Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top Trade Show Tips for Exhibitors and Attendees

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.)
  • Have an exciting, professional booth. Let Shop for Promos help you.
  • Look professional in custom polo shirts or logo button-down shirts.Or Just say no to the Polo and let us style you.
  • 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?

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