Category Archives: Trade Show

Trade Show Exhibitors – Tips For Newbies

Trade shows are anything but a walk in the park, even for experienced exhibitors but if you’ve never “experienced” one it can certainly be a daunting task. However, as big as the mountain appears you know that you must include trade shows into your marketing mix.

And finally, after months of angst and planning you finally decided to take the plunge and attend your first consumer trade show as an exhibitor – the day of reckoning has arrived. But wait a minute, which show will give you the biggest bang for your buck because trade shows are not cheap. You could pay as little as $500 – $700 or up to $2,500 even $3,000 for a simple and relatively small 10 x 10 space and so you want to do everything possible to make the experience a successful. If not, it may be your last.

Keep the following tips in mind as you put together your trade show plans you should avoid any major surprises and be well on your way to a successful show.

Realistic Expectations
Don’t go into the trade show expecting to make enough in sales to cover all of your expenses. Most people attending trade shows do so to simply gather information and to learn what’s new in their industry and market – not to go on a shopping spree. Rather, take the approach that this is a way to develop contacts and get some good solid leads. Develop a small marketing kit that contains small samples of your product (if possible), brochures and coupons for those attendees who are willing to provide you with their name and email address or business card.

Renting Versus Buying
In most instances, since this is your first exhibit you’ll want to rent your booth. Your company is new and wants to make an initial big splash with a smaller budget. When first developing a trade show program to supplement or diversify your current marketing mix, it can be difficult to determine the best exhibit and making a large financial commitment on an exhibit under these circumstances can be a daunting task.

Until you’ve been to a few trade shows, renting is normally the best path to follow. Even after you’ve done your research and decided on the best exhibit to fit your needs. This way, you get the opportunity to “test drive” your exhibit.

And if things go well and you start to attend more shows you can look into the economical benefits of purchasing an exhibit. Typically, it takes about four shows of renting a booth to cover the cost of purchasing a new exhibit.

Exhibiting At First Time Trade Shows
First time trade shows have no track record, no guarantees and it may just turn out to be a waste of your time. Many shows don’t start to take off until their second year and since your goal is to build relationships with your target market; in most instances, you’ll be much better off if you stick with shows that have an established track record.

Selling High Cost Products
Like I mentioned earlier, most trade show attendees attend because they want to gather information and to see what’s new and so if you expect to sell dozens of gift baskets or whatever your product is at $50 a piece you will probably go home with full set of inventory. A better option, if you decide to sell anything, is to sell a product that’s low – less than $20 because people are much less hesitant to part with a $10 or $20 bill.

Trade Show organizers hate empty booth space. Therefore, a good way to capitalize on this fact is approach the show organizers a few days before the show and ask them of there’s anything available. If there is and in many instances there are, you are in a perfect position to bargain for discounted booth space or perhaps, even get it for free. In addition, don’t forget to ask what comes with the booth. Some organizers with supply a few chairs and a table but many will only supply an empty space. Just remember that everything is negotiable and if you don’t ask you won’t receive but always ask so you don’t run into a big surprise the first day of the show.

Market Yourself As An Expert
Offer to lead a seminar in your field of expertise at the show as a way to showcase your expertise. Simply choose a topic that you’re familiar with and that ties into what you’re promoting at your booth. However, don’t make your presentation a 30 or 45 minute pitch. Offer genuine, good information for the bulk of your presentation and only utilize the last few minutes to pitch your product. Follow this simple and common sense formula people will flock to your booth and the mob that gathers will attract other attendees.

Look Alive
Nobody will stop at your booth if you are just sitting there looking bored. Get off your behind and greet attendees with a smile. This is much more inviting. On the flip side, just standing there with a smile isn’t enough. You need to entice people to stop. Bring energy and enthusiasm to your booth and attendees will want to stop and really take a look at what you’re promoting.

Focus On Just One Product Or Service
If you focus on too many products you will only confuse people and if people are confused, they won’t stop at your booth and they certainly won’t buy or provide you will their contact information.

Display A Banner
Even if they people are not familiar with what you’re promoting, they need to know who you are. Therefore, having a banner that prominently displays who you are will invite people to at least checkout your booth.

Follow these simply rules and remember the primary reason most people attend trade shows and your first (and your 21st) trade show experience will be a positive one.

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Secrets to Promoting Your Business at a Trade Show

Trade shows show promise as a golden marketing opportunity. Many business owners are stepping outside of the traditional box and investing in portable signage. Talking one-on-one with potential buyers provides an immediate gratification that is empowering. The trade show makes highlighting business services or products easier. Plan Ahead Working trade shows requires some planning. If possible, visit the facility prior to selecting your booth. Walk through the facility looking for potential problems that would inhibit your success, such as:

Food court: Although being located next to the food court could be beneficial, it creates a distraction. Itís difficult enough to interest a potential buyer in 3-minutes; you don’t need the sweet smell of cotton candy interrupting.

Competition: Don’t be suckered into renting a booth that is right next to a competitor. Some people believe its quality that counts and are eager to take the challenge of competition.

Accessibility: Ideally, your booth should be near the entrance or exit of the building, or the restrooms, or the main isle. Wherever there is an adequate flow of traffic.

The location of your booth and the signage you use will have a direct result of your trade show success. Stay focus on the appearance of your site. Use a banner to display your company logo, web address, and phone number. Itís important you capture the attention of potential buyers with signage and color.

Keep it short and simple, K. I. S. S. Use a secondary color to present information of importance. The two-tone color method adds depth and retains the attention of the reader and that’s a big advantage.

Most booths are no more than a 9` by 5` area. So it is equally important that you make valuable use of the area. Eliminate any unnecessary clutter and keep things organized. Its important that your potential buyer doesn’t become distracted.

Offering a special is also a good way to bring more people to your booth. Use a tripod and display board to feature your special offer. Write clear and in large lettering. Be prepared to answer questions. Working a Business Trade Show Business trade shows go hand in hand with network marketing. The primary purpose of this type of trade show is to draw the interest of other businesses. Your objective is to provide enough information for the other participants to promote your services or products by word of mouth or through passing literature.

It’s common practice for business groups to exchange business cards and brochures at a business trade show. Each booth gives a 2 minute presentation to visitors, a free gift (ink pen, magnet, sticky notes, or eraser), and ask for the visitors literature. Professionals shake hands and begin asking questions.

  • How can I assist you?
  • What are the benefits of using your services or products?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How can potential buyers reach you?
  • Do you work outside of your area?

Business trade shows are not limited to business owners. Most vendors will invite others that may profit from using the services or products of the network group. Finding a good booth, using the proper signage, and displaying a sample of your services or products are all important elements of trade show marketing.