Business fairs, exhibitions, trade fairs, conventions – they go by many names, but a trade show is a great opportunity for you to show off your business offering, increase brand awareness, and generate new leads. Trade shows are special events that attract customers and businesses of a specific industry, to display and discuss the latest industry offerings and trends. They’re hard work but – with the help of a few trade show tips – are vey rewarding.
Shows such as Fine Food Australia, the Melbourne Home Show, and Fitness + Wellness Australia attract thousands of people around the world. It’s more than enough reason for your own business to apply for a booth at your next trade show!
In this article we’ll give you our top trade show tips to help you successfully set up and run your own trade show booth or stall. Let’s go!
Our top 9 trade show tips
Plan far in advance
Taking part in a trade show is a big commitment. To pull one off successfully, you’ll need a lot of resources, money, time and effort. Since it’s a big multi-day event where you’ll interact with thousands of potential customers, it’s better to take a lot of time and start planning as early as possible.
How early? We’re talking about planning as soon as your booth gets approved! Like we said, a lot of things need to come together for a trade show appearance – such as staff, products, marketing material – and the sooner you can get these figured out, the better.
Decide what you’ll be promoting
What’s the purpose of you being at the trade show? Are you introducing a new product or service? Or perhaps you’re inviting customers to participate in a special event? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be for you to plan.
For example, if you’re giving away products, make sure you secure enough products to last multiple days. If your product has specific needs such as refrigeration or bespoke display cases, make sure they’re booked months in advance.
Assemble your team
One of the most important trade show tips is preparing your people. When we say that, we’re referring to the people who will be helping you with the show – this includes the sales team that will represent your company, the people running the booth, your suppliers and social media team. Make sure everyone knows their role and what is expected of them before the date of the trade show. You can do this by creating call sheets and holding meetings.
Prepare marketing assets
Holding a trade show booth is your chance to market your business to thousands of people. Doing so will require marketing materials. There are a lot of different assets and materials you can create. This includes:
- Business cards
- Posters and signage
- Branded bags (for giveaways)
- Branded uniforms
You want trade show attendees to immediately recognise your brand as soon as they see your stall. Keep in mind that these assets will also need to be prepared well beforehand to ensure adequate turn around times.
Separate yourself from other booths
When you choose to exhibit at a trade show, you’ll be one of many other businesses vying for the attention of attendees. To give you an idea of just how many businesses and brands you’ll be up against, the Sydney Good Food & Wine Show had almost 300 different exhibitors. It’s why you need to make a concerted effort to stand out from your neighbours.
Consider making a point of difference through your booth design, invest in a high-tech display with TV screens and lighting or simply promote an interesting, unique product. All these things can work to attract more traffic to your booth.
Advertise on social media
Make your presence at the trade show known through social media. Visual platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are great to show off your booth, while creating a post on LinkedIn can generate awareness amongst potential buyers within a more relevant target audience. Be creative in your social media content. Show attendees how to get to your booth from the entrance or give them a quick glimpse of the freebies you’re giving away.
Your social media work doesn’t have to be done solely during the show dates. You can create buzz by promoting before the exhibition hall doors open!
Do giveaways or special offers
A great way to bring more people to your booth is by giving away freebies. Popular choices you’ll find at many trade shows include stress balls, fans, stationery and samples of your offering itself. You can also run fun competitions or games such as roulette wheels to garner more attention for your booth.
People love these sort of giveaways and word that you’re giving things away will travel quickly throughout the show. Giving away things they can take home can also help attendees remember you at a show where they’ve likely visited a hundred different brands.
Take time to explore
One of the most important to trade show tips is to explore the actual show! A trade show brings together many businesses and it is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and learn more about your industry. Take time to walk the show floor, try new things and connect with others. Even if you don’t manage to network a great deal, the insight and competitor research you’ll do by exploring will be invaluable.
Take lead notes and follow up
Trade shows can be a fun time for you and your crew but try not to lose sight of your overall goal – to generate awareness and leads for your business! Remember to note down potential leads and sale opportunities throughout the day, whether it be on your phone or a physical notebook.
Also, keep in mind that attendees are usually trying to see as much as possible during the show. This means that you might not be able to hold them and close any potential deals. Keeping note of your leads is a great way to remember who you’ve spoken to and follow up with them.
Ace your show with these trade show tips
Trade shows are an incredible opportunity for your brand to get out there. But they also take an incredible amount of effort, both before the show and during it. Hopefully these trade show tips will help you successfully exhibit at your next show! For more business-building blogs like this one, check out the ZipZipe blog today!