Importance of Tradeshows - 3 Must Do Tips

1)Have something that draws attention to you and that gets people to stop at your booth and fill out a form to collect their information, rather than do the slow "I'm not going to make eye contact because I don't want to seem like I'm interested" walk.

        • Giveaways are great because you typically collect e-mail addresses or contact info so that gives you a start and something you didn't have before the show.
        • Yes, most of the people are only interested in potentially winning the prize but a select few will be interested in your company and may turn into an actual prospect or customer.
        • So, yes it is worth it. But always weigh the value of the "prize" with the possibility of receiving a few prospective customers to make sure it's reasonable.

2)Depending on your nature of business, make it a point to network with other vendors/exhibitors.

        • I myself have found that in my B2B business, I have earned more valuable contacts and even customers from the other vendors when some tradeshows gave me zero solid leads from the actual attendees.
          • Reason 1. you are in a sense colleagues at the event. You both have invested both time and money to attend the show so you already have that in common. Which is an advantage and an easy icebreaker.
          • Reason 2. They're more willing to talk to you and strike up a conversation which is already a huge step in the right direction to building a worthwhile business relationship.
          • Reason 3. They're less likely to just be at your booth to simply take your freebies, unless they will truly use them.
          • Reason 4. They are more likely to have a "referral" frame of mind: you are both in the same boat (trying to gain quality leads) so they are more willing to send business your way even if it's not from them directly.

3)Brand, Brand, Brand. Sometimes tradeshow s are good for the shear exposure and brand recognition, you can receive. Having a professional look and a worthwhile giveaway that will be used are key!

      • All team members should be branded (whether they are wearing a company uniform, branded apparel or a nametag) and all items at your booth, especially pens, should have your logo on them. Yes, this may seem cliché but at an early tradeshow I attended, my company set up our booth a few hours before an event, left for an appointment and returned to find our bundle of pens that were so nicely displayed had dwindled down to 2 measly. Had those pens been branded, it would have been great but using the cheap Bic pens from Walmart did us no good and we were out of pens. So be prepared!
      • Branding your team is important because when walking around the venue, going to the restroom, etc. you will encounter other people that may never end up at your booth. This is an additional and potentially valuable marketing opportunity. I can't tell you the number of times, I took a restroom break that led to a conversation about my company and to an exchange of business cards.
      • Even branding your vehicle is important. It's what got you to and from the venue. It's sitting out in the parking lot for anyone entering or leaving to see. So it's important that you take advantage of this and every other opportunity available.
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