Trade shows are essential in business. Whether you are attending or exhibiting, there are a few trade show tips that can help you navigate and make them more successful. You don’t want your trade show investment to be a flop, so let’s take a look at some of the top do’s before your next event rolls around.
Tips for attending a trade show:
Determine why you are attending. To meet new suppliers, educate yourself on a new topic, see the latest and greatest? Once you determine the reason you’re going, how you walk the show will point back to your mission.
Prepare for the show and know the answers to the following questions: What are the things you need? What are things you want?
Attend presentations. I know it is easy to blow these off, but educating yourself on your industry and competition is key.
Bring plenty of business cards. You may hand them out to the exhibitors or meet a future employee walking the show.
Strike up conversations. You never know who you are speaking with.
Set appointments with the exhibitors you really want to meet with. They may not be available if you just walk by.
Tips for exhibiting at a trade show:
Get a feel of why your audience is attending. (I’ve listed the top reasons below.)
Just as I advised above, set up appointments with your top prospects and customers. Make sure to have an extra-special incentive for them at the booth.(Here are our top 50)
Cost-effective giveaways are a must to get the casual contact to stop by. Some of our top items include: mints and gum, tote bags and drawstring bags, lip balm, car chargers, sticky notes (great for tagging your catalog!), and pens.
Collect data and contacts
Strike up conversations with everyone. Trade shows are all about face-to-face contact.
Follow up. You can do everything right, but not follow up on the conversations, and you have a tradeshow fail.
In a survey conducted by Skyline Exhibits and EXPO Magazine, attendees were asked why they attend trade shows, conventions, and conferences. Below are their responses.
See new products: 92%
Keep up to date on industry trends/issues: 78%
See many companies at one time: 75%
See existing suppliers: 67%
See specific companies or products: 67%
Network with colleagues and/or vendors: 65%
Create and/or strengthen industry relationships: 60%
See products in-person that were reviewed online: 57%
Get technical information or specifications: 52%
Attend seminars/workshops: 41%
Place orders: 25%
Source partners: 25%
Present at educational sessions: 16%
Because our competition attends: 14%
Recruit employees: 3%
We are here to talk trade shows with you. Are you unsure what promotional giveaways to choose? How many you’ll need? When to hand them out?