If you are a small business that requires exposure at trade shows, there are many ways to maximize the results when participating as a vendor. It is important to realize that all trade shows are different so there are no exact specific instructions that work for everyone. Where is the trade show being held? How many people are expected? How is the marketing tailored when inviting people? What type of people are attending? There are, however, a few general concepts that will help you get the biggest return on your investment from participating as a vendor in a trade show.
Is this your first tradeshow? If so, you probably have big expectations going in.
In fact, you're probably going there imagining that it is going to be a free-for-all with clients ready to align with you or buy your product/service on the spot. Although it's possible that you might make alot of sales,don't rely on it. Your perforance at trade shows is based on your specific position the show itself, the attractiveness of your display, your ability to communicate quickly and effectively about your product and service, materials you provide potential clients, and most of all, your follow up.You will achieve greater results in time as you gain experience and improve your trade booth skills and marketing efforts.
You must realize that tradeshows are an investment. Go there with the intention of establishing a local presence and to make contacts with as many people as you can. You will find that trade shows are usually more or a long term investment that may or may not pay off immediately. But there are things you can do to maximize what you get.
You've probably read about how in recent times, major companies often just skip a major trade show without so much as a thought. Often, when interviewed, those marketing managers say something about how trade shows aren't what they used to be and that there's not that much business there anymore. This usually is because ot tightening marketing budgets.
A trade show isn't a place that you should go simply to expect results from the crows that shows up. You should begin by inviting as many peole as you can letting them know where you will be, and oferring some type of incentive to show up. Once there, you must find a way to draw in the crowd. You want to have something that brings them to your booth and stops them from just walking by.
Often, auto dealers and manufacturers for example will allocate alot of their trade show booth space for concept cars. The fact is, many times those concept cars are never even going to be produced. Not ever. And yet, those car companies devote alot of their space simply because it attracts people to their salesforce waiting to "pitch" them. Prototypes, digital presentations and so on are the "eye-candy" designed to attract people to them.
When designing your trade booth, design it in such way as to put your products out front and center, and to put the people manning the booth out-of-the-way. People hate having to deal with sales staff the first thing they walk into a business. They just want to be alone with the products or services they offer, play with them, touch them and so on. Consumers prefer to get information without talking to anyone. People like being left alone. So do that for them. Most trade show tips won't tell you this. However, once they are there, make sure you are attentive and available should they have a question.
Trade shows can be a success if you take the time to work them properly. Take the time to invite the right people, present your product or service in an efficient manner, and be sure to follow up. Small business success at trade shows is based on understanding how trade shows work and how best to work them.