Trade shows and exhibitions offer an enormous range of benefits but also a considerable amount of commitment, focus, and budget. A trade show offers the perfect platform to meet, interact, and engage with people whom you may not otherwise meet. Attendees of exhibitions could be the solutions providers, potential buyers, or must be looking to source new partners.
Having a successful trade show appearance mainly depends on three factors that are -resilience, organization, and creativity. Trade shows are a huge investment for a company and ask for efforts to get succeeded. Most business-to-business (B2B) organizations commonly calculate their trade show success by the number of leads gained at the event and the return on investment (ROI) that come out of an event. Along with this, the level of effort that goes into the exhibition preparation ultimately determines its success rate.
We have shortlisted seven essential tips to ensure your trade show is a success:
1) Plan Far in Advance
Planning well ahead of the scheduled time is one of the most important things you can do before a trade show or exhibitions to ensure your success. Always keep in mind that it is never too early to start your trade show preparation. Informing your team of travel dates to book flights before the cost goes up will not only save you from last-minute hassle but will also save your money. Also, if you are attending a trade show far away from your region then make sure to room blocks before the hotel sells out.
Additionally to event logistics, another important aspect is pre-show campaign planning which is the key to success. Are you planning to launch a new product around at the event? Do you have any big announcements to make about your brand during the week of the show? Or, do you need to order giveaways for the attendees at your stand? It is advisable to start preparing for the trade show at least four to six weeks before the event. Also, you can send emails to inform your audience of your presence at the trade show. Emails are the best professional platforms to share any important news about your brand and tell people about the opportunity to meet your team at the event.
2) Prepare Your Sales Teams
Communication is an effective tool in exhibitions preparation. Many teams from your organization attend trade shows, such as sales, marketing, and the executive team. You have to ensure that each and everyone from the team has all of the relevant information leading up to the event and is on the same page. You can create a logistics document to make sure that you left out nothing and all the expectations are communicated. Also, the document should have the phone numbers of your team members in case anyone contacts anyone while at the event.
3) Schedule Pre-show Booth Meetings
One of the tricks that can help you have successful trade shows is making sales and marketing teams work together to pre-schedule booth meetings with customers, prospects, and partners. It is suggested to set realistic goals for your team. Moreover, creating a shared calendar for the sales team can help them to know and remember your trade show booth schedule. Also, it will help them to see which executives will be available during which time and day of the trade show.
4) Be active on social media
It is highly advisable to post photos from before, during, and after the event to your social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and various others. You can also ask and invite visitors to stop by your stand to pick up a giveaway, enter a contest, or watch a demo. Ensure to include your event hashtag and booth number for visitors to find you easily on the trade show floor.
5) Provide Giveaways
Always keep in mind that fun giveaways are parallel to more traffic at your booth. You can attract more attendees by investing some extra money in giveaways or an activity. But, you have to be creative in your offerings. Well, who doesn’t love food? You can also rent an ice cream truck or espresso machine and invite attendees to come and hang out in your stand. This can really help in breaking the ice with visitors, opening up conversations, and hopefully, gaining leads.
6) Debrief and Follow-up
After the trade show, schedule a debrief call with your team. Also, ask your teammates to take notes on what worked well during the event, what was in your favor, and any space for improvement. Think about whether you had enough traffic during the event or was your booth location perfect? Were you able to resonate your messaging with visitors? Trust us that these notes will be quite helpful in determining what to change and what to keep as you begin planning for the next exhibitions.