When you attend trade shows, it’s important that preparation and appearances are up there with your highest priorities. You’re representing your company and, as such, making the right impression counts.
Marketing at trade shows has changed so much that what we think of trade shows has changed. Once upon a time, they were a niche thing for businesses of a more niche nature. For decades now, trade shows and conferences are an opportunity for businesses far and wide to network and grow. They’ve grown in such a way that planning a trade show is so much harder than before.
So, without further ado, we’re going to give you a checklist for trade show success. Here’s everything you need to get right (when it’s safe for us to attend trade shows, of course).
Prepare your sales teams
Make sure your sales teams have all the required information and resources on hand to give to potential customers/clients. Trade shows are also opportunities to scout new business so be sure your sales approach is on point and everyone is on the same page.
Schedule a couple of prep meetings well in advance of the big day so that talking points can be discussed.
Keep an eye on competitors
If you’re able to find out which other companies are holding stalls at a trade show, it may be worth checking if any of your competitors are going to show up. At the very least, it may incentivise your team to kick it up a notch!
Be active on social media
You don’t need us to tell you how important social media is when it comes to marketing at trade shows. Ahead of the big day, you need to use social media to drum up excitement around your appearance. Find out where your customers spend most of their time on social, and be there talking about the trade show. On the day itself, take plenty of pictures and make your booth number known so that people can find you. A unique hashtag is a good idea, too!
Prepare for product demos
There’s a good chance that most prospective customers will want a demo of whatever you have. It’s part and parcel of trade shows! Allow attendees to test your product out, or at least have a closer look.
Consider a lounge space
If the venue allows, you should have a little lounge space in front of your stall. It’ll help bring more traffic into your space, which means more potential customers. You can chat to people, talk about your product/service, and generally offer a resting place for tired attendees.
Be proactive in your approach
There’s an aspect of salesmanship to trade shows, so you’ll need to be comfortable with striking up conversation and making connections with those in attendance. You should also think about this when you’re assigning team members. Who in your team is most comfortable with this?
Get your display right
We’ll come to this shortly, but it’s really important that you get your display right and in keeping with your brand. Don’t be afraid to get creative – as long as you keep a customer/passerby in mind. Your display needs to put your products front and center, and ensure that a passerby can easily familiarise themselves with any resources/literature you might have. Make your display look inviting!
Remember to follow up after the trade show is over
Once the talking is done and you’ve done your business for the day, you absolutely need to follow up on any leads. Like we said, trade shows are opportunities for you to clinch new business. Follow up with any prospective customers, and ask for any possible feedback about your trade show appearance, too.
Be strategic with your location
If you get to know the venue you’re appearing at, you will be able to highlight high traffic areas and the areas where people might not go to as much. For example, a stand near the venue entrance will ensure you get a consistent stream of traffic (and it will consist of attendees who are yet to reach exhaustion points). By contrast, a stand near the back of the venue won’t do much as the attendees will have had X amount of salespeople speaking to them before getting to your stand.
Research the venue and, if at all possible, get your hands on a floor plan.
Store and exhibit your products with style
Appearances are really important at trade shows, and first impressions really do count. If you need to present your products with a little more sophistication and style (all the while protecting goods when you’re on the go), then a custom foam insert will do the trick. Our case foam is well constructed, sturdy, and reliable.
Housed in high quality foam and in attractive cases, your products will look their very best. You can get the exact size you need for your goods – for our DIY custom foam, all you need to do is tell us the sizes for the foam you require using our calculator. We’ll then give you an instant quote, and once the order is complete we’ll send them straight to you. From there, follow our foam tutorials the rest of the way.
If you need to exhibit your products in case format then you’re able to elevate their style with foam inserts. You’ll certainly make a very esteemed impression.
If you enjoyed the above, be sure to take a look at our blog. It’s regularly updated with only the very best and latest news surrounding custom foam and its many applications. You may be interested in the following pieces:
- How you can use custom cut foam to smash your product unveiling
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- Custom cut foam terminology: here are the need-to-knows