How do I prepare for a trade event?
I am preparing to take place in my first trade events for the beginning of 2015. It will be providing haberdashery for DIY weddings. This will be my first major event, how do I prepare myself for the run? E.g marketing, tips on stall set up, collecting newsletter contacts, stock, expectations etc
Don't count on being "discovered" at the show. Let your target audience know that you will be exhibiting. Invite them, set up appointments and build a pre-show awareness to your products. Follow up on every lead after the show in a timely manner, while people still remember you. Good luck!
Hi Natalie. I have two thoughts for you. First, find out as much as you can about the event, who will attend, how many, where will you be physically located, your competitors, what networking you want to do, what other events are planned, how you plan to capture customers info and start relationships with them, and creating an attractive stall. It's all about traffic and visuals. Also make sure you are able to measure the results of your efforts at the event. What are your goals for the event and how do you know it will be what you want it to be?
Here are a few tricks of the trade: 1) what ever trash or trinket you have for a give aways treat it as "ask for it", rather than "here it is on the table just take it"; 2) use their ask as a moment to capture email/contact information- build a list of prospects for later contact; think of a way of building engagement - fill out a quick questionairre, guess how many beans are in the jar, etc --
There is a great trade show training video by John Cleese, it is as relevant now as it was when made over 30 years ago. I believe it was titled “Exhibiting Yourself”, check out your local training video supplier; it should be on DVD by now. The fact that it is very funny makes it a great educational piece and invaluable to share with everyone you are reliant upon to man you stand.
A long day of selections and samples to choose from :)
Best way to collect Valid Newsletter contact is to set up, on laptop, a sign up form and verbally remind them to Opt-in.
They can do it form their phone right there. Of course there has to be Value added to the sign up and good reason discussed verbally. Great way to KEEP subscribers for years.
Always deliver MORE than expected
First, think of it as pre-show, at-show and post-show, rather than a static event. If you can get access to a list of attendees, mail or email them with an incentive to come to your booth. have a video running on a loop to keep people's attention wile booth staff are engaged. Conduct a contest/drawing with an attractive prize. Make your exhibit larger than life, bold, captivating. Many shows have the badge scanners that let you capture attendees' info. Above all, FOLLOW UP PROMPTLY after the show!
Begin with the end in mind. What do you want to have happen after the event is over? Sales people with lots of proposals to do? What will that process look like? How will they know who to follow up with and when? How will you attract the right people to your exhibit?
Congratulations! 1) Plan a theme for your space and decorate accordingly, remembering a height, texture, color philosophy. 2) Start promoting the event and invite your list/social media groups to attend. 3) Keep promoting across all your media platforms. 4) Create your hand outs. 5) Consider an activity to get people to your space. 6) Capture email and phone contact information plus specs on the wedding. 7) Give something to booth visitors who complete the data forms, maybe a style sheet on a DIY wedding, fashion tips for different types of weddings, etc. 8) Create a "show only" special. 9) Stay in front of your booth (never behind it). 10) Dress professionally. 11) You might want to offer a small treat - get a local bakery to gift it to you (small cookies, cupcakes, choco covered pretzels, etc.) and mention where the sweets are from - have their cards too. 12) Ask a friend to work your booth with you so people don't have to wait to get questions answered 13) After the event create an Excel sheet and put all information about each prospect in it. 14) Send an "It was great meeting you at the event and I'd like to stay in touch email" to everyone. 15) Send periodic follow up emails. 16). Make calls. 17) Remember to work the vendors by stopping by all the other vendor booths, capture their cards and schedule calls to talk about other events, potential alliances, etc. 18) Let the event coordinator know how they did and ask to stay on their list. 19) Plan to have a great time. 20) Be open to any and all types of people, comments and ideas. To your Sweet success!
I am in another profession which is medical, but I have done hundreds of trade shows with my husband so I think I can accurately give you advice. I don't know enough about the intent of the trade show to answer all your questions, but I will try. If your intent is to sell as much as you can that have an adequate supply but don't clutter your table, people can't see the display through the clutter- If it is by order only than you simple need samples. Make your booth as attractive as you can afford to do, you will have competition from people with more experience. If the event promoters drape your tables then let them, if they don't make sure your drapes are clean, ironed and either go with a rainbow them, or do mono colors that all match. but do not just mix and match colors unless you are pretty confident of your color sense. Many people don't have good color sense. Don't count on the trade show promoters to adequately advertise. If you have customers already, send them postcards of the event- Put it out on Craigs list- There is no charge for that.. Check out if there are any free events postings on radio, newspaper listing, chamber of commerces etc. Many people will tell people about your event because that is what they do is..For example maybe their job is to put upcoming events in a news column, or on the radio