Is your company taking a stand at a trade show for the first time? If you’ve never done anything like that before, you may be in for a surprise about the amount of hard work that goes into them, but also about the amount of business you can get out of them. However, it isn’t a case of just turning up and you’ll miraculously get a lot of leads, you do have to put a lot of energy into making it work. So to help, here are our top tips on having a successful event.
There will be a lot of companies - some of them potentially direct rivals to yours - who are trying to get the attention of all the visitors. That means you’ve got to stand out from the crowd to make a good impression on visitors, and the best way to do this is visually. All the larger exhibition and trade shows will offer to provide a standard stand shell, but the problem is that they all look the same. And the bigger the trade show, the more difficult it will be to make yourself ‘visible’. So put aside a budget to create a stand that looks as individual and professional as you are. By the way, did we mention we design, manufacture and build exhibition and trade stands...?
It doesn’t matter how much time you think it’ll take, it will take longer. Trust us! One second you’ve just arrived at the venue thinking you’ve got a day or even two to set up and get ready; the next they’re opening the doors to the public and you’re still trying to find that box of brochures you were sure you put in the car. The time pressure only gets worse in the larger exhibition halls like ExCel or Olympia because they’re such massive places. If you need to get anything, you’ll have to walk a long way to get it (bonus tip - wear comfortable shoes), and when the trade show’s in full swing, you’re often further held up by the sheer volume of people in your way!
Take at least one colleague with you to help you at the trade show. This will enable one of you to leave the stand to run errands or take a break without having to worry that you might miss out on a good lead. In quiet times, it’ll also be a lot nicer for you both to have someone to talk to, and in busy times, you’ll be able to talk to more potential clients.
Make sure you’ve got a good supply of business cards as you’ll be handing them out to everyone you meet.
As soon as you get back to the office, send an email to all the people you’ve talked to. Thank them for taking the time to talk to you, and show that you were listening to them by pointing them to the website page with the product or service they were interested in rather than just the home page. This will involve taking lots of notes at the trade show itself, so as soon as you have a spare moment, it’s worth going through them whilst your memory’s as fresh as possible.
We hope this is useful information that’ll help you make the most of your time at your first exhibition or trade show. If you’d like us to help you create an amazing stand that will help your company stand out (pun intended!), then contact us to discuss your requirements.