Some companies think that as long as they have a booth in a show, they are increasing their potential for clients. This simply is not the case. A bad show, shoddy booth, poor presentation and bad follow-up strategy can do detrimental harm to your business.
To ensure you put your best face forward at the next tradeshow, just follow these simple rules:
1) Choose Space Carefully: Not only should you only attend the best shows, but research where the best booth space is. If possible, position yourself in on a corner and near your competitors. The corner spot will give you heightened visibility and a spot near your vendors will maximize the probability that customers who are already familiar with their brand will take the few steps to learn more about yours.
2) Décor is Key: Never cut back on your booth to save money. The only money you are saving is that of clients who would have been paying you for your time/products. A professional looking booth gives the statement that your company is competitive, takes their position in the market seriously and has the attention to detail to predict their client-needs.
3) Train Your Staff: Tradeshow presenters should never slouch, eat in the booth, or speak poorly of their company. These may all seem obvious, but when walking around a show, it is so very common to see employees looking bored, with crumbs on their clothes and food stashed by the demo products and using lines like “It is an expensive product,” “We haven’t really tested how long it will last before needing to be replaced,” and “It is pretty much the same product as XX made by YY.”
4) Network to Make Friends: Anyone can talk shop, but few strive to be memorable at shows. When encountering a potential contact, don’t just try to sell them on your product/service, try to sell them on you. You want them to trust that you won’t steer them wrong. You want them to feel comfortable talking you as a person, not just a salesman.
5) Follow-up in Time: The best method to reach out to your new tradeshow contacts is through a two-step process. One week after the show, send out a generic “Thanks for visiting, here is a link to our website, here is my contact info, we’ll be in touch soon” style email. This provides the attendee with any information that they may have misplaced when traveling back to their offices. Then 3-5 weeks after the show has ended, personally call and email every contact you have made, noting what had interested them at the show and any additional information that may trigger-their memory as to who you/your business are.
Showing at Tradeshows isn’t an ends to itself, but a tool to achieving greatness for your business. Make sure your company stands out from the crowd. Show professionalism at every turn. Be engaging. And value each and every individual who comes by your booth. Don’t just show up, roll out the red carpet of greatness!
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy reading, “Making the Most of Attending a Tradeshow”