showcase and promote new products? Are you there to collect leads? Are you there to check out what’s new in the industry and what competitors are doing?Go further than that, if you’re there to collect leads, set a tangible goal. For example, you will collect 25 high quality leads. If you’re checking out what’s new in the industry, tell yourself that you are going to speak with 10 new suppliers about what they offer.


2. Choose your booth location carefully

Register early so that you are able to choose the booth space of your choice. You don’t want to risk registering late and being stuck in a spot with very little traffic. Try to choose a booth that is at the end of the aisles, close to the stage where there might be speakers, or the place where they have the bar or snack area. Usually, the very large companies will set up a large display in the front; you can try to set up close to them because attendees usually flow towards the booths around it. If possible, you should also check where your competitors are setting up to avoid setting up next to them.


3. Design a great display

Part of what might help you get more traffic is having a display (or booth space) that stands out and that is inviting. Attendees should be able to tell who you are and what to do by your display. Not only does it have to be informative but it should also be appealing to the eye and should attract more people to your booth. We have seen many business that have displays that are faded or that look worn down, which is the impression they’ll get about your company. Purchase a high quality display that you can use over and over again and once you purchase it, you should focus on taking care of it.


4. Choose your staff carefully

Even if you have a great display, if you have staff members that look like they don’t want to be there or that aren’t socializing, it might stop people from coming to your booth. Choose staff members that are friendly, inviting, and that have a positive attitude. All of these attributes will shine through to the customer. For example, when I attended the last trade show, I noticed that by smiling at everyone and saying a polite “Hi” people would give my booth a second glance and in many instances, they would stop to chat. People like to feel acknowledged. Once someone has stopped at your booth, make sure your staff is properly trained so that they are able to quickly go over the benefits of your company or products. They should also try to ask the right questions to see if they are a qualified lead.


5. Use social media for extra engagement

You can use social media in a number of different ways, but either way, social media is an integral part of your trade show experience. You can use social media while at the trade show to encourage people to stop by your trade show booth or to interact with other attendees. Not all attendees will stop by your booth, but by using social media, you’ll be able to cast a wider net.Join in on conversations by using the designated hashtag and add/like those using the hashtag so that you’ll be able to connect with them even after the trade show.


6. Bring Promotional Products

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that people love free stuff and many of the companies attending trade shows know this. However, throughout the years we have gotten used to receiving free stuff that handing out pens and coozies isn’t enough. Instead, get creative with the type of promotional items you will give away.For example, when we attended a trade show a few weeks ago, the booth next to us was giving away colored pencils with their logo and makeup bags. We constantly saw people stopping by their booth and getting excited about these creative giveaways. Those are also the items that people won’t throw away. People want to see new things that are unique. Choose high quality products that attendees will keep, enjoy, and actually use.


7. Follow Up with your leads

Many leads receive no follow up after a trade show, which is one of the biggest mistakes exhibitors can make. Try to call or email them a couple of days after, remind them of who you are, and try to set up a time to meet. Try not to be pushy or sound too much like a sales person. Although you met at a trade show, this interaction will help attendees form an impression about you and your company and whether they should work with you. Even if they don’t have an immediate need for your service, be polite and let them know that if anything comes up, you hope they keep your information and that you would be happy to help them in anything that comes up in the future.



Source: Business 2 Community (2015). 7 Ways to Ensure Success at a Tradeshow [Online]. Available From: http://goo.gl/ifuiBI [Accessed 16th January 2016].