Trade Show Trumps – 5 Secrets to Making a Huge Splash at Your Next Exhibit

trade showPhoto by Marilia Castelli on Unsplash

For many businesses, an annual appearance at a trade show will bring in a substantial portion of their annual leads – needless to say, it takes a well-planned strategy to achieve that level of success at a single event. There’s a wealth of opportunities to build new relationships and expand on your existing client base. How can you stand out from the crowd? These five secrets will distinguish your brand at your next trade show:

1. Use your booth to create a quiet sanctuary

In the past, an eye-catching booth with phenomenal banners and branding was enough. Now, it takes a little more thought to stand out. Rather than racing alongside your competitors and adding to the noise, drop out of the race. Offer visitors a comfortable sit-down lounge, free coffee, and soothing music. Basically, create a comfortable sanctuary.

Add media walls, AV displays with informative videos, talks, or demonstrations to feed visitors your information while they rest. The opportunity to build meaningful connections is tripled. People are more likely to read your pamphlet if they’re sitting down with a hot cup of joe in a perceived safe space.

2. Don’t become booth-bound

Avoid using the booth as a safe space and try something new. Try a by-invitation-only feature, rent a suite and decorate it to suit your brand. Then, invite your identified key targets.

You’ll make fewer connections, but they’ll be better quality and more likely to spend with you in the future.

3. Improve your follow-up process

Processes are the foundations of success. Fine-tune the way in which you identify your key targets, perfect the way you attract them, and most importantly, invest in the way you retain them. Your follow-up process will be the opportunity you have to build potentially life-long business relationships.

A custom follow-up branded corporate gift with a genuine message (relaying something of the conversation you shared, to personalize it) will get you a great deal further than a simple sales call. People value real connections, so take the time to record something of the conversation at the tradeshow. Use that tidbit in a handwritten invitation, card, or letter alongside a small gift once you’re back at the office, to solidify the relationship.

4. Grab a mic and get center stage

Public speaking is not for everyone, but the rewards are generous. People are naturally drawn to acquiring new knowledge that will offer tangible benefits in their day-to-day lives, so offer real advice.

Prior to the event, allocate some budget towards hiring professionals to create a mini-course that can be delivered in a speech.

If you’re not a public speaker, you can develop your public speaking skills, or hire someone to speak on your behalf. Potential buyers will naturally approach a demonstration. If you impart meaningful knowledge that is easily understood, your brand will be remembered as an authority in its field.

5. Use the givers-gain tactic for free brand awareness

There is a school of thought around a concept known as Givers Gain. It states that those who give freely, gain freely.

Spend some time building relationships with the event organizers. Try to identify ways in which you can assist them, in your professional capacity. You’ll likely be thanked and mentioned on printouts and on banners. That kind of publicity can take you far at a tradeshow event.

Incorporating tried and trusted techniques complete a portion of your trade show success strategy. Leave some room for experimentation, what works for your brand might not work for others, and vice versa. Through experimentation, you might just stumble across the ultimate success plan. It’s all about testing the boundaries!

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Show on the Road – 6 Secrets to Nailing Your Next Exhibition or Trade Show

trade showPhoto by Helaine6 on Pixabay

If you have visited exhibitions and trade shows in the past, then you will be well aware of how they work. You turn up, browse the many stalls, and look for those that stand out from the crowd. You also might indulge in a few sweet treats from catering stalls along the way! Knowing what you like and dislike is half the battle for creating your standout stall, but here are six other ways you can nail your next exhibition.

Fan of Freebies

People love freebies, it’s a part of human nature, and everyone wants to get something for nothing. Let it be you that offers it. By investing in branded corporate gifts, you can stand out from other businesses handing out boring old flyers. Give trade show visitors branded bags they’ll carry around for the rest of the event, or even caps and beanies. Brand recognition through promotional products can make a world of difference to your business.

Stall with a Difference

At any given trade show, which is one of the most profitable marketing strategies, there can be hundreds of stalls fighting for their share of the customer base. Whether you’re selling products or services, it pays to be different. Buy the most massive booth you can afford and use colors that will make it stand out, but that still promote your brand. Then, focus on making it look more functional and less “stall-like.” For example, if you sell ice creams, buy a giant blow-up ice cream that towers above everything else.

Professional Help

Not everyone has the personality or knowledge on how to market themselves or their business in a public setting. Getting help is okay. You can hire promo people to promote your business on the day, wearing your branding and handing out your promotional products. Hiring someone to work alongside you also frees you up for taking customer inquiries on-site.

Pre-Event Build-Up

Every day on Facebook, over 35 million people view a public event. That’s a lot of potential interest in your brand or business. Create pre-event hype by creating an event on your business Facebook page, or sharing the one you will be attending. Ensure as many people as possible know who you are, what you are doing, and where you are going to be. Publish this information on as many digital platforms as you can, reminding people days and weeks in advance.

Mascot Magic

If you don’t think you’re charismatic enough to pull off a significant marketing stunt, then why not leave it in the capable hands of a mascot? Let’s say you sell bamboo pillows. You can generate buzz by dressing up as a panda and parading yourself around the trade event. Children will want pictures, adults will smile and laugh, and everyone will want to know you!

Encourage Repeat Visits

It’s not enough to be at a trade show, handing out freebies and giving people your business card. Create attraction within your stand that encourages people to come back and see you. Excellent examples could be guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, or holding a photo competition. Let your imagination run wild – as long as you stay within your stall space. By going the extra mile and encouraging repeat visits to your stall, you can increase the likelihood of securing business.

There is a lot of stiff competition at any trade show or exhibition, but only if you don’t put in 110 percent. If you plan on going to any event soon, start laying down the groundwork today. You may be more of a standout than you thought possible.

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Things to Consider Before Joining a Travel Trade Show

Advertising your business and your product is one of the most challenging parts of growing a business. You have to try out different venues and apply different strategies to reach out to key players in the industry and gain potential clients. One of the most productive advertising campaigns you can do is to join a travel trade show or a road show wherein your product is advertised along with others businesses. You will be provided a stand or both on a variety of locations on the duration of the travel.

trade show

Image Credit: Phil Sexton on Flicker

Participating in a roadshow is a cost-effective method of advertising your business to certain audiences. If you want to create or raise brand awareness, this will give you a platform for promoting services or products that you can offer. A roadshow also allows you to carry-out market tests for gathering opinion and feedback about the product or services that your business sells. One major benefits of joining trade show is that it leads to business trading opportunities which can help you build a strong customer base.

Choosing a Trade Show Organizer

Before deciding whether to join a roadshow or not, it is ideal for you to discuss your plans with a trade show organizer. Reputable organizers will be able to explain to you expected costs, time table and schedules, location of stops, other businesses on the show and other important matters. You should have a clear picture of the things that can happen in the trade show and have a set budget for unexpected events to ensure that your team can sustain the demands of the travel trade show. Discuss with your advisor plans and outlines of the risks and benefits that you can gain if you join such activity and compose a team for you to start planning and sourcing out your requirements.

Duration of the Trade Show

Factor in several points such as destinations, number of days and costs of displaying your products or service during the event when making your budget. These shows can last from one whole day up to a week. It can cover one neighborhood to one municipality. You may also research on the other businesses that will participate in the roadshow to ensure that you have the right target audience. If you will be promoting you domestic cleaning products, make sure that you are with fellow businesses who are also promoting home-related services or products. It will be useless for you to join a roadshow that has an expected audience of business owners looking for commercial building materials.

Knowing other participants in the roadshow also help you determine the level of competition that you will be facing. This way you can plan your business advertising strategies accordingly. Work out how many clients or potential clients you will need to make profit and you can do this with the organizer and your staff who will man your stall during the trade show. Make sure that your marketing department also comes up with materials that will capture attention during the event.

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