You’re planning on exhibiting in a trade show, and it stands to reason you are hoping for success. Setting up your exhibit display, you look around at surrounding booths and start to worry. Will you be noticed? Have you properly prepared? Will your booth get lost amongst the sea of other booths? These are all valid fears. A lot of time and money was spent to get you to this point, and you’re planning on a decent return on the trade show investment!
Here’s a handy list of tips that will help you achieve success at your next trade show, setting your trade show booth apart from the rest and ensuring a successful experience.
Be prepared. This is like work away from work, so you need to be sure you have everything you need. You want things to run smoothly, and you want to appear professional. First off, be sure to bring along plenty of business cards. Although you might not believe it, there are people that forget this important step! Be sure your business cards feature all of the important information such as social media information, email address, phone number, and website.
Planning on going digital for this trade show? Great! You can utilize online ordering and inquiries. To make it easy, set up tablet stations for customers to place orders for themselves, or to get more information about a particular product. If you aren’t going the digital route, you’ll need to remember to bring along order forms, some way to conduct credit card transactions (whether paper forms or a device for your smartphone such as Square or PayPal Here), brochures with information on new products, and other office supplies like plenty of pens, paper, a stapler or paper clips, and a calculator. There are a few things you might not think about that are quite important too – tape, pins, power strips, extension cords, and other items like a lint brush or stain remover like the Tide-To-Go in case you end up with your lunch on your shirt!
Put your best face forward (or in this case, product). Are you showcasing a new product at the show? You’ll probably want to make sure it is in its best possible condition. At the end of each day, clean it up to remove fingerprints, and check it out to be sure it is functional for the next day or show. It is a good idea to bring a few prototypes if you have them, just in case something unfortunate happens.
Look amazing, but be comfortable. You are trying to make an impression. You know that you need to dress to impress, but don’t take this too far. You’re going to be standing for long periods of time, so you need to be sure that whatever you wear is comfortable, especially your shoes. If you are in an industry where sneakers are accepted, great! However, know that this does not apply for all industries, so keep that in mind. Even decent insoles will help you cope with the long hours spent on your feet.
Keep follow-up simple. So, a customer wants you to contact them in a certain amount of time about a new product. Great! But don’t turn the process of gathering their contact information into a chore, or they might change their mind. Take the work off of their shoulders – gather business cards, and write follow-up details on the back of each. Be sure you have something to keep them in so that nothing happens to them. You can also choose to have people add to a mailing list in unique ways, such as employing the use of QR codes that direct people to a simple email list registration page.
Speak to their sweet tooth. While free pens and mouse pads are great, nothing draws people to your booth better than chocolate! While you can choose other treats, like mints or taffy, chocolate is the go-to crowd pleaser. Offering an assortment of dark and milk will earn you extra points as well!
Entice them prior to the show. Whether this is just talking about the fact you will be attending the show, or giving sneak peeks of new products to be released at the show, let everyone know you are going to be there. This can be done by mailing a postcard, sending emails to everyone on your contact list, or posting to social media. Start a few weeks prior to the show, and post more the closer the date of the show gets.
Know your product. This is a given. Bonus points for those who not only know their product, but present it in a compelling and humorous way. Everyone loves a good story, so go ahead and tell the story of your product!
Be nice! This, yet again, is a given. You can’t make customers happy when you are miserable and come off as unapproachable. Say hello to everyone who sets foot in your booth with a big smile on your face, and be sure to give strong handshakes to everyone you meet. If someone makes a purchase or you get a solid lead, be sure to thank him or her.
Keep your booth presentable. Besides making sure your design is top-notch, you want to keep your booth neat and free of tripping hazards. Offer brochures or fliers for those that don’t wish to talk, and be sure the signs and banners on and around your booth are noticeable.
Be there for the customers. This means setting up on time and being there for the entire trade show. Even if you only get a few customers, it will matter to those customers, who will probably share their experience with your company with others that might become customers in the future. Don’t even consider taking your booth down early! It sends a negative message to attendees, who are sure to talk.
If you stick with these tips and trust Blazer Exhibits to create a show-stopping booth, you’ll be on your way to more business in no time! Have you discovered tips that aren’t covered above? Share them with us!