Trade shows can be a valuable resource to your business and a profitable venture. However, you do need to plan to make sure that you get the most out of any trade show.
The most typical reason trade show exhibitors do not obtain the ROI from their investment in trade shows is they lack a game plan. A plan is an important ingredient to provide the best opportunity for success.
Don’t leave everything to the trade show promoter. The promoter’s job is to look at the big picture. As an exhibitor, your job is to make sure that the people who come to the trade show are interested in your product.
Make sure you are equipped to provide everything your potential customers will need to put your company on their radar.
Some essential components to consider when preparing for a trade show are:
1. Establish quantifiable objectives. Are you really there to take orders? Create business leads? How many? These questions can allow you to decide your booth layout, marketing collateral, and staffing demands.
2. Make a checklist. Make a list of things to bring along with you, and action items which will need to occur at each stage of the event. The list ought to be comprehensive enough that you could hire someone else to come in and implement the program if something should happen to you.
3. Create a staffing strategy. Determine how many people you need on the stall and if you’re able to use temporary assistance to offset the expenses of traveling.
4. Rehearse. If you have a brand new booth screen, place it up on your stand prior to getting to the show floor. Put your books, products, staff and furniture from the booth and be certain you’ve got your design just the way you need it.
5. Start early. This way, if you are not on a potential buyer’s list before they get there, then you will have the advantage over other exhibitors for their attention and time. Get the attendance list and be proactive: invite folks to come to visit your new merchandise on your booth. Do not forget to encourage your present customers too.
6. Follow-through. As amazing as it seems, many exhibitors never follow together with all the leads they get out of trade shows. Assign the job of earning telephone calls for your prospects beginning the day you go back to the workplace and make sure your team has a call report on every person who came to your booth.