Trade shows are great opportunities for businesses to reach out to potential clients. During an expo, consumers are actively researching different establishments and trying to decide which one would provide the best services or products to meet their needs.
Owners and marketers know that every choice they make leading up to a trade show may lead to larger returns or wasted time. It's important to learn the basic steps so that every event leads to growth and increased brand recognition.
Pick the right show
There is simply no way to be successful if you take your exhibition to the wrong trade show. For example, an office supply company probably won't find many new clients at a convention for car manufacturers and dealers. Take the time to research different conventions and see where the competition is heading, but also consider the size and demographics of a show.
Start-ups might want to attend larger shows in an effort to attract as much new business as possible. Mid-sized enterprises might want to consider attending smaller shows to avoid expanding too rapidly before developing a system to handle the massive increase in clients.
- For owners looking to expand their companies' reach, finding shows in different markets might be the key to finding a consumer base in a new location.
Be visible during the event
Having a corner booth in a high-traffic location is ideal because consumers from every direction are likely to walk by and potentially start talking to one of your representatives. Unfortunately, every business is vying for a trade show's prime real estate - but even companies that are hidden in the back can draw a copious amount of attention by marketing correctly.
- Keep promotional advertising clear and concise so potential clients know what products your establishment offers without over-cluttering the space. Business2Community recommends bringing the most energetic and knowledgeable staff members to a trade show to impress consumers with your company's customer service. Trade show giveaways are great incentives to attract prospective business to a booth and start engaging in a dialog with buyers.
Give something away
It's unlikely that consumers will turn down a free gift. Promotional products don't have to be extravagant and flashy to be valuable; those traits might be detrimental because they'll limit how many giveaways your business can afford to offer. Designing small, functional products can still attract a crowd and create long-term brand awareness.
Small Biz Daily recommends giving away products that only are relevant to consumers and the event. For example, a promotional USB drive might be more useful than a wall calendar to clients who work in the technology sector. Regardless, consider what would be most valuable to both you and the customer.
- During a trade show consumers are walking around and discussing details with various establishments, some of which may be your competition; giving away promotional notepads and logo ink pens could advertise your company even while potential clients are taking notes during a discussion with another vendor.
Follow up on leads
A trade show may end, but the real key to success is just beginning - generating returns by turning leads into customers. It's important to touch base with consumers and establish a rapport to build a business relationship. Promotional items help develop visibility for a brand, but employees have to capitalize on it. Information should be kept so a company contacts every consumer who showed even a passing interest.
The basic steps for a trade show can help any establishment make the most of every event. Taking the time to stop and consider the goals of each conference can help owners develop a plan to create a strong presence at a conference and find new business.
Photo credit: ehow.com
Mariel Milla is the Content Manager at Myron Corporation, a company specializing in promotional products and business gifts such as personalized calendars and promotional pens. She holds an MBA with wide experience in the service, retail and web industries. Follow Myron on twitter @MyronCorp