Done right, exhibiting at a trade show or business expo can be hugely beneficial to growing your business. Your brand gets exposure, you can prospect and receive new business contacts with an active, engaged audience and although they tend to be long days, you can get so much more done in one or two days than a regular business day, saving you time and money in the long run.
Of course, you can’t just turn up with some free samples and hope for the best. There has to be some planning involved. In this blog, we cover our top tips for exhibiting at a trade show.
- Decide what you want to achieve from the day, having some specific targets in mind will help productivity on the day
- Appearances are everything – make sure your stand is smart, eye-catching and reflects well on your company/brand/product – the same goes for you! It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t take on this advice when exhibiting and it can be a turnoff
- Formulate a plan for the day, especially if more than one of you is attending. Perhaps have just one person in charge of every aspect from setting up to break down of the stand so that the day is well co-ordinated, and each person attending understands their role
- Make sure you stay hydrated and that you eat, but preferably not in front of everyone!
- While it’s difficult to be on your feet for any length of time, try to avoid sitting down – it can give off the wrong vibes and show that you’re not interested. This is a great opportunity to sell to hundreds of other customers in a relatively short space of time so make the most of it
- Remember why you are there, stay focused on your objectives
- Follow up on any leads/product enquiries in a timely manner. Write notes on the business cards you collect – where you met the person and how, for example, you think you could solve a problem for them. Within two days add the cards’ details and notes to your CRM or another system for maintaining client relationships, while your memory is fresh. Make sure you have enough of your own business cards too
- Be prepared and allow plenty of time to set up. Make sure you can move your products from the car to your stand easily. It’s not always possible to be able to drive right up to the entrance. If you have a trolley, remember to pack it
- Make sure members coming to your stand can experience your product or service. Display items in an appropriate setting and have samples that members can try out
- Keep it simple, one large picture or banner may have greater impact than many small ones, and a single slogan which describes your business may say more than lots of text
- Everyone loves gimmicks and give-aways!
- Conduct a Trade Show debrief with the rest of your team (if there is more than one of you) and identify what went well and what didn’t
- If you’re new to exhibiting, don’t underestimate how tiring it can be
- Finally, enjoy it!
All of this might sound obvious, particularly for those that exhibit regularly, but we hope that by having a simple checklist, it goes some way to helping you organise the day. Bartercard holds annual trade shows around the country which provides the opportunity to showcase your product or service to hundreds of customers.
If you’re a current Bartercard member, click here to register to exhibit at one of our shows. If you’re new to Bartercard and looking to join, you will receive a FREE trade show stand when you join today! Click here to register your interest, and check out a video from one of our previous trade shows.