Trade shows are a lucrative and exciting way to increase sales and grow your business – if they are used properly. But many businesses attend them only to feel they have wasted time and money without rewards. A small business can improve profit in the long-run by utilizing trade shows as long as they do it effectively.
Why Are You Here?
Ask yourself this: why are you attending the show? You should have a clear objective for going to the show itself. Once you have your reason for attending, focus your booth and display around that objective.
Attend the Right Trade Show
Businesses that attend events that are not relevant to them are wasting time and resources. Only attend those shows that directly apply to your company’s specialties. For example, a small business specializing in wedding planning should attend wedding and bridal shows while a business that works on computers should attend computer and technology shows. That might sound too simplistic, but you would be amazed at the number of times I see completely irrelevant booths at trade shows.
Announce Your Appearance
Potential customers like trade shows. There is less pressure for a sale and more opportunity to compare multiple vendors in one location. Announce your company’s presence at a show through social networking, mailers and even flyers. Make sure to include your location so that customers make a point of visiting your booth specifically.
Create a Clean and Proper Display
A trade show display can make or break a company’s appearance at the show itself. Companies looking to increase sales need to attract customers to the display. Use a clean, but attractive display that clearly advertises what your company does. For example, a cake decorator at a wedding exhibition needs to display wedding cakes – not decorations.
Customers lose interest in booths within five seconds of looking at it. Therefore, if your booth doesn’t pull them in, you just lost the opportunity to grow your business with more clientele. Create one, single focal point that draws in the customer’s attention long enough to learn something about your company.
Showcase and Demonstrate
A trade show is a cost-effective way for a company to showcase themselves. Make the most of your experience by showcasing products and demonstrating those that you can. If you have new products, showcase them at the trade show to pull in a few interested parties. Don’t just display what you have, but let clients interact and actually see what your product or services can do for them.
Create a Follow-Up Method
The biggest mistake vendors make is not following up with attendees. Create sign-up lists and ways for customers to give out information for follow-up. Make special notes about what each visitor was interested in in order to laser target your response and massively increase your chances for return customers later. Send a follow-up letter, email or even make a follow-up phone call and try to entice those customers back into your company.
Spark Some Interest
Giveaways or promotional to-go products will spark more interest and increase the chances of a customer remembering your small business. Offer a free giveaway raffle to visitors of your booth in exchange for contact information. Send customers away with free to-go bags of promotional goodies, if your budget allows it, to make sure those attendees remember your company well after the trade show is over. Remember though – make your giveaways different from the rest. You need to stand out from the crowd to be noticed.
A small business that utilizes a trade show effectively will be able to increase sales by growing their customer base. Go into a show with the goal of maximizing your outcomes. After all, a trade show is a way to grow your business, increase business contacts and advertise your business and products to a concentrated pool of customers that are already interested in what you are selling.