Hosting a trade show is no easy feat, but they can bring in a whole host of new business! Whether you throw the event for yourself or you attend with your own stall, seeing success at any trade show takes planning and organisation. You’ve got to be prepared to fight for attention, and you need to retain it with helpful information and impressive merchandise.
Here are five tips you need, covering how to have the best trade show:
1. Plan your stalls far in advance.
No matter what, the most critical element of any trade show is the business stands. If you’re hosting the trade event, figure out how many stalls you’re going to require! It would help if you had an initial idea of how many companies are interested in participating, and this will also guide your choice of venue.
As well as determining how many stalls you’re going to need to set up, you’ve got to give extra thought to your company stand. Where do you want to be located in the hall? Do you want to sit toward the front of the exhibition to catch visitors upon entering, or at the back to leave the final impression?
It would help if you also began to think about what you’re going to promote at your stall. Do you have a new product launch you’d like to talk about, or are you trying to build up an email list to start marketing campaigns? Are you going to need a custom exhibition display created with your company logo to summarise what you do?
2. Elect staff members to attend
The most vital tool in trade show preparation is communication. Every attendee needs to be clear on their role in the team, whether as a salesperson or in administration. A strong staff selection will represent your business in the best light, so choosing confident and charismatic employees is essential.
Though it may seem very early to be considering the logistics of the day, you need to consider the event from your staff’s perspective. Give them as much detail as possible, including what you wish to achieve with your stand! Gather together instructions for your employees once they arrive, and print them out alongside one another’s phone numbers in case of emergency.
3. Plan to be active on social media.
One surefire way to spread your trade stall beyond the walls of your event is to publish photographs and videos on social media! You’ve gone to the effort of setting up a stand, and your employees won’t always be occupied with visitors when they’re exploring other companies. Plan to use the spare time to upload stories for fans, and include any hashtags relevant to the event.
Anybody searching through content relating to the trade show will see your business, and you could find potential customers on Instagram and Facebook as well as your physical stall. The social content of the show will also give some entertainment to your current followers, and you may even encourage some fans to attend the show that otherwise wouldn’t have realised the event was happening.
4. Offer Freebies Or Food
Of course, you’ll receive more footfall to your stall if attendees realise you’re giving away free sweets and treats. You can qualify every visitor to your booth for their free item by asking them a question for market research. For example, before you hand over any merchandised pens or notepads, you could invite visitors to explain any challenges they’ve faced in your industry. If their issue is something you believe you can solve, they’re a lead! You can quickly explain how you’d rectify their issue, and get their details for further conversation.
Invite every staff member attending the trade show to participate in a preparation session the week before the trade show is scheduled. Mock set up your stall, including your freebies, and encourage practice networking conversations between your attendees. Double-check that business cards and flyers are in document wallets, so they’re easy to find and up to date with relevant information for any visitors to your stand.
5. Run Your Stall And Follow Up
All that’s left to do is to enjoy hosting your stall at the event! All staff are confident in their roles at the trade show, and you’ve got a system in place to record leads. Make sure to contact your leads no later than two days after the stall, so your offering is fresh in their mind. Also, be open to suggestions from your team as to what could be improved for the next event!
Do your best to ensure you’ve always got plenty of merchandise on hand, and contact us at ScreenTec if you need any advice on suitable freebies.