Exhibiting at a trade show is a brilliant way to promote your brand. You also get to network with people in your industry – even your competitors!
Exhibiting at a trade show is a brilliant way to promote your brand. You also get to network with people in your industry – even your competitors! It can be a fun and interesting experiment if it’s your first time exhibiting at a trade show. For repeat exhibitors, trade shows are useful for continuing brand awareness at public events.
The trouble is; some firms don’t know the best ways to creating a successful trade show stand. Sure, you might have an award-winning product or service you’d like to showcase. You might also think that it’ll sell itself.
Of course, people won’t buy stuff from you if they don’t know you exist. It matters not whether that’s online, in a retail store, or at a trade show. You need to put the effort in to attract potential customers to your brand! Here’s how to do that at a trade show in these ten vital steps:
1. Attend trade shows as a visitor first
One of the mistakes people in business make is to exhibit at trade shows without visiting them first! It’s important that your brand and its products and services will “fit in” with the general theme. Let’s face it; a gardening products stand will be out of place at an IT trade show!
Be sure to attend some trade shows as a visitor. Ideally, you should go with a work colleague to “compare notes” of the experience.
2. Select trade shows that fit in with your brand
Now that you’ve attended a few trade shows, it’s time to select ones that you feel your brand will fit in the most. Don’t be afraid to exhibit at venues that aren’t local to your business. Some of the best trade shows are often located in cities and even countries far away from your location!
Of course, from a cost point of view ones that are in your region will be better. Still, if there’s an important industry trade show hosted somewhere, don’t dismiss it.
3. Do some research on your short-listed trade shows
Once you’ve got a short-list of trade shows you want your business to exhibit at, it’s time to do some research. But what is it you need to research, I hear you ask?
First of all, you need to determine how many people attend the event each year. Next, you’ll need to get cost information. After all; the last thing you want to do is go broke because you forgot to check the exhibition fees!
4. Book your stand as early as possible
Exhibition trade shows are what you might call “first come, first served” events. That’s why it is important you book your firm’s place as soon as possible. Most trade shows allow companies to book months in advance. The bigger ones even let you book as soon as the current event has finished!
Booking early is useful for two reasons. First of all, you are more likely to negotiate a better rate. And, second, you’ll be able to pick the best space at the venue.
5. Get your exhibition stand designed and built
Confirmed your booking? Good! Now you need to contact a company that specializes in exhibition stand design. They will discuss your requirements as each client has different needs. You can then be sure you’ll end up with the perfect stand design.
Be sure to discuss with the provider what you wish to showcase. And don’t forget to mention any special requirements. The more details you give, the more likely you’ll end up with a stand that exceeds your expectations.
6. Ensure you’ve got the things you need for your stand at the venue
The stand itself isn’t the only thing you will need for your time at the trade show. It’s important to check whether the venue will supply electricity and lighting. Many of the larger venues will also charge extra for things like Internet access and phone lines.
You may find it cost-effective to use battery-powered devices like laptops and LED lights. Just don’t forget to bring spare batteries that you can swap over during the day!
7. Create a mockup of your trade show stand
Before the event, you should set up your trade show stand in your office. That way, you can check for any problems with the stand itself and get them fixed before the event.
Doing the above also helps you to determine how you wish to showcase your products and services. It’s also useful for working out things like locations of banners and signs. Be sure to gain feedback from your colleagues. They can often help identify any problems you might miss.
8. Inform your customers that you’ll be at the trade show
One of the reasons you’re exhibiting is because you wish to tell new customers about your brand. But what about your existing ones? Did you know that some of your clients may also be attending the same trade show?
Make sure you send out a newsletter or publish a press release about your firm’s attendance at the event. It’s a good way to connect with existing clients and learn more about their needs. You may even get a few orders out of it too!
9. Have a rota of staff
It’s no secret that trade shows have quite long hours each day. That’s why it’s important to work your stand in shifts. You can then ensure that each person manning the stand has plenty of break times.
It also shows visitors to your stand that you’ve got a strong team of people backing your brand.
10. Get prepared to take orders
Last, but not least, it’s important that you have the means to take down orders from new or existing clients. You will often have buyers from other firms, for instance, that wish to place orders with you on the spot.
I recommend setting up printing facilities at your stand. That way, you can print order confirmations for your customers. It also shows them that you’re a forward-thinking company. Good luck!
10 Vital Steps To Creating A Successful Trade Show Stand was first seen on Mompreneur Media