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Six pointers to help make your trade show a success!

February 12th, 2014

Follow these six tips to help make your next trade show more worthwhile and increase the return you get out of each show.  Attending shows doesn’t have to be a mystery anymore use these points below as a roadmap to guide you through the experience.

1.   Keep track of your ROI – Make sure your leads generated (or goals) outweigh the cost of the show.  To help reach your goals, try to contact potential leads before the show and set up appointments with them to ensure you’re getting quality time with decision makers.  If nothing else, the pre-contact will direct them to your booth and make for warmer conversation.   As with any form of advertising you have to look at the ROI or ROG (return on goals).  Have the mindset that having a booth is an investment.  The more you do to help your investment, the better your return will be.  Don’t be that company that gets a booth space, puts zero thought into the display, sits back and expects business to walk right up and introduce itself.  It might happen but we wouldn’t bet on you.

2.  Become part of the show – Most trade shows or conferences have a keynote speaker and several other presenters.  If you can’t manage to get on the main stage or become a presenter, all is not lost.  Come up with some sort of event at your booth to help get word about your company out there.  This will generate more leads but will also help to incorporate your company into part of the overall event.

3.  Leads are great but appointments are better – Try to have reps get appointments instead of leads and you’ll be surprised at the results.  To further that point, aside from having goals try to work in a competition amongst your team to see who can generate the most, leads, appointments, business, whatever applies the most to your situation.  Keep your booth space fun and make winning worthwhile.

4.  Be a solution not a pest – This might seem contradictory to the point above but it makes sense if your reps are doing it right.  Try not to make people feel like they are being sold while spending time at your booth.  Always try to present your company as consultative in nature.  You want to come across as being an expert in your field but also being THE solution to a problem, not a pest.  It helps to have your best reps in your booth space.

5.  Don’t forget about your neighbors – Network with the other vendors and where applicable see if you can share leads with each other, assuming it isn’t a competitor.  If your company was able to generate 250 leads and your neighbor generated 250 leads, then together you’ve generated 500 leads, remove some of the overlap and your contacts from the show still grew by a large number.  If nothing else, a good connection may lead to referrals down the road.  After all, these events are to generate contacts, business, and traffic.

6.  Make your booth space unique – Design your booth space to separate you from the other companies exhibiting around you.  If your booth looks like the one to the left and right of it, leads are much more likely to pass by.  You want prospects taking notice of your company and being intrigued by what you have to offer.  With so many eyes upon your company, these events are not the time to second-guess your trade show display.

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