Have you ever been to a trade show? Have you noticed that the majority of attendees are influencers and decision makers? Isn’t that a great opportunity for you to be engaged and ready to market your business effectively? How do you sell your business at trade shows?
Trade shows offer a perfect selling opportunity as you get the chance to have face-to-face conversations with a prequalified audience. You see more people in one hour than you do in one week. And the ones who attend fairs are truly interested in your company and the products and services you sell.
Do you have a marketing budget for trade shows? No? Well, even if you don’t have the budget, trade shows are still worth attending. Look for trends, new launches, attend different seminars and presentations, talk to speakers and exhibitors, get the pulse.
So, how do you sell your business properly at trade shows?
The following is a guest blog by Craig Barnes.
8 Tips to Sell Your Business Properly at Trade Shows
Trade shows are the one place where businesses can cement a strong relationship, make good connections and find potential customers all under one roof. Did you know that 89% of companies believe that trade shows keep them up-to-date on the latest industry trends and developments?
Today’s business world is fast-paced, tech-savvy and ultra-digitalised, but the offline marketing technique still plays an important role in building a business’s success.
Face-to-face contact has never been more beneficial; meet hundreds of prospective clients, market your brand the best way possible, and scope out the competition.
Here are 8 tips to help you sell yourself properly:
1. Choose the right platform
There are thousands of tradeshows that take place every year across all sectors, so the key is to choose the right one for your business. Make sure you are exhibiting at the major event- it may cost more but it will be worth it. If you can only afford to go to one show, focus your efforts on the biggest one.
For example, do you work in the caravan industry? The Spring Caravan & Camping Show is taking place in February 2013 at the NEC. Elsewhere, if you work in the toy industry, the Toy Collectors’ Fair is taking place this month in Birmingham.
How do you determine which trade show will provide maximum exposure for you? Research the average number of attendees and the number of businesses that exhibit.
2. Learn the logistics
Upon registering, the organisers will inform you of your site details. This is crucial to planning the technical requirements like the banner and stand size.
How much space do you have to work with? Where is the point of entry and exit? How many power outlets do you have and where are they located? This is the kind of information which you need to know, in order to maximise your marketing efforts.
3. What’s the goal?
As with anything in life, you need to have a goal. Do you want to talk to X number of people? Do you want to convert X number of leads into prospective clients? Do you want to get a certain number of orders before you leave? Do you want to take away X number of contacts in the industry?
By understanding what your objectives are, you can then determine which display products are more suited to your needs.
4. Grab attention
Simply put, you need to attract everyone’s attention. You can do this through various ways;
- An eye-catching banner stand that offer you plenty of coverage.
- iPad stands and tablets are fast becoming a marketing essential, allowing you to show the customer instead of telling them.
- Literature stands which allow you to display corporate brochures professionally.
- Display Velcro-friendly boards which allow you to customise your stand with interchangeable graphics.
5. Trade show necessities
There are a number of supplies which you will need on the day. These comprise of business cards; promotional freebies like pens, key rings and USBs; forms to gather people’s information; and a payment system should people want to purchase there and then. Make sure you have plenty of supplies, so you don’t run out half way through the show.
Take lots of paper, samples of your work and ensure that there are enough staff members to man your stand correctly. All personnel should be dressed appropriately, and they should be friendly, approachable, and confident. There should always be at least two people on your stand at all times.
6. Publicise your attendance
Believe it or not but you can market yourself before the tradeshow. Write, publish and distribute some online PR to announce your attendance; write a blog post about it on you website, and advertise it in your monthly newsletter. Let everyone know where and when you will be exhibiting.
7. Run a contest
Everyone likes the prospect of winning something for free, so a great way to attract customers to your stand is to run a contest.
If a person fills in their details, are they automatically entered into a prize draw? Make the prize related to your business, so for example; if you offer content writing services, give away a free press release worth equivalent to £300 that is written by trained writers and distributed across online industry-specific platforms.
8. Get noticed
Many trade shows feature workshops and seminars with a panel of industry experts. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and let people know who you are. If they ask the audience for questions, participate and offer your expertise; and afterwards, socialise with the other business owners by engaging in conversation with them.
Did any of them ask a question? Network and bring it up into conversation. Often or not, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Swap business cards and connect with them on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Follow this essential guide to market yourself the best way possible at trade shows in 2013!
This article was provided by Display Wizard, the UK’s leading experts in exhibition and display solutions. See the website for more information on the specialist equipment to use at events, trade shows and in retail environments.
What was your biggest take away? What’s your experience with trade shows? How do you sell your business at trade fairs? Feel free to share and comment.