You’re most likely already aware that a successful trade show can be hugely valuable to your business. And you probably already know the basics of setting up a space at the event. These are the essentials that everyone knows. However, there’s going to be a lot of competition for success at your next trade show, and not everybody can go home as a winner. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re the one who goes home happy with their day’s work.
Everyone Knows Their Role
Your preparation for your event, such as ordering booths and other materials, will begin well in advance of the day. This too must apply to your staff. There’s no opportunity to wing it at a trade event: you only have a limited number of hours, and you need to make the most of them, because if you’re not going home with leads then you can classify the show as a failure. In the weeks before the day, make sure every staff member who will be working your booth knows exactly what their role is – and just as importantly, what their role isn’t.
When it comes to engaging other people at your booth, it’s important to remember that they don’t have to be there. They’re there because they’re mildly interested, that’s all. They’ll leave just as quickly as they arrived if your staff are too pushy. Of course, you should be welcoming every single visitor to your booth and be readily available to talk, but you shouldn’t jump in with both feet before your visitor is ready. Essentially, we’re suggesting that you be the best calm, cool, and collected version of yourself.
Make Them Want To Stay
If they do show a willingness to engage, then you should have the infrastructure there to make them want to stay. Offer complimentary coffee and snacks and you’ll be buttering people up for a productive conversation. Beside ensuring they’re treated to nice food and drink, you should also try and make it so they have fun at your booth. There’s plenty of scope to create fun interactive games based on your product and service, though of course this will have to be arranged well before the day.
Staying in their Minds
When they do come to leave, make sure they’re carrying a piece of your company away with them – and that it’s something they’ll use again and again. Promotional memory sticks with your name on the side work particularly well – because people are always using USB drives – and even though they’ll have left your booth they’ll never have your name too far from their mind. Again, any promotional items will have to be ordered in advance, and make sure you get enough for everyone – you can always use them again if you take some home with you.
The Real Sneaky Hint
If you’ve ever worked in a shop, you might have noticed that people do have a tendency to act like sheep. As soon as one person enters a store, many more follow. That’s why it pays to be a bit sneaky at trade events and have people in plain clothes visiting your booth. They can be employees or friends, but you’ll soon find that people follow. People have a tendency to avoid going to empty booths, and by doing this your booth will never have to be empty for too long.
Ultimately, if you’ve prepared for your trade event properly then the day should go off smoothly and successful, and that means you can have fun with it. You’ve got a job to do, but if you’ve put all the pieces in the right place then it’ll be a success. Be open and friendly and fun – people can’t help but be drawn to the fun booths at trade shows, and it’ll also ensure that it’s your booth that they remember.
Success Comes Later
The day can be fun, but the real work comes after the event. The trade show is just the middleman for introducing you to potential partners and customers: it’s up to you to capitalise on the potential once you’re back in the office. You should be following up on your leads in the days after they’ve been set up. By preparing for your event and executing your plan to perfection, you’ll be putting yourself in a position to get a lot of work for your business, but they won’t just come to you. Have an after event debrief and get them on board. Good luck!