How to make your Business stand out at an Expo or Trade Show
Participating in trade shows and expos can be a great way to connect with new customers and get exposure for your brand. They are well attended, so you get plenty of people wanting to learn about your business.
Those are the positives.
But you need to consider that fact that the high volume of foot traffic and the sheer number of booths can be a negative thing too. They make trade shows and expos a very busy place with a lot of different things on offer. Therefore, when you attend, one of your main priorities should be to make sure your business stands out.
After all, there is no point attending if you aren’t going to be memorable!
So, here are our best tips for a successful expo and trade show experience:
You will have details and dates for the trade show or expo well ahead of time. So, make sure to use that information to your advantage!
Most trade show organisers now use social media hashtags, which you can use to promote the event and your participation on your own social accounts. You can also use your email list or regular newsletters to clients to showcase the event, or run a ticket giveaway to generate interest.
There is no point in attending an expo if you aren’t going to make the most of the opportunity. Make sure that everyone working on your booth is prepared properly ahead of time. Familiarise them with their responsibilities, the plan or schedule for the day, and how to best connect with attendees at the event.
A bit of time spent workshopping or role-playing with elevator pitches can make a lot of difference to the confidence levels of your team. Prepare a 30 second pitch saying what you do, why, and what’s your point of difference and remember to focus on the problems you solve and benefits you offer.
Plan your display ahead of time to ensure you have the right products and props to make your stand look as good as it possibly can.
Everybody loves free stuff and trade shows are great places to fill up those swag bags! Pick a product which aligns with your brand values and is right for your target market. Are you likely to be handing out a large number of items to attract new customers or a smaller number to existing and potential clients? There are lots of options for branded promotional products which are perfect for giveaways at trade events. Inexpensive products such as pens, bags, phone grips and stress balls are suitable for mass giveaways. Reusable coffee cups and water bottles last a long time and have a big marketing reach. Prestige Products has a huge range of promotional products and we’re happy to offer advice on merchandise to meet your marketing objectives.
We recommend you stay away from cheap and generic items that people will just chuck out. Instead, try to select something that your customers will find useful and want to hang on to. That way, all the effort of sourcing and branding does not go to waste!
The simple act of saying Hello (with a smile) does wonders for engaging expo attendees and introducing them to your brand. Greet everyone in a relaxed and friendly manner and don’t try to sell before creating some rapport. Take the time to speak to those who might not seem like your regular customers. You never know who could be really interested in what you have to offer. And they could become one of your biggest referrers.
Trade shows are all about connecting, so an open and friendly approach is key. This can also be part of staff training for the day to make sure everyone is comfortable approaching and addressing people.
You don’t want your booth or stall to look like every other one at the show. Make sure you can be easily identified with an eye-catching display. Make good use of the backdrop with signage. Plan your display using colour stories or similar shapes to create interest without clutter.
Pull up banners are great if you have a booth with floor area but can be difficult if space is limited You’re not usually allowed to place them in aisles. Consider a branded tablecloth which can be seen from a distance.
Ensure that all team members are easy to identify – dress alike in t-shirts to match your brand colours or even better, printed tees with your logo.
Chat with other exhibitors when you’re not busy – you’ll learn plenty and may make some valuable new contacts. Visitors usually hate to be the only person on a stand and are much more comfortable to enter when people are already talking.
Collecting Information and Follow Up
You can collect business cards or email addresses by offering a prize draw. This works really well in some situations where many of the attendees are your target market. However, be careful not to collect a whole lot of data from people who are interested in the prize rather than what you are offering.
It’s handy to have a tablet available so people can enter their contact info directly. Or use a box or bowl for people to leave business cards.
Follow up promptly with all new leads after the show. You can also use this opportunity to ask if they want regular updates and add them to your mailing list.
Make the most of all the new connections you made! It is all part of the value you receive from the event.