Has this ever happened to you? You decide to participate in a trade show so you print a stack of pricey brochures, spend three days shaking hands and afterwards you’re not really sure what you accomplished. Here are some tips I recommend to my clients to make the most of their trade show investments.
1. Have a goal – like any other business tactic, you’ll get better results if you begin with the end in mind. Are you going to the trade show to meet new prospects? To launch a new product? To take a leadership role in your industry? Know what you’re there to do and then set up every aspect your participation to support that.
2. Have a theme – the best show booths convey a message before the visitor even approaches. Assigning a creative theme to your booth can help you come up with great ideas to support your show costumes, promotional giveaways and handout materials. It is also a valuable ice-breaker. For example, if you’re a travel agent and you want to showcase your Caribbean products, play steel drum music, wear Hawaiian shirts and hand out pineapple shaped pens. You’ll get the message across.
3. Train your staff – Make sure everyone knows what they’re there to do and can talk knowledgably about your company, product and service.
4. Take advantage of the pre- and post- show windows – It doesn’t cost much to send out a mailer with a special offer inviting people to your booth before the show. Contacting people before and after adds only a small amount to your overall costs, but can deliver a big impact.
5. Quickly identify serious prospects vs. “lookie loo’s” – Trade shows are dynamic environments and the fact is you won’t have time to have in-depth conversations with everyone. Use some questions that help you sort out where to focus your time, and know how to send folks who are just looking on their way feeling good.
6. Follow up with your leads – I know this one seems obvious but you would be shocked at how many companies fail to follow up at all with the potential clients they met.
Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at http://www.bluetreemedia.com
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©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.