Trade shows can be a wonderful business opportunity. They provide an intensive setting to make the professional connections on a single day that might otherwise take months to achieve. Face to face meetings have been named as the most likely business tactic to make an impact on customers. While online marketing and campaigns will always have their place, a human face and the personal touch is difficult to beat. Make the most of your trade show experience by incorporating some of these helpful tips into your strategy.
Define Your Goals
Having defined goals and aims for the trade show is an essential aspect of preparation. It enables you to assess whether or not the trade show was a success and worth repeating in the future. Understanding clearly what your intentions are will empower you and your colleagues to approach people with confidence and structure their meetings effectively. It can be a good start to assess the success of any previous trade shows. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your business’ performance. What did you achieve? What could have been improved? This self-awareness and brutal honesty will mean that your performances can only improve.
Your publicity should be multi-faceted and ongoing, both before, during, and even after the event. Consider if there will be any unmissable guest speakers or a new product unveiling, for example. During the event, you should ensure that a timetable is visible with exciting events. After the show, you should still publicise your successes and thank everyone for attending. Anyone who did not attend will feel like they missed out on an exciting opportunity and they will not make the same mistake again!
Know Your Industry
It is important to recognise what is of special interest in your particular industry. Some industries may emphasise speeches and guests. Others may require product demonstrations. A trade show with food giants like IFFA Messe Frankfurt, including businesses like ClarkeFussells will have entirely different requirements from a trade show that specialises in technology, for example. The BBC recently reported on the great lengths undertaken at the CES trade show, but they will be remarkably different from those undertaken by another large trade show for British crafts.
Know your industry and tailor your area to make it attractive, appropriate and visually striking for your intended audience.